Have you recently hired an agency to build a website for your small business? Or maybe you’re in the final negotiations with an agency about your new website. In any case, you’re likely wondering, “How long does it take to build a website? Should my website be done by now? Is it hard to create a website and that’s why it’s taking so long?”
In this article, we’ll explore the average time to build a good website and help you understand how long it takes to develop a website.
The Average Timeline For Creating a Website
Unfortunately, web designers and developers aren’t genies. The fastest way to build a website would ideally be making it go live with a snap of a finger. However, knowing how to develop a website well takes time, energy, and resources.
We understand the restlessness — you want your website up and running as soon as possible. The sooner it goes live, the quicker you can attract potential customers and connect with current ones.
However, the process of how websites are made isn’t a simple one. If you’re looking for the fastest way to build a website, that might mean rushing the process and potentially creating a less-than-stellar result.
So, when you order website development services, you should know that you won’t receive the final product within a matter of hours. Instead, you should expect to wait several weeks based on a standard timeline that most design teams use.
Here’s what you can expect for each step of the process.
Step 1: Determining Your Needs & Creating a Plan (Up to 2 Weeks)
Before hiring a website designer and developer to start your project, it will take time to determine your needs. What do you want your website to look like? What elements should it have?
If you don’t prepare this information beforehand, your developer will spend a lot of time determining what you want for your new project. This won’t be a productive use of your developer’s time, especially because it’s a step you could’ve taken on your own. And, if your developer charges by the hour, your out-of-pocket costs could quickly accumulate.
However, this step doesn’t mean that your developer can’t provide you with valuable insights. For example, they can tell you if your intended design will negatively affect the user experience or if a specific feature doesn’t make sense for your site.
Of course, you should always hear your developer out, as they’re familiar with how to develop a website. But ultimately, you and your team will need time to decide on the project’s final outcome.
So, be prepared to provide sample websites with designs that you like to expedite the process. This way, your developer can get an idea of what you want for your company’s site.
Be prepared for a lot of back-and-forth in this planning stage. You’ll have to communicate with anyone on your team who’s involved in the design process and convey your vision to the developer. In a best-case scenario, it’ll take one week to convey all this information. But you should plan for two weeks for precise communication.
Step 2: Starting Your Website’s Design (Up to 3 Weeks)
With all the preliminary planning out of the way, your developer will initiate design mockups for your site. Mockups are like sketches that show what your site will look like based on the requirements you provide. You can examine these mockups and approve or deny them. You can also ask your developer to make changes to them.
This stage is the best stage for making adjustments. Because the actual development process hasn’t started yet, major changes won’t set the project back too far.
Ideally, you should request full mockups for each page, consisting of filler text and images. At this point, the content itself doesn’t really matter. You’ll want to see all the elements that each page will contain and how they will appear on desktop and mobile devices.
This stage should take anywhere between one and three weeks, depending on how active you remain as a participant in the design process.
Step 3: Completing the Main Development Phase (Up to 2 Months)
This stage is arguably the most active of the whole process. It’s when your developer takes all the information you’ve provided and turns it into a functional, attractive website. The final product should resemble all the mockups you approved.
To get a good idea of “how long does it take to develop a website,” you should know that it can take anywhere between one and two months. The developer must:
- Write your website’s code
- Build the front- and back-end components
- Create a wireframe
- Acquire a domain name
- Complete many other tasks
And, consider this: the average hours to build a website may not apply if your developer encounters delays or you want to make changes in the middle of the development process. Most experienced agencies will provide you with a high estimate for “how long does it take to create a website.” This strategic decision helps them manage their clients’ expectations and gives them some wiggle room to work through any issues they encounter.
Step 4: Completing the Final Review (Up to 2 Weeks)
The final step in the “how are websites made” routine is completing a comprehensive review. It needs to undergo a round of revisions, and you and your developer should analyze how every part of the site looks and works together. It should align with the initial plans that you created during the brainstorming phase.
Rarely does a site not need corrections, so it’s not a hassle to factor the review process into the average time to build a website. It can take anywhere between one to weeks, depending on the revisions that your build requires.
