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How Long Does it Take to Build a Website?

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It is the start of the new year; your team has decided that perhaps now is the time for a new website. You see all the great websites out there already — dynamic, impacting, engaging — and obviously, you start to compare. Once the decision has been made, the question everyone wants to have answered is “how long is building a website actually going to take?”

Answer: It takes time!

Over the years, time4design has launched an incredible number of websites, based on our own experience we have seen a clear majority of web projects taking twelve to sixteen weeks. In some circumstances a project can take much longer, potentially six months or more. This might be related to technical challenges, or simply a very large website such as an e-commerce project.

Shorter timelines possible?

Having a reasonable timeline is realistic, completing a project in much less time is possible yet this should raise some serious questions. To start with, this could be a clear indication that the project will not be thought through. If an agency appears optimistic to provide a shorter outcome, ask thorough questions and understand why this company is able to deliver your project so quickly. You want to eliminate red flags such as being their only client (therefore not being busy) or offered a website based on a website template, purchased and simply modified by the web designer. Probably not a good choice.

Website Timelines - How long does it take?

How soon can you start?

A company that delivers high-quality work are obviously going to be in demand, so it will depend on who you speak to for an accurate start date. Sending out requests for “..I need a site started ASAP and live in 4 weeks”, will only get you few responses and will eliminate working with a great agency. If you are hoping to start sooner it is instead easier to share what needs are required by discussing it first and then allowing your preferred agency to provide an estimated timeline. This might be an initial first meeting, a short phone call or completing a project worksheet. Other factors can then be taken into consideration such as quality, budgets, website portfolio and past client feedback.

When will a website be ready for review?

Every agency will have a similar process, time4design use a seven-stage approach to all projects, making sure that our clients have a very active role in each decision that is made. It is a solid a proof approach that helps us to help you.

The process begins with a discovery phase (1) where time4design plans everything clearly, then a creative phase (2-3) where all visual elements are designed and approved. A development phase (4) where the visual elements are brought to life, and finally a review and testing phase (5-7).

Here is an example timeline set for one of our recent clients in the home building industry.

  Phase Description Week
Phase 1 Research, Planning & Design Exploration 1
Phase 2 Design Drafts & Conception 2-4
Phase 3 Changes and Modifications to Design 4-6
Phase 4 Website Development 6-11
Phase 5 Website Review 11-15
Phase 6 SEO, Marketing tools integration, etc. 11-15
Phase 7 Website Launch & Announcement 16

Having an initial deadline for launch

Timelines will have set deadlines as determined by the agency and client, but there could be many reasons to upset that goal. A prime example of an unsuccessful launch is content that has not been completed. We cannot emphasize enough, never launch a half-completed website! If content suddenly becomes an issue review alternative solutions such as a content strategy.

Having a website deadline

Especially relevant, set expectations for a deadline. Is the site launch for an important event, or is it just for the sake of it? Ultimately be prepared, block out time in your calendar and schedule it like any other task. Although time4design schedule deadlines as part of our timelines, we do allow plenty of flexibility for an actual launch date due to these unforeseen circumstances.

Additional Reading

You might find some of the followings related posts useful.

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