Website Re-Design & Development

This RFP is for design and development services for a new website for Greater Richmond Partnership.

Responses Due: Oct. 22, 2021
Contract Execution: Nov. 17, 2021
Goal for new website launch: April 1, 2022

Interested and qualified organizations are invited to submit proposals, which will be accepted until Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Proposals should be addressed to:

Michael Ivey
Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Greater Richmond Partnership
901 E. Byrd Street, Suite 801
Richmond, VA 23219

If submitting by mail, two hard copies of the proposal must be received by the Greater Richmond Partnership office listed above (not postmarked by the due date). An electronic copy of the proposal must also be submitted by the date and time mentioned above. Please submit the electronic document, including all attachments, to: [email protected].

Greater Richmond Partnership Overview

The Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. is an economic development organization representing the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Virginia.

GRP impacts the Richmond Region by recruiting companies from all over the globe, which provide employment opportunities and taxable capital investment for our local community. GRP is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission “To aggressively generate economic opportunities that create quality jobs for residents in the region and increase the tax base for needed community services.”

GRP has been in operation for nearly 30 years and has had a significant impact on the community to attract companies to the region that create jobs and capital investment.

Our Audience

GRP’s website has three main audiences, as described below:

  • Corporate executives in our targeted industries charged with finding their firm’s next location.
  • Site location professionals who have been hired by a company for relocation or expansion.
  • Financial sponsors, or “investors,” who may be interested in contributing to our mission of regional economic development in Greater Richmond.

New Website Objectives

Our website’s number one objective is to provide information and data on site location options in Greater Richmond. We want to create compelling storytelling and differentiate ourselves from our competitors while being authentic to the region.

The second objective is to convert visitors into project leads.

An additional objective for our new website is to inform and educate, engage our stakeholder base and position our organization as the economic development expert and leader in Greater Richmond.

Current Website

Our current website, www.grpva.com, is more than 4 years old and needs a fresh design and approach. Already a very robust website, we have thousands of content entries and images that will be transferred to the new version.

Built on a WordPress multi-site platform, we also have a multi-year subscription to Hubspot, providing page tracking via Call-to-Action buttons (CTAs). Hubspot also hosts our landing pages and newsletter templates.

Needs

  • New “skin” for the current WordPress platform
  • Content reorganization and polish
  • Deep SEO correction and optimization
  • A new directory function to find service providers

New Website Functionality Requirements

Our new website will:

  • Provide a fully responsive design, ready for desktop and mobile use
  • Utilize WordPress for its CMS and hosted on a third-party platform
  • Intuitive user experience and navigation
  • Be a clean and focused design, adhering to established brand standards
  • Answer issues and concerns brought up during heat-map evaluations and Google analytics analysis
  • Host all applicable content imported from current site
  • Be optimized with SEO best practices
  • Provide a clear path to conversion/lead generation via Hubspot
  • Allow social media integration (share buttons, follow buttons, etc.)
  • Provide an email update sign-up form
  • Prioritize contact information and forms
  • Offer Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance
  • Allow full access for GRP staff to update as needed (WordPress, CSS, etc.)

A successful GRPVA.com website will:

  • Showcase the business case for Greater Richmond
  • Drive multiple page views with increased page times
  • Entice visitors to contact staff
  • Offer exclusive data and downloads
  • Provide excellent performance that scores 90 or above on the Google Dev webtool (https://web.dev/measure/)

In-Kind Arrangement

Given GRP’s non-profit status, your firm is also requested to consider how you would consider donating in-kind services to the organization in exchange for investor benefits, such as recognition on the GRP website, GRP social media, GRP events and activities, a promotional video clip, tickets to GRP events, etc.

Proposal Requirements

Please include the following in your proposal response:

  • Overview of your company
  • Full address and contact information
  • Overview of how you will meet our objectives
  • Explanation of your proposed platform/CMS
  • Outline of your website design & development strategy
  • Proposed website timeline from kickoff to launch
  • Details about your team
  • Recent design & development examples
  • Three to five references
  • Any key differentiators about you?
  • Experience working with a small non-profit or economic development organizations
  • Incentives/non-profit discounts
  • SWAM/MWBE or other certifications, if any
  • Pricing with optional elements line-itemed
  • Payment schedule
  • Terms & conditions

GRP Terms

The Greater Richmond Partnership has the right to decline to engage in a proposed partnership or any part thereof for any reason. However, if awarded, the term of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be twelve (12) months from the date the MOA becomes is effective. A website backup and WordPress update service agreement will also be considered.

Scoring

  • Strong team with solid experience in developing B2B and B2C websites as well as promotion of websites
  • Current investor of the Greater Richmond Partnership
  • SWAM/MWBE certification
  • Approach to in-kind arrangement and
  • Experience working with economic development organizations

RFP & Project Timeline Details

RFP Sent: Oct. 6, 2021
Responses Due: Oct. 22, 2021
Contract Executed: Nov. 17, 2021
Project Kick-off: Nov. 29, 2021
New Website Launch Target Date: April 1, 2022

Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP with a proposal for our new website. We look forward to your response.

The Question & Answer period for the RFP has closed. Please find submitted Q&A’s below.

 

Questions & Answers to Request for Proposals (10/18/21)

The RFP mentions that part of the scope of work is “Content reorganization and polish.” Will your team be responsible for reorganizing the content, or will the vendor? Could you also explain more about what you mean by “polish” as it relates to the content?