Factors That Can Affect the Time To Build a Website
Is it hard to create a website? Not necessarily, but many clients will experience a different timeline to completion. The above steps and time frames we’ve provided are excellent for reference, but they’re not set in stone. The timeline for your website might look very different, depending on the following factors:
Number of Stakeholders
How many people are contributing ideas for your new website build? If it’s just you, you’ll likely have a more streamlined process. You won’t have to get approval from other creative minds. But if you and several others are responsible for the website’s final version, you may experience hiccups along the way. Disagreements can create delays in the design and development process.
While having more than one person on the project isn’t a bad idea, you should establish creative control beforehand. Who will have the final say on specific elements? Creating these boundaries beforehand can minimize resistance and ensure your website build is completed timely.
Number of Pages
How many pages do you want your website to have? As a small business, you really don’t need a whole lot compared to an e-commerce corporation. However, you’ll still have to talk with your developer to determine how many you can have based on your budget and preferences. The number of pages that go live on your site won’t be the same as your competitor, so don’t spend time trying to compare. Consider your company’s unique offerings and business approach to determine how many pages your online realm needs.
Depending on the type of website you have, a visitor may not view more than two pages during a single session. So, you don’t have to overwhelm your website with unnecessary pages that no one will ever see. This process is a waste of your budget and your developer’s time.
With that being said, you shouldn’t neglect the essential website pages — we’re talking about the following pages:
The average time to build a website will increase significantly for a larger website than a smaller one. Each page has to undergo specific processes, including:
- Mobile optimization
- Graphic implementation
- Quality assurance
- SEO tagging
So, you must exhibit patience if you want to create a website with several dozen pages.
Unique Page Designs
Even though you must account for size, the number of pages doesn’t always matter. For instance, a 15-page website may take longer to develop than a 40-page one. How could this be?
It’s essential to consider the total number of unique designs for all the pages that go up on your site. For example, most websites have a homepage with a unique design, and all the inner pages will typically have the same design.
But if you want to get more creative and implement unique page designs across the entire build, you’ll notice that the average time to build a website will increase. This is because each page design involves a complex process, so it’ll take more time to complete the final product. This complexity can delay the launch of your site, but some clients find the process to be well worth it.
How fancy do you want your website’s functionality to be? Some clients prefer a stationary site that visitors can browse with few distractions. But depending on the niche you’re in, you may want to enhance your site’s functionality. Even if you aren’t familiar with how long does it take to code a website, you can hire a professional to work on your site’s functionality. You can have your developer add filtering options so that visitors can sort through portfolio items or project categories.
One of the biggest roadblocks to the timing of a website launch is the content. Your site’s content can consist of anything from blog posts and case studies to service pages and team member biographies.
In most cases, the client will provide the content that they want to launch. The client may acquire this content from a content writing company or solicit services from the website building team. In other cases, the client may provide content that was written in-house. Many companies experience success writing their own content, as long as they hone specific elements like their style, frequency, and word count.
Regardless of which route you take, you should create a definitive plan for assembling all the content. Ensure you assign someone to the task of organizing and preparing the content. This way, you won’t have your developer waiting for someone to deliver the content so that they can upload it to the final version of your website.
What If You Need to Build a Website Quickly?
After reading through this guide, you may have become frustrated by the timeline. Owning a website offers many benefits for your business, including the chance to:
- Establish an online presence
- Showcase your company’s offerings
- Rise above the competition
If any of these benefits sound appealing to you (and they should!), you won’t want to wait around for weeks. One of the fastest ways to develop a website is to use a free online builder like Weebly or Wix. These tools have limited features, but they’re great for getting your company online. Our websites are made with the WordPress platform and are all custom-made.
The website you create with a builder can stand in as a placeholder while you wait for your more professional project’s completion. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t rely on a self-made website for the long term. If you’re not familiar with how to code a website, you risk creating a lackluster product that won’t contribute positively to your company’s image.
If you want the real thing from the get-go, try hiring a developer that will commit all their time to your project. Some developers will take on multiple projects at once, extending the timeline for each website build they’re responsible for.
Realistically, you should know that most developers measure the average time it takes to build a website in weeks, not days or hours.
The Importance of Adaptability: Waiting for Your New Website to Launch
Waiting for your new website can feel like an excruciating process. If you follow the timeline outlined above, it could take up to 15 weeks for the project to finish. However, when you understand “how long does it take to develop a website,” you can better manage your expectations.
As the process commences, remember to stay adaptable — your developers may encounter issues that require creative solutions. But the process will be well worth it – you’ll have a functional, visually appealing website you can use to reel in new customers and keep current ones in the know!