Now that we’re living in the digital age, it may seem like any request we have should be available at the snap of a finger. If you’re in need of a new pair of sneakers ASAP, all you have to do is order them from your favourite online store. If you want to show off said sneakers to your friends and family, you just upload a pic to social media. All these great tech channels give us instant access. But did you ever wonder how long it takes for them to go from an idea to the wonderfully functioning websites that they are?
Keep reading and we’ll help solve that mystery for you. So when you have the perfect business idea, you’ll know exactly what to expect and how long it’ll take to see it come to life.
Why is it important to create a timeline when building a website?
Sometimes you can get so excited about your ideas that you’re eager to hit the ground running without any planning. But, getting a few things in order before you do so will ensure you end up with what you want and need.
Having a timeline for how long it’ll take to build your website can help you with:
- Planning the entire build so you know whether you’re on track with reaching your goals or not.
- Choosing the designers, developers or agencies that are best suited to your business’s needs. This helps with knowing whether you want to hire different companies or individuals for each phase or find one that can help you with all.
- Sticking to a budget because you’ll have a clearer idea of how to allocate funds and resources. For example, if your hired professional needs 6 weeks for a certain aspect of your site, and you can only afford them for 3 weeks, you’ll need to know that before the project starts.
How long does it take to build a website?
Depending on the route you take to build your site, the scope, complexity and skills needed to launch it will vary accordingly. And because of these varying factors, the time it takes to build your site will also vary.
The following can influence your website’s build timeline:
- How do you want to build it
There are different ways that you can go about building a website and each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Two of the main ways to build a website are:
- Using hosted websites
These are typically hosted using website builders like Wix, WordPress.org, Squarespace, Dreamhost and Weebly. They allow you to drag and drop features and templates without the need for coding or developing.
Using a website builder can save time and money. It usually takes anywhere from 2-20 hours, and it’s simple enough to do yourself.
- Developing it from the ground up
This will allow you the most flexibility when it comes to design and features as everything can be unique and customised. But this will take more time, about 16-200 hours, as it requires in-depth programming and design knowledge.
- Who’s building it
Your timeline will also be influenced by how you plan to have the site built. That is, are you going to build it yourself or hire an agency or someone else to do it for you.
When outsourcing the job, you may also have to consider the schedules of the team. They may not be able to get a start on your website until a certain time because they’re fully booked.
- Type of site you want to build
Another factor that will influence the time it takes to build your website is the type of site you want. For example, is it just a landing page site or multiple pages? Do you only need it for uploading content, or is it a full enterprise site with all the works of strategic brand-forward features? The simpler the site, the more likely the less time it’ll take.
Remember, you will also need time to make tweaks and changes to your site once it’s been built. This can take up as much time as you think is necessary to reach the perfect website.
Example of a website build timeline
The timeline outlines the different phases of a build with an estimated timeframe for each. We’ll use the example of the sneaker website from earlier, and assume a team has been hired to build a simple brochure website.
- Research and discovery
This is when the site owner communicates their needs to the team. They’ll discuss what functionalities and features they’d like. There may be a bit of back and forth depending on what’s feasible for both sides.
In this case, the site owner would probably want users to be able to view their sneakers and order them so these ideas will be planned out. This initial phase can take between 1 and 2 weeks.
Time to start putting the plan into action. The designers from the team will create mock-ups of what they envision the site to look like. They’ll include the layout of every page on the site and how a user might navigate through them.
This is the best time to make tweaks because development hasn’t started yet.
The design phase can take between 1 and 3 weeks.
Now that the team has all the information necessary, they can start the actual build. The development phase can take at least 1 month, sometimes maybe 2, but it’s wise to expect and leave room for any setbacks.
The end result should be very similar to the mock-ups approved in phase 2.
Finally, the site owner will have a functioning website in front of them.
Now they can examine it closely and carry out some testing to make sure everything is working and in order. They’ll want to check that the site is still in line with their goals from phase 1.
This could take about 1-2 weeks depending on what’s gone right or wrong and how many tweaks need to be made.
- Migration and Launch
Once everyone is happy with everything, the site is ready to launch for the public to order some sneakers. This can usually take as long as the site owner likes.
Not all websites are built the same. Just as unique as well your site will be, so will its build timeline be. It’s best to consider your goals and needs well in advance of your expected launch date.