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Real World Website Development Proposals

Writing a website development proposal is time consuming, but without one you are not likely to get the project. If do you accept a project without a proposal, you might end up very sorry.

View your proposal as a contract. In many cases, the proposal IS the only contract between a website developer and a client. A proposal defines a “meeting of the minds” between you and your client. You don't want to invest time and resources into a project if you and your client have different ideas of what the project is.

I am not lawyer. I am providing this information based my personal experience both as an independent contractor providing service, and as a representative of a large corporation purchasing service from independent contractors. By using this material, you assume complete responsibility for any and all damages resulting from that use.

The biggest problem with writing a proposal is that after you invest considerable work and time into developing a proposal, you may not get the project. Even worse, the prospective client, armed with your proposal, can get a lower bid from another company.

For this reason, some services charge a fee for developing a proposal. But if you approach a potential client with the idea of paying for a proposal, you are not likely to get the project.

Non-disclosure Agreement

Even before the proposal process begins, a prospective client will most likely require you to sign a non-disclosure agreement. In order to develop a website for the client, you may become privy to confidential information. A non-disclosure agreement prohibits you from disclosing information about the prospective client's business.

A problem can develop if you need to outsource part of the project. Make sure that any companies or individuals that you outsource work to also sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Non-compete Agreement

A non-compete agreement prohibits you from competing with the prospective client in the same business that they are in. Make sure that you do not, and do not plan to, engage in any of the same business areas that the client is in. Make sure the non-compete agreement has an expiration date, or you may be prohibited from engaging in certain business areas forever.


The schedule is the backbone of the proposal. It defines what you will do, when you will do it, and when you will get paid. In order to maintain cash flow, a website development project is usually divided into phases. Each phase has a time interval and a deliverable at the end of the time interval.

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