Website design is a time consuming process. So it’s understandable that before starting the process of constructing your website, you want to know how long the whole thing is going to take. Unfortunately, as with many complex processes, the answer is not so simple. That answer, and I know it’s not a very satisfying one, is that it depends.
I know, “it depends” is a disappointing answer, it is vague and does not answer the question. But if it helps, there is a way of getting a good estimate of how long your website will take to build. Because the truth is that the length of time depends on your specific goals and what you want to accomplish with your website.
This article will take you through the steps of identifying what you need from your own website, and the process of building a website that meets these goals. From here, you can estimate the length of time for the entire process.
Step 1: Identify your Needs
Think of this as laying the groundwork for your website. If you know what you want your website to achieve, then any consecutive steps will be straightforward as you follow through on your plan. This stage should take from one to three weeks to do a thorough job.
Basically, your needs depend on what type of site you are planning to build. What do you want your site to achieve? Do you want to sell a product with an e-commerce store or an affiliate marketing page, do you want to share your work or offer your services, or is it something else entirely? The format and layout of your website will change based on what you want to achieve, and it is important to identify what the primary purpose of your site will be before going forward.
From here, you can start to think about the more specific details of site layout, content, and how you want to format your site to achieve its goal. You can begin to shape your website to offer the user a superior experience. It is often important to look at examples of competitor’s websites to get an idea of how to build a successful website in your niche.
Step 2: Mockups
Once you have a solid idea of what you want from your website and how you want to achieve the layout, you can begin to map out the design using mockups. This stage should take about two to three weeks to do properly.
Mockups are detailed sketches of your webpages, which include the content, images, site-links, and more. You can begin to visualize your website and see it take shape, while continuing to make adjustments to achieve the best user experience possible. Once again, it will be helpful to compare your webpages to similar websites within your niche, in order to craft a site that will best achieve its intended purpose.
Step 3: Development
This is where you turn plans to reality. In this stage you develop a functional version of your website. You will now see the importance of the planning and mockups you did in stages 1 and 2. Web development is a complex process, and depending on the details of your website and your method of development, it can take anywhere from one to three months.
There are many ways to build a website, whether you have been working with a web developer, are familiar with web design yourself, or you are using a website builder such as Squarespace, Shopify, or WordPress. The common link is in knowing what you want and planning rigorously for your needs and objectives before you begin this process. You will save a lot of time not having to continuously redo work and rebuild webpages.
It is important in this stage to not cut corners or make concessions to your original plan. Your website should be built to achieve your goal and your vision. A website is often the most important representation of your business, so it is crucial to work hard and ensure it represents you well.
Step 4: Review and Tweaks
Once you’re satisfied with the website you have built, you should begin a review process to make final adjustments and to eliminate any bugs or hiccups. This process will likely take about a week but may take longer if larger tweaks are needed.
It is important to review your website based on the goals and objectives that you implemented in the first place. Try to see your website from the point of view of the potential consumer, and evaluate whether it provides the experience they may be looking for. Compare your website to competitors in your niche, and see whether it offers its own unique value.
Conclusion: There are many variables that determine how long it will take you to build your website. However, you will find that the above framework is applicable to any website design. Your needs may vary, but it is always helpful to outline your plans and objectives before building a website. The length of time may differ, but a consistent framework will make this predictable and achievable.
Content Refined can work with you to identify your needs and objectives and ensure that your web content achieves these objectives. Your website is more likely to be successful if you build it from the ground up with your needs and objectives in mind.