Virtually every client, when looking to get a website designed for them, will ask the question, “how long should it take to create a website like this?” When it comes to the length of time it takes to design a website, there is no “one size fits all”. It can take anywhere from a few days for a basic landing page, to a few months for a fully custom content-heavy, search engine optimized website. To determine a ballpark figure for how long your website could take, there are four basic factors to consider:
- The amount of content and functionality the website requires
- The competency of the website designer/developer to fulfill the requirements
- The communication between the developer and the client
- The amount of revisions and edits required before launching
Here are a few things to help you determine how long a website should take to create, as well as making sure the deadlines are met.
Determine the needs
Before any work on a website is done, the website designer/developer needs to sit with the client and determine the exact needs of the website and then develop a site map and wire frame layout of how the website should function. A competent developer will be able to look at these notes, and determine an estimated time frame of completing the website assuming that he/she has everything needed from the client.
During the planning phase, deadlines for benchmarks should be set. Two lists should be created:
- A list of deadlines and goals for the website developer
- A list of deadlines and goals for the client
Have Clear Communication
Majority of the time spent developing a website consists of the back and forth communication between the web developer and the client. Frequent updates should be given to the client from the developer whenever benchmarks are reached, content is needed, or feedback is required. Communication is the primary determining factor of whether or not a website will be designed by the deadline or not. The mistake that many developers make is they assume that the client clearly knows what is expected of them.
Clients for the most part are relying on the developer to direct the development of the website, therefore whenever content is needed from the client a developer ought to make sure they clearly communicate that to them. Here are four questions every developer needs to ask themselves during the development of any website:
- Do I have enough information and content to finish the website?
- If not, what information/content do I need from the client?
- Does the client clearly understand their responsibility in getting that information/content to me?
- Is there anything I can do to help the client get (or create) the information/content?
Again, when asking, “how long should it take to create a website?” there is never a standard answer, as every website is different. However, once you do enough websites you tend to learn approximate time frames for standard types of websites. One of the things we tell our clients is that it can take about 10-15 business days to create a fully custom 5 page informational website, assuming that we have everything we need to complete it. For e-commerce, it usually takes an extra day or two for a short product list (10 products). Again, that’s assuming we have everything we need.
What content is needed to complete a website?
Here is a short list of standard things needed to complete any website:
- Written content for each page (including contact info for the contact page)
- Images for the home page slider (if using a slider)
- Images for each page
- Payment gateway, such as PayPal or AUTHORIZE.NET (for e-commerce)
- Hosting and domain account access
As you can see, the above list consists mostly of things that the client needs to provide to the developer, but often times the client doesn’t know unless the developer tells them, or helps them get the content.