Why Every Web Designer Needs a Strong Website Design Proposal

January 9, 2023

With Toolset, you can do everything from creating custom searches for different types of content to displaying posts on a map. But before you can begin using Toolset to design websites, you need to win clients. For this, you’ll need a world-class web design proposal.

As a skilled web designer, you likely can’t wait for your next project. You already have some ideas about how to transform or build the next website from scratch. And while being a master of your craft is undeniably important, so is knowing how to sell yourself.

A web design proposal is one of the most essential tools in your arsenal. Your proposal is essentially a sales pitch—it’s what you use to convince potential clients that you’re the right person for the job.

Without this proposal, you’ll likely find it much harder to close deals and get the clients you want. So, what exactly should you include in your proposal? And, more importantly, how can you make it as strong as possible?

We’re giving you the inside scoop on all things proposals, so you can be sure to put your best foot forward.

Let’s get started.

What is a Website Design Proposal?

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

A website design proposal is a document that outlines your proposed website design solution for a potential client. For example, suppose your client has an eCommerce store that isn’t selling as much as they’d like. In your proposal, you might address this by suggesting the redesign of the website with a focus on conversion optimization. Or, you might suggest integrations with third-party eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce to create a wholesale store.

Benefits of a website design proposal

So why do you need a proposal, anyway? Can’t you just explain your solution verbally to the client? Well, yes—you could do that. However, a proposal comes with a number of advantages:

  • A proposal is more professional: For starters, presenting a formal website design proposal shows that you’re taking the project seriously and that you’re willing to put in the time to create a detailed plan. This can go a long way in building trust with potential clients.
  • A proposal is easier to reference: With a proposal, both you and the client have a written document to refer back to throughout the project. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that there’s no confusion about what was agreed upon.
  • A proposal can help you win more clients: A well-crafted proposal can be the difference between winning a project and losing out to the competition. Remember, your proposal is essentially a sales pitch—so make it good!

A website design proposal introduction

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

Your first page should include a brief introduction, followed by your contact information. You’ll want to ensure that your introduction is engaging and clearly states what you’re proposing.

Some of the elements you’ll want to include in your website design proposal introduction are:

  • A brief overview of your company and your team
  • Your experience designing websites
  • A description of the project you’re proposing
  • Why you’re the best person for the job
  • Your signature

A problem overview

The first section of your proposal should be an overview of the problem that the client is facing. Your client’s pain points, if you will. This is important because it shows that you understand their needs and that you’re proposing a solution that will actually solve their problems.

So, how do you find out what pain points your client is facing? The best way is to simply ask them. You can do this during your initial consultation, or if you’ve been working with the client for a while, you may already have a good understanding of their needs.

You can also research the client’s industry, their competition, and their target market. This will give you a good idea of what challenges they’re likely facing and what kind of solutions would be most effective.

Your proposed solution

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

Once you’ve identified the client’s pain points, it’s time to propose your solution. In other words, how are you going to solve their problems?

This is where you get to talk about your proposed website design. What kind of design are you thinking of? What features will it have? How will it differ from the client’s current website (or their competitor’s websites)? For example, we might suggest:

  • Including social media share buttons to make it easy for users to share the client’s content.
  • Adding interactive elements, like quizzes and polls, to encourage users to spend more time on the site.
  • Creating an inclusive design for the website using colors that are known to increase engagement rates.

You can explore website design trends if you need help to spark your inspiration. 

A package breakdown

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

Your website design proposal should also include a breakdown of what exactly the client will be getting if they choose to work with you. This is where you’ll talk about things like the scope of the project, the timeline, and the estimated cost.

It’s important to be as specific as possible here. The last thing you want is for the client to be surprised by hidden costs or unexpected delays further down the line. For this reason, you need to set and manage client expectations from the get-go! 

For example, suppose you want to incorporate a live chat feature into the site or maybe a plugin for maps. In that case, you should clearly mention any additional costs associated with the different features. 

Including a pricing table in your proposal is a good way to make sure that everything is crystal clear. This way, the client knows exactly what they’re getting and how much it will cost. An FAQ section can also be helpful in addressing any potential questions or concerns that the client might have.

Any add-ons or extras

So now your potential client knows what they’ll be getting if they choose to work with you. But what about any extras that they might want?

Some common add-ons that clients might be interested in include:

  • SEO & Pay-per-click advertising
  • Website and plugin/theme management
  • Content creation
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Ongoing maintenance and technical support

These are just a few examples, but the point is that you should always give your clients the option to add additional services. Whether they require features that help with converting PDF to word or management of a site’s blog. Not only does this give them the chance to customize their package to better suit their needs, but it also gives you the opportunity to upsell and increase your revenue.


Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash 

According to Wyzowl, 90% of people say that they trust what a customer says about a business more than what that business says about itself. So it’s no surprise that including testimonials in your proposal can be a great way to increase your chances of winning over a client.

If you have any relevant testimonials from past clients, be sure to include them in your proposal. If not, you can always reach out to some of your satisfied customers and ask if they wouldn’t mind writing a quick testimonial for you. Just a few words from a happy customer can make all the difference.

Call-to-action and next steps

Last but not least, your proposal should always include a call-to-action and a file share on the next steps. This is where you talk about what needs to happen in order for the project to move forward.

Let’s see what this might look like. Suppose you’re proposing a redesign of the client’s existing website. Your next steps section might look something like this:

  • We’ll identify themes that fit with your company’s image and goals. Once the contract is finalized, we’ll send over 3-4 custom WordPress themes for you to choose from.
  • We’ll work with you to tailor the standard web design package to better suit your needs, adding in any extras as requested. This will take 1-2 days.
  • We’ll finalize the contract and get started on designing your new website. The whole process should take 4-6 weeks.

How to Deliver Your Website Design Proposal

The best way to deliver your proposal is electronically, either via email or through dedicated proposal software. 

When delivering your proposal electronically, you should always include a link to an online version as well as a PDF copy. Remember to combine PDF files into one document if you have multiple pages. This will make it easier for the client to download and print the proposal if they need to.

Top Tips for Writing a Website Design Proposal

You now know what to include in your proposal, but there are a few other things you can do to make sure that your proposal is top-notch. Here are extra pro tips:

Keep it short and sweet

No one wants to read a 40-page proposal. Try to keep your proposal as short and concise as possible, while still including all of the essential information.

Use visuals 

People are visual creatures, so incorporating visuals into your proposal can be a great way to make it more engaging and memorable.

Make it personal 

A little personalization can go a long way. Try to use the client’s name throughout the proposal and tailor the content to their specific needs and wants.

Proofread, proofread, proofread 

Typos and grammar mistakes can make you look unprofessional, so it’s important to take the time to fix them.

Key Takeaways

So there you have it. Now you know everything you need to write a killer website design proposal that’s sure to convince clients to hire you. Let’s quickly recap what you need in order to put together a professional proposal:

  • A clear and engaging introduction.
  • A problem overview demonstrating your understanding of the client’s needs.
  • The solution to their problem.
  • A package breakdown that includes pricing and a project timeline.
  • Any extras you might offer.
  • Testimonials to show the client that you are reliable and good at what you do.
  • Last but not least, a call-to-action and the next steps, so the client knows exactly what to expect.

Good luck and happy proposal writing!

Comments? Questions?

Have you ever created a website design proposal? Is there anything else a web design proposal to win clients should include?

Share your thoughts in the comments!


Yauhen Zaremba

Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, waiver software, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.