How to go out to tender for a website rebuild: The ClerksWell Approach

Is your membership organisation ready to embark on an exciting journey of revamping your online presence with a customer-focused website redesign project? The journey for the perfect web development and design partner may seem like an enormous task, but with ClerksWell's unique experience and insights, we are here to guide you in creating a tailored tender process and a comprehensive website brief. This journey ensures you select the perfect partner for your project.

How to go out to tender for a website rebuild: The ClerksWell Approach

Step 1: Compile a strategic team

Ensure diversity of expertise by assembling a team with a blend of marketing and technical knowledge to evaluate responses from multiple angles.

Make sure you represent the end-users and don't underestimate the value of end-users' insights. Their perspectives are essential for creating a website that genuinely meets your organization's unique needs.

Ensure there is buy in from the overall decision makers and key senior stakeholders before you embark on the project.

Step 2: Create a comprehensive brief:

To kickstart your journey, it's vital to establish a comprehensive brief that covers all essential aspects of your project.

You can compile the strategic brief internally. Alternatively, you can choose to collaborate with ClerksWell to streamline the process. We offer tailored workshops that allow us to gather high-level requirements directly with your team. We guide you through the process, helping you define realistic budgets based on the gathered requirements. Our collaborative approach guarantees that your website redesign project is set on a path to success from its inception. This comprehensive brief should include:

Desired Future State, Business Goals, and Objectives:

  • Define the future state you envision for your organisation's online presence.
  • Clearly outline your business goals and objectives for the website redesign project.


  • Determine your financial parameters for the project to ensure alignment with your available resources.


  • Establish the desired project completion date to manage expectations and deadlines effectively.

Brand Identity and Tone of Voice:

  • Provide insights into your brand's identity and tone of voice, ensuring the website aligns with your brand's unique character.

Analysis of current state and existing problems:

  • Evaluate the current state of your website and identify existing issues that need addressing.

Audience and user needs:

  • Define your target user base and present any existing persona or segmentation work you've undertaken.
  • Identify the needs and expectations of your audience to shape the website accordingly.

Desire for new features or requirements:

  • Outline any specific features or requirements that are essential for your website's success.

Content Creation and Population Requirements:

  • Describe your content needs, including creation and population, to ensure a seamless transition to the new website.

CMS Requirements:

  • Specify the content management system (CMS) requirements that are crucial for your website's functionality and internal teams.

Tech Integrations Requirements, Web Applications, and Hosting Needs:

  • Detail any technical integrations, web applications, or hosting requirements necessary for your project.

Identification of Key Contacts and Stakeholders:

  • Provide information about the key individuals from your organization who will be involved in the project and decision-making processes.

Post- Launch requirements:

  • Determine what support and engagement you require from your supplier after go-live. You may decide to take an MVP approach to launch and therefore need to plan for subsequent phases to enhance and optimise the solution.

Competitor Research (optional):

  • Present insights gathered from competitor research to help inform your website's strategic direction.

Step 3: Set an appropriate budget 

Organisations are often reluctant to communicate their budget to their potential suppliers. However, without communicating a budget you run the risk of receiving bids that do not meet your expectations or completely overshoot your available funds.

Determine your budget in advance to help agencies align their solutions with your financial parameters.

Step 4: Decide the format of your tender process

There are a 2 primary options for a tender process: an open tender or a RFP. Here are some pro’s and cons of each for you to decide what works best for your organisation.

Open Tender: publicly post your tender to higher number of responses and create more competition.


  • Transparency: It's open to all agencies, ensuring transparency in the selection process.
  • Broad range of options: You have access to a wide pool of potential partners.
  • Competition: Agencies may offer competitive pricing to win the project.


  • Overwhelming responses: Sorting through a large number of responses can be time-consuming.
  • Quality varies: The quality of responses can vary significantly.
  • May not target specialists: You might receive responses from agencies that don't specialize in your specific needs.

Request for Information/Request for Proposal (RFP): create a curated of agencies. Seek referrals and look for case studies that mirror your project's scale and nature.


  • Structured Approach: An RFP provides a structured framework for responses, making it easier to compare.
  • Detailed Information: You can request specific information tailored to your project.
  • Efficiency: This approach can save time compared to open tenders.


  • Resource-Intensive: Preparing a detailed RFP can be time-consuming.
  • May not encourage engagement: Agencies may not be as engaged or motivated when responding to an RFP.


Step 5: Short listing for Pitch

Distil your shortlist to a maximum of three agencies to invite to pitch. Decide whether you want them to present their proposals or tackle a task related to the project.

The chemistry between your project team and the agency is pivotal. Ensure both sides have appropriate representation during meetings.

A key consideration is to assess how well agencies grasp your organisation and sector, their confidence in delivering the project, and their genuine enthusiasm for collaboration.

Step 6: The Ultimate Choice

Weigh up all the factors, consider technical proficiency, innovative thinking, passion for the project, a collaborative team, and cost-effectiveness.

Look beyond cost alone, make a choice based on the overall package, rather than being swayed solely by the bottom line.

How can ClerksWell help?

We specialise in Umbraco and Sitecore web rebuild and provide consultancy and support to help you go out to tender and gather all necessary requirements. We conduct workshops with your teams and stakeholders over a 1 month period to support your team to ensure you can choose your supplier with confidence.

Get in touch to today to see how we can help your organisation.

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