How Long Will it Take to Build My Website?


Many factors can affect how long it can take to design and build a website. Not only the work we as designers have to do but also how responsive (….and the work) you as a client have to do.

No two websites / projects (or indeed clients) are the same but in a nutshell and at it very baic level the time a website takes depends on:

  • The size of the site.
  • The functionality of the website.
  • The client’s communication & decision-making.

There are a number of individual phases that need to be met before the site goes live. Every designer may have different names for them or may approach them slightly differently  but here I will try to detail mine (I have also put in each phase the potential responsibilities of you the client :-)):

“Meet up”

This is exactly as it is says on the tin, I try to meet up with you and discuss what you would like to achieve with your site. A discussion and a questionnaire gives me a broad outline of your requirements for your website. Assuming it is a fairly standard website, I would try to get a proposal  to you within a few days. If the proposal is to your liking I would also try to arrange a start date as close as possible to the meeting,  if all is well we can move onto the second phase.

A more complicated website would normally mean another meet up to go through the tech specs for the site coupled with an explanation on what this means to you as a client

Client responsibilities: You need to know what you want from your site, why you want one and what it is you want it to do for you.  A shortcut for you and would help me is examples of sites that you like the look / functionality of.

“Start up”

This is the date that was set in during the meet up however a number of factors can limit this, some of which are related to you as a client, more on this below.

If there is a delay in the start up or the start up date is a long way down the line, it is better to have a refresher chat to ensure all is as remembered and noted from the “meet up” phase.

Client responsibilities: Any logos / branding you have need to be with me by this point, assuming you are not asking me to create a logo for you, also and if any pertinent questions that weren’t able to be answered have come up during the “meet up” phase I will probably need the answers by this point. Finally, I’m afraid, the payment of the deposit.

“Build it”

This is the bare bones phase where I come up with some wireframes, site structure diagrams and any layout templates for the different pages for your site. The larger the site the more time is spent on this.

As part of the questionnaire in the meet up I would have gathered general information on the target users of your site.  So this phase would also be used to target the structure of the site to the users.

Client responsibilities: If we are to stick to a timeline then I will need a reasonably prompt response to any structure or wireframe layouts I submit to you.

“Design it”

Finally, (I hear you say!) the part that involves the actual creation of the website, without the first and second phase this phase wouldn’t have worked as well. Here we take the wire framing from phase 3 and “hang some clothes” on it.

This would entail a couple of mock up designs based on the different templates from the “build it” phase.  Once I receive approval for these they will be used to create the rest of the site templates This may involve a fairly large number of “back and forths” between you and I to finalise everything and so is one of the longest phases of the process

As I include a level of Search Engine Optimization I will also start the research into the SEO requirements for your site. To a certain extent progressions here will come down to you as a large part of SEO is ultimately based on the textual content of the site which obviously comes from the client 🙂

Client responsibilities: Similar to above, response time on design elements plus you need to start thinking about the text content of each page (if you haven’t already).

“Develop it”

This is where we add phase 3 and 4 together and come up with 7 ie the correct answer 🙂 I develop the site locally on my server and at certain points during the creation I will upload the site to enable you to see the development as it progresses. The site when uploaded during this phase will be stored at a “holding” web domain so only you can see it.

During this time I will need all the copy to be sent over so I can integrate this into your site and finalise the SEO.

During this process you and I will test the site for functionality and content and any changes needing to be done, can be. This allows you to interact with the site and test everything so you can see how your clients will use it and that the site is exactly how you want it to be.

Before the site goes live…

TEST TEST and TEST again. Yep this is the slightly boring part. I check everything and test everything from spelling to shopping experience (if you have one) and everything in between. This includes the dreaded browser and device tests, not so bad if you have taken this into account during 4 and 5 above. A large number of checklists are involved in this!!

Once you are happy and I have had the sign off from you as the client, I hit the “big red button” and the site is live!

So as you can see the creation of a website is very much a “team effort” between me the designer and yourself the client so bottle necks can come from either side. If you are looking for a website and would liek to meet up to discuss a potential project don’t hesitate to contact me

Posted in design, website design