There aren’t a lot of things every digital marketer agrees on, but this is a big one: nowadays, in order for your business to succeed, you need an online presence. The biggest and most important online presence you can have is your own website. Whether you already have a website built and are looking to redesign, or you’re starting from complete scratch, it’s important for any business owner to know the timeline of their web development in order to set realistic goals for their business. So, just how long does it take to build and design a website?
It’s a fair and seemingly straightforward question. However, unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. There are many factors that will affect each individual timeline. For example, consider where you’re starting, what your goals are, the scale of the project, your budget, etc. Hopefully, with the following information provided, you will have a rough estimate depending on your situation. Here are some factors to consider that affect how long it will take.
Who Is Designing?
The first step in this process is deciding who will be developing your site. While it’s good to save money where you can, in this case, you should definitely put your money where your mouth is and hire a website designer. Why hire a website designer? Well, there’s a lot more to designing a website than just picking out colors and fonts. For a business, it’s not really the kind of thing you want to DIY or figure out as you go. There’s a ton going on underneath the surface level interface that visitors see. These variables affect usability, and, in turn, conversion rates.
There’s also the freelance route. If you choose this option rather than hiring a web development agency, just be wary of those that say they can build a whole website in a few days. Unless it’s just a single page with little to no information, it should really take much longer than that for a quality website. On the other hand, typically no web designer should be telling you their work will take a year or longer. Realistically, you will probably hear rough estimates for a web design project being anywhere between three to six months. This spans from when it’s started to when it’s launched.
A third option not many businesses are aware of is buying website design packages. If you have relatively basic needs, a web design package is sort of a good middle option between DIY and hiring a freelancer/agency to build from scratch. Essentially, these packages are like buying a package of all the pieces and tools you need to build furniture and then building it yourself. This option is often cheaper than the other two. Furthermore, if you know exactly what you want, it could potentially take less time.
When determining how long it will take you to design a website, a big part of that is figuring out what your main goals are for it. Is its main purpose to be as an ecommerce site? Is it for sharing advice, or information about products and services? Will it mainly be used to book and check appointments? The answers to these questions are important in understanding the website’s purpose. Not only do they affect the development timeline, but they also give an insight into the functionality needed for its building.
Another part of goal setting, before any real action can be taken, is deciding on content and style. Humans are visual creatures so it’s important to keep in mind how it’s going to look and feel to the user, rather than just focusing on what’s going to be included. Bad website design can make or break whether a potential customer wants to stick around on your page. Users tend to like clean website design over complicated/busy design.
This is another reason why website design goal setting is so important. The designer takes all of your goals into account as they’re working. Bad intel and confusing directions could definitely affect the timeline and might extend the length of the project. Not only that, but if they don’t know what your branding is, or what your short term and long term goals as a business are, you’re not going to get a very consistently branded or relevant website.
There are other factors that will affect the timeline. Besides goal setting, there should be time set aside for action plans, wireframes, the actual development, and then time before launch for testing and optimization. There are a lot of moving parts, and no two web design projects are the same, so it’s difficult to give an exact estimated timeline for every project. However, with good communication, consistent goals, and an open mind, you will have a successful website built in a reasonable amount of time.