A month. A quarter. A year. It all depends…
As web designers, “How long does it take to build a website?” is one of the most common questions we get. Building a custom website from the ground up takes time. Though most professional web designers and developers know roughly how long it will take them to build a website, there are multiple factors that can impact the length of a project’s timeline. The biggest variable depends largely on the client — reviewing the website, approving the content, and making any requests for changes. Discover the website building process and what you can do to help speed things along.
Research. Research. Research.
Before diving head first into building a website, some research needs to be conducted. You’ll want to have a general idea of what you want your website to look like and what elements you’d like to include. To get a general idea of what your website should hold, research the following information:
- Find out what your top 3 to 5 competitors are doing. What elements do their sites have in common? What can you include on your site that will help your business stand out?
- What is your website’s primary goal? Are you trying to drive online sales, get users to subscribe to a plan, or direct them to your physical storefront?
- Identify your brand identity to ease the selection of fonts, colors, and your voice.
- Have you considered your customers while designing your website? They’ll be the ones on your site the most. Do they have an informal & casual relationship with your brand or is it a more serious & professional relationship?
- Locate three to five websites with designs you admire and would like your site to resemble.
Mapping out a website helps estimate how long a project will take. Each individual page requires SEO tagging and quality assurance. So, the more pages a website has, the longer the project will take. For most sites, the homepage has a unique design but the inner pages look the same. Unique page designs have a different layout or design from other pages on a site. If you want to create unique page designs for the inner pages of your site, this customization may take even longer.
Choosing a Theme & Designing
Our favorite website builder is WordPress. It features thousands of free and paid plug-ins and themes to choose from. When selecting a theme for a website, it’s important to make sure it’s mobile responsive, aligns with your brand, and is scalable for your business. We also recommend reading the reviews and checking the number of downloads.
During the design phase, you also need to consider all the visual content that will be on your website including photos and videos. If you’re a restaurant, your website will most likely have pictures of your food and drink items. If your business is a clothing store, you’ll want to include images of your clothes along with pictures or videos of people wearing them.
We’ve all heard the phrase “content is key” and yes, we can confirm that having content on your website is essential. But content can also be one of the biggest bottlenecks to the timing of a website launch. Taking time to organize and prepare content for your website in between managing your day-to-day business can be overwhelming. But if you cannot make the time to get this done, it will postpone your launch date. To prevent delays, consider what content you want to be featured on your website and hire a copywriter to create it for you.
Having a professional create content for your website will ensure your site includes SEO friendly wording. SEO friendly copy helps your site rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. With these services, all you’ll need to do is review the content in a timely manner and submit your feedback.
Coding and Functionality
Can you imagine purchasing a brand new car but finding out that the engine inside was junk? That’s just like having a great looking website with poor functionality. After the design process is complete, the coding process begins. Whether it’s filtering portfolio items or building special effects, coding is what ensures your site is fully functional for your users.
The length of this development period depends heavily on the nature of the site. For example, eCommerce websites tend to take longer to build than smaller, brochure sites. Launching the coding phase with a sitemap, clear design, and final content in hand will ensure your web designers can stay on track.
Testing and Reviewing
Before launching your new website, every aspect of the website should be tested. This is to make sure everything on the site is both stable and secure. Every single link on the new website should be clicked to make sure they aren’t broken or leading to incorrect pages. Contact forms and subscription bars must also be tested for functionality. Finally, review the text on the website for any spelling errors and make sure all of your plug-ins are installed and working correctly.
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