You have a project in mind. Now, all you need is to see the fruit of your labor and creativity come to fruition.
Whether you have a business idea or a passion you want to share with the world, having a website is pretty much mandatory nowadays. It’s an opportunity to reach out and touch the people that want to partake in what you’re offering.
Naturally, you’re wondering: how long does it take to create a website?
If you’re not tech-savvy, creating websites might seem very foreign. And you just have no idea how long it might take to make yours.
Unfortunately, there are no cookie-cutter answers. That’s because the work required will depend on a few factors such as your wants and needs and how busy the people you hire are.
If you want to invest in an elaborate project with a serious budget, a timeline of a few weeks or months isn’t unreasonable. However, you might also get a great website in a much shorter span if your needs are simpler.
This article’s here to break down the web development process so that you know what to expect when creating a website. Read on!
How Does Creating a Website Work?
First, you should realize that every website is unique. That’s why there’s no way to give a clear answer for how long it’ll take. It depends on the specifics of what you have in mind.
Things such as the design you want might seem clear in your head, but they take time to translate into a functional website. You might also only have a vague idea, or change your mind once you see your design on a screen.
Whether you want to create a vendor website or just get a professional-looking one, you’re going to enlist the services of an ecommerce web design company.
These companies have a process that generally looks like:
- Tell the developer or team you hired what you want for your website.
- They design a plan of action and run it by you.
- They show you what are known as mockups. Those are like sketches of what your site’s design will look like. You can ask for modifications or approve them.
- The creation of your website begins. Your developers keep you updated and might ask for clarification when needed.
- Your website gets finalized to make sure everything works as it should.
What you might not have been aware of, is how much work developers get done before they even start coding. It’s because they need a clear idea of what you want.
If they just started developing your website without knowing your objectives for sure, the process might turn out way more difficult, wasting lots of time and money.
Even smaller websites require good planning if you want them done properly.
As Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” In other words, preparation is key and will make everything else much easier. This is also the case with creating a website.
If you know exactly what your website should look like and what elements it should have, you’re already building a successful project.
If the developers tasked with creating your website clearly know what you want, they won’t have to spend time trying to figure it out, which is not what you’re paying them for.
However, experienced developers will also be able to give you some input to improve your website. For instance, they might let you know that a particular element you want won’t work as you think and give the user a bad experience.
But while this type of feedback could be precious and you should certainly take it into consideration, the final decision is always yours.
Getting in Touch With the Developers
During the initial contact with the team you’re hiring, you’re going to let them know what you want so they have an idea of the project.
For instance, if you have a small business that you wish to create a website for. You’d write the agency an email, saying you don’t currently have a website and you want to start one for your company.
You might elaborate on the features you want, such as information about your business, a contact page, and a portfolio of past projects.
Talk about the type of design you’d like, for example, modern and professional looking. Don’t hesitate to send them links to websites whose designs you enjoy, to serve as inspiration.
Then, there will generally be a back and forth of emails, phone calls, or Skype, for a week or two to define your needs more precisely.
The developer should ask you many questions to understand very clearly what it is you want.
The reverse, i.e. a developer just starting the project without communicating too much, is a red flag. How can they be sure to deliver precisely what you have in mind if they haven’t inquired about it?
Your Site’s Design
After the initial back and forth that fleshes out your needs, the developing team should have made a plan of action.
They will generally have professional web designers who will start drawing mockups to show you what your site will look like.
Mockups are like elaborate sketches. They’ll illustrate what you’ve discussed with the developers to give you a good idea of how your site will appear to users.
At this stage, the actual developing phase hasn’t started yet. The team is simply seeking confirmation of the features and layout you want. It’s a good time to make revisions as it won’t set the team back too much.
Chances are, with the perspective given by the mockups, you’ll want to make some changes to your site’s design. You might realize things are not as you envisioned them or it’s not as functional as you’d like.
To get the best idea of your future website, you can ask for full mockups of every page your site will have. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have all the content yet, they can be filled with fake text.
It’s more about seeing what each page will look like, what elements will be there, and how the site will show on different types of screens.
With this step, which should take around a couple of weeks, your website will start to really materialize. Make sure to stay involved in the creative process by asking questions, and don’t hesitate to ask for changes.
The Development Phase
At this point, the developer team will start working on actually creating the website. They’ll use all your exchanges and feedback to code the site and produce a final result that should replicate the mockups you saw.
This stage will take a while, at least one to two months for a small business website. The reason it takes so long is that there are always setbacks in these projects.
The team might encounter various coding issues that take a while to debug, or you might change your mind on a key feature of the site once you see it in action.
Additionally, most agencies will tend to overestimate the time they actually require to finish the site. This gives them some leeway should any issues arise, and they get to look good when they complete it earlier than you expected.
Even during this phase, make sure to stay in touch with your team. Good professionals should communicate frequently with you to let you know how things are going. But if they don’t, don’t hesitate to contact them.
Before officially calling the website done, it’ll have to undergo an ultimate review. You’re going to examine closely how everything on your website works. Is every element where it should be, does it all work properly?
You’re determining if the website is consistent with the plan of action made early on in the development process.
If everything went well, the final revision step shouldn’t reveal any major issues. Ideally, those should have been identified and corrected in earlier steps.
At this point, there are usually only minor things that need fixing. You might also require some changes to be made. This isn’t a problem for the development team, as that type of thing tends to be expected.
As long as there aren’t any big problems, this final step should only take between one and two weeks.
Need a Website More Quickly?
This article explains how long it takes to create a website if you hire developers to build something from scratch for you. With all the steps outlined, you could be looking at two to four months to get your website going.
If you want a professional website for your business, then it’s worth investing a few months of your time into it. The site’s likely to become an essential part of your venture, after all.
However, if you don’t want to wait that long or have simple needs that don’t require hiring an agency, you can still create excellent websites much faster.
Even if you don’t know how to code at all, you can use website builders to create something for yourself. WordPress and Wix are among the most popular website builders out there.
So, How Long Does It Take to Create a Website?
Now you know the answer to the question: how long does it take to create a website?
If you wish to hire a team of professionals, it could take between two and four months. It might seem long, but you’ll benefit from the input of experts and a website specifically tailored to your needs.
For more tips on running your business, browse the rest of this site.