GRP expects that many of the pages on the new website will collapse multiple pages into one, making the website more easily navigable without many hidden corners of valuable information. GRP wants its website to have less text overall but offer the most important text sing and shine without losing too much SEO value. GRP wants its content to be skimmable for key data and selling points without being too academic. The Vendor should include the cost of this service to be included in the proposal cost.

Could you go into detail about this “new directory function to find service providers”? How many service providers are there? Is the information managed manually or via a third party data source? Is this a simple search based on certain criteria?

As an added benefit for GRP 100+ financial sponsors, we would like to add a Service Providers directory that is based on our current ‘representative companies’ database. This database is dynamic data that is spread across our current website currently. A couple of examples are the International company directory as well as representative cluster company directory. It will be managed internally.

How many pages would you like to see mocked up, as this will affect cost?

Besides the home page, a minimum of four interior pages should be included in the proposal.

Will GRP be writing all content for the website, including any new content for mockups?

GRP would prefer that all content for the new website be written by the vendor, but please include this service as a separate line item.

The RFP mentions skinning the current website, built in a WordPress multisite environment, as well as reorganization and optimization of content and the addition of a directory for service providers. Are you open to the provider developing a new WordPress site from scratch incorporating your requirements?

Yes, we are open to that concept however GRP is not interested in scrapping the current database of content and information that has been developed over the last five years.

For the new directory function to find service providers, can you help answer the following so we can scope out a specific technical requirements document: What is the data source(s)?  Spreadsheet?  API?  Linked API? What are expectations of results? Will you need specific URL on the generated results? Will you need just a name, contact, website for each service provider or also a logo? How many service providers will you have? What sort of filtration will you need?

As an added benefit for GRP’s 100+ financial sponsors, we would like to add a Service Providers directory that is based on our current ‘representative companies’ database. This database is dynamic data that is spread across our current website currently. A couple of examples are the International company directory as well as representative cluster company directory. It will be managed internally.

Your current website incorporates translation in 10 languages and a search function. Will these be a requirement for the redesigned site? If you would like to keep language translation do you want a native translation or is an automated translation sufficient? Will you require a URL change on the translation for SEO purposes (i.e. ‘/es’ for Spanish)?

Yes, a search and translation functions are required. Automated Google Translate is fine, however we do not suggest the Google search function for our own site. URL changes aren’t necessary.

You mention the site addressing concerns brought up during the “heat-map evaluations and Google analytics analysis.” Has this been conducted already? We will look at your analytics as part of discovery, but would love to see any existing research and findings. If this research hasn’t been complete, how much traffic does your site receive? This will let us know if you have enough traffic to justify a Hotjar review.

The winning vendor will be given access to Google Analytics for traffic analysis. Heatmapping has not been done in nearly 5 years so the winning firm will need to conduct this service. GRP recently hired the Area Development Site Consultants Advisory Group who gave feedback on marketing materials, including GRPVA.com. Their analysis and tips will be shared prior to the kick-off meeting.

In terms of your investor audience, do you have any specific needs to better serve them? What content needs do they have? What functionality do you require (i.e. password protected section with what content specific to them, or an Investor Portal where we can highlight current investors?

GRP does not think an investor-only section is a high priority. GRPVA.com does not need a password protected section of the website at this time, however a Quickbooks-enabled page for investor payments may be worth considering at some point.

For SEO optimization, are you also looking for ongoing maintenance to ensure your rankings stick?

Yes, please include this service as well as a WordPress update maintenance plan in the proposal. This is what our current vendor provides at a quarterly rate.

We understand that you already have hosting in place.  Are you interested in reviewing a proposal for hosting and ongoing maintenance as part of submitted proposals or would you prefer to keep your current host?

If your firm can guarantee faster website results with an excellent Google Web Dev score, then yes, GRP will consider all suggestions to make this happen. However, GRP is not interested in proprietary hosting plans. GRP is also concerned about accessibility to any GRP-related designs, content and materials. All third-party plans and the hosting must be billed directly to GRP. Cost is always a factor, and the monthly payment must be below $150 per month. Note: GRP has pulled service from unreliable data hosts in the past and as while it is open to new ideas, the current hosting vendor has been fairly reliable.

For Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, is there a particular level you are required to hit? Our projects typically hit WCAG “A” compliance because “AA” can be quite restrictive from a design perspective, so we want to confirm this strategy is acceptable. 

GRP would accept a WCAG ‘A’ compliance.

Are you open to discussing an extended timeline to accommodate this project? For a website project of this size, we recommend a timeline of seven months. Given that the project kick-off is on Nov. 29 is just prior to the winter holidays, we would recommend an eight month timeline, with an estimated launch in July 2022.

The length of the project will be graded along with other variables in the scoring criteria. GRP recommends a timeline that works within our suggested dates. This relaunch project must be completed and billed by June 30, 2022. There are no exceptions.

We see the site is linked to both Salesforce and Hubspot.  We understand the Hubspot requirements, can you tell us about the requirements for integrating with Salesforce?

Incorrect. It is not connected to Salesforce.

For Hubspot, can you provide links to the landing pages that they are hosting already?

GRP will share these landing pages with the winning vendor. For your purposes, there are less than 10.

The background code has mention of running this project on an MS Azure server. Is this a requirement for the project?

It does not matter which type of server hosts the site as long as the current database is secure and reliable.