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How to draw up a TOR for the development of the site?


The terms of reference is a contract that regulates what types of work should be performed by the developer. Moreover, such an agreement can be expressed both orally and be a document with signatures and seals.

Description of the terms of reference

A significant role is played by the description of the TK, which should be as capacious, accurate and understandable as possible. It is advisable to specify in advance the responsibility in case of non-fulfillment or incorrect fulfillment of the specified points, as well as the time frame in which the work must be done.

When compiling the terms of reference for the development of the site, special attention should be paid to those points that are very important for the customer.

How to draw up a TOR for the development of the site?

For example, the customer wants to have a calendar on the page of his site. To get a quick and high-quality result, he needs to describe its functionality in as much detail as possible. Since calendars can be simple, showing only days, days of the week, and the current month, or complex, with the ability to scroll through months and years, it is important to specify in the task what kind of calendar view should be.

If you specify in the TOR: “the calendar should be located in the sidebar", meaning the option with turning over months and years and highlighting the current date, then it is likely that the contractor will make a simple calendar. As a result, the customer will not receive what he needed, and the contractor, having spent time on the implementation of the specified item, will not satisfy the customer’s desire. Therefore, such inaccuracies in the description of the functionality of each module lead to a waste of money and time. 

And remember that in order to create a profitable and highly visited website, its appearance is not the least important.

The main points of the TOR

For example, the owner of a certain company or firm engaged in the production and sale of any products and having buyers needs to write a technical specification for the design of the site.

To do this, first of all, you need to do the following:

  • Study the structure of the organization.
  • Get to know her activities.
  • To study the nomenclature and in general everything connected with the company.

It is advisable to take a sheet of paper and make preliminary sketches of the proposed points of the TOR.


As a rule, the description consists of several introductory sentences describing the enterprise and its type of activity. Here you should specify for which target audience:

  • For potential buyers.
  • For sellers of products (shops, online stores).
  • For service centers.
  • For partners (firms).
  • For product consumers.

Video about the terms of reference for the development of the site

Purpose of the site

  • Improving the image of the company.
  • Increasing sales.
  • Customer convenience.

Site type

  • Business card site.
  • Corporate.
  • Online store.

Tasks and goals of the site

It describes the tasks that the site should solve for its target audience.

Product buyers

The goal is to attract more customers, help in choosing the right product.


  • Providing high-quality, comprehensive information about products, guarantees, additional services, service.
  • Providing information about salons-shops.
  • Providing information about retail trade networks.
  • Providing an opportunity to ask questions through online consultation of a potential buyer by an enterprise specialist, assistance in choosing and purchasing products.

Then, in this way, you should go through the entire target audience, describing the goals and objectives for each category – product sellers, service centers, partners, buyers.

Site functionality

To list the functionality, you should decide what the site needs: news, ad block, registration, feedback, mailing script, etc.

After everything is described, you can move on to the most important and interesting sections of the TOR for creating a site.

Description of functionality

At this stage, it is required to systematize all the above information and give it a beautiful look. To facilitate this task, you can refer to the resources of similar topics and peep, try their functionality. What you didn’t quite like, you can redo, improve for your project.

You can also find an example of TOR for the development of the site.

At the very beginning, you can work out the menu items, which should display the main pages and help each of the visitors quickly find the information they need. Visitors are the target audience of the site. Since the menu consists of many items, it is desirable to make it with drop-down lists.

At the beginning there should be a description of the company, that is, information about its history, contacts, reviews.

Then you can make a news tab, for example, with the following sub-items: “promotions”, “events”, “new”.

A mandatory item on the menu should be "products". Here you can make such sub-items as “product catalog”, “customer reviews of products”, “releases”.

Thus, the entire menu should be painted.

Next, you need to designate the content of each page of the site and how it should work as a whole. It will not be superfluous to provide an approximate layout drawn on paper, scanned and attached to the terms of reference. But it is advisable not to limit the designer’s imagination, making sketches only in general terms.

How to draw up a TOR for the development of the site?

This part may vary depending on the wishes of the customer regarding the appearance of his page: varying the number of advertising banners, indicating contacts at the top (address, phone, fax), changing the location of news, promotions and releases, etc.

Describe the essence of the work

Thus, the essence of the whole work should be described:

  • The top of each page should be left unchanged.
  • The news feed can only be seen on the main page, and secondary pages will display sub-menu items of those items in which the user is currently located. (For example, if it is located on the page "service", then there should be links to warranty and post-warranty service).
  • Clicking on a link should lead to the corresponding page. Here you can also display data for contacting consultants (Skype, ICQ).
  • Each page should contain a block of promotions and releases.
  • Also, each page must display the same footer.

Further in the terms of reference there should be a detailed description of each designated block of the site. For example, "news feed":

  • The "news feed" displays ten latest news stories, each consisting of a title and publication date.
  • The news is displayed in the form of its first lines and the "read more" link.
  • By clicking on the link, the user should be taken to the news page.
  • The news that is currently being viewed is displayed in place of the main content.
  • The news feed is also displayed on the left side.
  • Outdated news for the past years and months go to the archive, which is located under the current current news.
  • Each link "archive of such and such a year or month" displays the corresponding list of news when clicked.

The operation of each block is described in the same way. Let’s not forget about the calendar example. The main attention should be paid to the description of the work of the product catalog.

Video on how to write a technical specification for a website


It has already become clear how to draw up a technical specification for the site. However, you should also take care that the site displays correctly. To do this, it is recommended to indicate to the contractor the necessary browsers and operating systems in which the site would be able to look equally good.

  • It is advisable to indicate the approximate size of the site in pages.
  • Indicate in the terms of reference and discuss with the developer the issue of further development strategy, advertising and promotion of the site.
  • Here you should also decide on the need to register visitors on the site.
  • If a TOR is being developed for an online store, then it is required to resolve the issue with the delivery of goods and discuss this with the contractor.
  • Here you should also agree on writing and preparing for publication the text content of the site, who will do it.

In order to save time and get a better result, as well as to implement the customer’s idea as accurately as possible, it is advisable to indicate your contact details and the time at which it will be convenient for the customer to contact the contractor when transferring the technical specifications to the developer.