Web Development

How Long Does It Take To Design And Build A Website?

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Post by
Jordan Stambaugh

Your new website should take a fair amount of time to build

As you consider your new website, one of the inevitable questions you’ll ask is ‘how long is this going to take?’.

Most of the time, businesses who seek a website redesign have a website that is around 3–5 years old.

In the internet world, that’s an eternity. Technology changes, design trends change, people’s habits and use of website change, etc. All of these changes in the market have significant impacts on the usefulness, or eventually uselessness of a website.

Think about all those websites you stumble upon that look like they were built in the ’90’s. Even the early 2000’s look dated, and soon websites from 2010–2015 will look ancient as well.

And maybe right now it’s becoming very apparent how dated your website is. Now that you’ve made the good decision to go ahead with your website project, you’re understandably probably pretty anxious to get your new site launched.

Before you decide on a web design company who has told you they can build your site quicker than the rest of your options, there are a few important things to consider:

What can the estimated project timeline tell you about the web design company? Do you have all of your necessary content and stake holders together? What’s really the absolute worse thing that can happen if your website takes a bit longer to be ready for launch?

What a project timeline actually tells you

I’ve only met a few prospective clients who didn’t want their project completed like, yesterday. So for most, not being able to kick off the project right away might be a good enough reason to not select a particular website provider. However, good web design companies have a few on-going projects at any given time, so beware of the companies who suggest they can deliver your project in record time.

A web design company that isn’t busy might be able to get your work done faster since they don’t have other clients/projects to worry about. A fast turn-a-round aways sounds great, but it’s worth considering why they’re not (and don’t really plan to be) busy. When a company delivers high quality work, they’re typically in high demand. A website company that does good work AND isn’t busy is pretty rare.

Besides considering how busy a provider might be, there are a few other things that a proposed project timeline can tell you. A shorter project timeline could mean that your designer will be doing less deep, thoughtful and creative work. They’re likely taking a website template and squeezing your content into the predetermined, cookie-cutter template. This isn’t inherently wrong, but something to be aware of when choosing who to make your website. By understanding the factors that control your timeline, you will have a better expectation of the project’s success.

Yes, you’ll be involved too

I’m going to be honest - designing and developing a new website is hard work, and not just for whoever you hired. There are certain tasks that only you, the business owner can do. Things like gathering content such as good photos, written content about your company, reviewing deliverables, providing good feedback, and answering questions along the way. Although it’s never convenient, taking the time to thoughtfully respond and provide the necessary input is important for the project’s ultimate success.

We understand that you’re busy, as most people are. A portion of establishing a realistic timeline is knowing that sometimes we will be waiting. Many clients have expressed to us their surprise at how much more effort on their part was required. We try to keep things simple and streamlined but the web designer can’t do a great job without your input. Your website needs to be a reflection of your goals, needs, desires, and that of your target market. So launching your website right the first time will mean taking the time to make sure the feedback was received and executed correctly.

What is the worst thing that could happen anyway?

Remember that deadlines are good, but should not be an ultimatum on who you decide to partner with to build your new site. Chances are that you’ve been thinking about building a new site for a few months now, and it can be tempting to jump to a deadline from that point but it’s worth taking a step back.

You should have a deadline, but I’m suggesting that you consider your reason for the deadline and is that reason important enough that you might base a decision of who to work with? What do you think is the worst thing that could happen if you don’t make your deadline?

If missing the deadline means financial losses, missed opportunities, events, that’s bad. On the other hand, if missing means you feel a bit of disappoint but have a much better website, that’s not so bad. Always remember that just because someone has told you they can get your project done by the deadline it certainly doesn’t mean they can deliver on that promise.

So, how long does it actually take?

I’ll cut to the chase here - most web projects should allow for between 10 to 16 weeks from the time that the project starts to the time that the new website is live on the web. And yes, that is a major gap in time, but if the complexity of the website is higher and the scope larger, web design projects can take 6 months or longer.

Yes, completing a new website project in less time is definitely possible. And yes, we have done that. And no, we don’t recommend it. You project deserves more than that and is best served by having a timeline that is realistic, achievable but effective. Many web design companies can complete a website in 2 weeks, but is that end product effective at accomplishing all of your goals? Probably not.

The Bottom Line

Budget 2–3 months for a solid web design project. This way you know that your project is getting ample time in the oven and will come out just perfect.

Do you need a website redesign?

If you’d like to get in touch, please email Jordan and let him know how we can help with your project or question. We also offer a free website analysis form. We’ll be happy to make our recommendations for your new project!

Speak to a web designer: (360) 383–5662 Monday - Friday 9am–5pm PST.

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