Everyone wants their brand new website as soon as possible–usually yesterday. But each website is unique, so the time it takes to create can vary greatly. In order to get the best results in efficiency and ease, consider this…
Relationships take time. It depends on you.
It’s important for the website design company to get to know the business or organization they’ll be working with and make a product that will meet their needs. It’s a process, and the client (that’s you) will be asked to participate in that process. The web company isn’t an expert in your field. We have to get to know you and your business and then take the things we learn and translate them into something that will work on the web.
So much of the web design process depends on the client. As web designers and developers, we are asking you to engage in the process with us. There’s much to consider in regard to your message and the content you provide to potential customers on your site. We don’t take this lightly and neither should you.
Of all the variables and factors that impact the development timeline for websites, it’s the relationship with the client (e.g., reviews, approvals, etc.) that has the greatest impact. For example, we’ve had almost exactly the same type of site take significantly different amounts of time to produce. Let’s call them websites A and B. With website A, there were problems with content and approvals and it took over six months from the initial meeting to launch. With website B, the client was participatory and the process went smoothly in regard to content and approvals. Website B took a little over a month from beginning to end.
Knowledge is power and leads to speed.
The technology industry (including web design and development) is an ever-changing business. Every day new things emerge that help make things better, faster, and easier. There are many options and ways of doing things. Having a solid understanding of all the available options is critical for success in the web design and development business. With this knowledge comes the flexibility to create websites with greater efficiency. For example, before the invention of WordPress, Joomla!, Expression Engine, etc., web designers and developers needed to design content management systems (or CMS’s) from the ground up. These open-source platforms can help make database-driven website development faster and less expensive. It keeps us from reinventing the wheel and allows for focus in other areas of production.
The type of website matters.
The type of website being developed can have an enormous bearing on the project time frame. A website can range in time from a few hours to a few months, to even a year or more. It depends on the project. It’s probably best to think of a website as a publication. Before you go into the process, think about all the things you want to communicate. Think of things you’ve written, or the things you need to write in order to successfully inform your audience and tell your story. How long will it take to write or develop all that content and the tailor it for web purposes? In many cases, it takes a considerable amount of time.
As with any communication piece, the content is just the beginning. (But keep in mind that the content needs to be great! The best websites have the best content.) Once that’s established, it’s important to organize and prioritize that information in a way that will lead to success through the website. Careful planning is key here. Once the content is developed and organized, the design and development process kicks in, which includes things like visual design, programming, usability testing, accessibility, and more. As we mentioned, it’s a process, and not usually a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solution.
How long does it take to make a website? Here are some keys to success:
Planning, management, and organization
Relationship and communication
Great design and development
Ultimately, a professional website design company will be able to produce a website for you that will work well. However, you must realize that when you initiate a website design project with a professional company, you are in essence becoming part of the team. It’s important to contribute to the process and be a good team player.
Ideally, a standard website will take about a month to produce, but there are many variables to consider. A conversation with a professional website design and development company can help you get a better idea of your realistic time frame.