How long does it take to build a website?
One of the first questions that people often ask of us is “how long will it take to build me a website?”
This is a hard question to answer with no definitive answer but we’re going to try. Hopefully this blog will give you some kind of insight into how long websites will generally take to build.
Every website is different
Defining a generic timeframe for delivery of a website is not easy. How big a website is going to be drastically effects how long it takes to build. As do features such as Ecommerce, forums, event calendars, or multiple product pages.
Basically, the bigger and more complex a website is, the more time it will take to build.
All websites will go through project phases – Content Generation, Design, Build and Post Build. Each phase is unique to the client. So time required is differs from one project to the next.
It can depend on you
Depending on what you personally want from your website, the delivery time for each phase can change.
You might want some bespoke features that need to be built from scratch – these all add extra time to the build process. You might just want the basics set up so you can do the rest.
Content is also a factor.
If you have all the content and information ready for your website then it is going to take less time to design and build than if you don’t have the content ready.
Many clients underestimate how long it can take to gather all the necessary content for a website, as it often leads to questions about your company such as “what do we want to say?”, “who are we?”, “What makes us different?”. While this isn’t directly part of the build process, it adds time to the process.
We are advocates of having content before we start the design phase – it means we can really give you a design that fits your content.
If we don’t have content while we’re designing and we can use filler text. More often than not it leads to a shoehorning of content into the design.
Inevitably, the design breaks because the content doesn’t fit and more time is needed to get it right. With content right at the start of the design process, this isn’t an issue.
So how long does it actually take?
Now we’ve said our “it all depends” piece, let’s have a look at some general timeframes for building websites of different size and complexity.
Small, simple websites
A small website is classed as something without any major features and around 5 or 6 pages. A website like this will be built from a content management system (CMS) with standard features such as forms or a blogs.
Content Generation: 2 weeks
Design time: 2 weeks
Build time: 1-2 weeks
Medium websites have between 10 and 20 pages, usually with lots of new content that needs to be created. What we said earlier about having content ready really rings true here. These sites will also have integrated CMS and forms/blogs. Again, it will take less time if a designer is just setting up a template for you.
Content Generation: 3 weeks
Design time: 3 weeks
Build time: 2-3 weeks
Large / Ecommerce websites
These are websites with 25+ pages, with lots of content and added features. Ecommerce websites for a small businesses will also fall into this category. Features include CMS, a blog, forms, shopping carts, and calendars.
Content Generation: 3-4 weeks
Design time: 3-4 weeks
Build time: 2-4 weeks
Not 100% accurate
These are all estimates and will differ from project to project – each website really is very different and it might take a long time to build one but not so long to build another.
This can be down to a range of reasons and not just availability of content.
If you’ve set yourself a deadline, think about what will happen if that deadline gets broken – will it really matter that much?
On the other hand, you could always break the website down into smaller project phases, each with their own individual deadline.
This helps to reduce the immediate turn-around time as you’re seeing something new fairly often, but in the long-run it can negatively affect the overall time taken.
At the end of the day, each website is going to vary. You can help speed up the process by having content ready and being responsive to requests from your web designer. But hopefully we’ve given you some kind of insight into how long websites will generally take to build.
Thankfully h2o digital use an online project management tool which allows us to plan all our projects. Milestones and tasks are assigned to staff members and clients are able to view and keep track of all aspects of a project.