If you’re considering building a new website for your business, one of the most important questions you have will be, ‘how long does it take to build a website?’.
This is a very common question we get asked a lot. Most would answer by asking how long a piece of string is. However, we know that all you would like is an idea, something to work with before getting accurate time scale for a project.
Before we can answer your question we must first start by asking what type of website you’re looking for and it’s not always about the size. Some websites have more advanced features that appear to be simple but will require a lot of work in the code to implement.
Time to build a referral website
A referral website is a simple site with contact details. Typically, one page in design, these websites are purely about providing somewhere for people to get contact information about your business.
A simple referral website only requires one meeting or Skype call to get an idea of the project and a few emails to comment on designs and make corrections.
If you have full confidence in the designer you could have a referral website live within a couple of days depending on how quickly you reply to your emails. We would suggest allowing a couple of days for this size project.
Time to build a brochure website
A brochure website is typically larger than a referral website with articles section and many pages with details about the many products and services you offer as a business.
A brochure website typically sets out to answer all potential questions and concerns a visitor may have before contacting you.
If you have the content ready and are happy to upload that content yourself, the time-frames will be like a Referral website. The differences come with the number of page templates you will need. For example, a standard page will be laid out slightly differently to a blog article that may have a side menu. For peace of mind we would suggest allowing 3-5 weeks for a brochure website that you have the content ready for.
If you don’t have the content and require the design agency to create this for you, you can easily double that time. Content is the most common holdup for most websites. If time is important then we suggest getting your development agency to coordinate the photographers and copywriters. The largest variable here is the number of pages and how unique the content needs to be for each page. We would allow for 4-8 weeks for the design and build of a 50 page brochure website where content is also required.
Time to build an E-commerce website
Having and e-commerce website typically allows people to add products to a shopping basket where they can pay for the contents to be shipped to them. There are many variants of e-commerce websites from side projects to e-commerce businesses.
We believe an e-commerce website only works in this day and age if there is at least one person dedicated to the success of the website on a full-time basis. What we mean is, adding an e-commerce section to your website will not automatically boost revenue to your business without time or effort.
An e-commerce website is like a brochure website regarding timescales as it also depends on who is creating the content. As an e-commerce business, we would work on the assumption that you will be creating the content. Your developer would only need to focus on the design of the templates that can then be replicated for each product. There is then the additional time to build the cart, checkout, card payment system and additional terms which would add another week to the project.
For an e-commerce website we would suggest allowing for 4-8 weeks to complete.
Time to build a web application
For web applications you should think search engines, social media platforms and cloud software. Web applications can be as simple as having a login area where people can access content, or as complex as a desktop application accessible via a browser.
This type of website really is difficult to put timescales to because it really varies. Most of our web app projects take about 3-4 months to launch in beta. This however, is more a reflection on the type of projects we take on than the time it would take for your specific project.
What is safe to say is that your unique web application will take longer than a couple of months to build. And almost always allow for more time than estimated as you project will be so unique that it’s almost impractical to foresee all the possible delays.
How do you get an accurate time for your project?
I must be honest, in all the time we have been building websites, it’s almost impossible to ever quote an accurate time. Having said that, we are close to getting it right since we implemented the agile development process that we call the 4 d’s (Discovery, Design, Development and Deploy).
What the process does is give clear structure to what is expected. As most delays happen because a design Is changed during the development process, having a clear line between processes eliminates the likelihood of the ‘kitchen sink syndrome’