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How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?

How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?

The value of a strong online presence can’t be underestimated. Having a well-built website is essential if your business is to succeed – whether it’s an e-commerce, blog, or portfolio site.

A well-designed and good-functioning website will demonstrate to customers, clients, and readers that your company is trustworthy and knowledgeable. In fact, good designers and developers can take your company values, whatever they may be, and reflect those in your site’s design.

Smoothly functioning sites retain prospective customers for longer and are more likely to generate conversions and sales. Did you know that a one-second delay in your site’s loading speed can reduce conversions by 4.42%?

The benefits of a high-quality site are boundless – so how quickly can you achieve them? Whether you’re building your first ever website or you want to start afresh, you’re probably wondering how long it’s going to take.

When thinking about how long it takes to make a website, there are several factors that will change the answer. It really depends on what you want to get out of it, your business’s size, and the budget you have available.

This article will delve into these factors so you can have a better idea of how long this project will take. Firstly, let’s look at what you’ll be spending your time on.

What does building websites involve?

The way in which you choose to build your site will dictate the length of the process, as well as its overall cost. As much as you might like to keep the project short, there are some stages that can’t be skipped.

Generally, there are about seven steps involved in building a website. Let’s dive in:

     1. Initial admin (1 week)

Here’s where you can get the ball rolling yourself. You’ll need to choose a web hosting, a domain name, and install a content management system.

Web hostings can usually get up and running within 48 hours. However, the decision process could take you up to a week because there are so many options.

     2. Hiring and research (2 to 4 weeks)

You obviously want to find the best people for the project, and finding the perfect designers and developers may take time. You’ll want to look at their portfolios to see if their previous work aligns with your vision for the site and if they have the relevant experience. Before you can do that, though, you’ll need to have done some research into the kind of site you want, the features it will need, and the designs you have in mind.

In this phase, you may consider going with freelancers or an agency, and you’ll take the time to do interviews. There’ll be discussions about your budget and project expectations, as well as inducting new staff onto project management systems such as Asana or Slack.

Allow about a month for all the above – hiring the A-Team isn’t instantaneous.

     3. Planning (1 to 5 weeks)

Once you’ve got your team in place, you’ll want to have discussions about your aims and vision. First of all, you should get across your goals, ideal design styles, and brand values. Your new designers might propose some initial plans for you to approve before they create official mock-ups.

When you’re on the same page, you can make an action plan – with times and deadlines laid out. These discussions will save time down the line, as your new hires will have more to work with.

     4. Mock-ups (2 to 3 weeks)

This stage is when you sit back and leave the designers to do their work. In a few weeks, you’ll get a mock-up for each page of your site, which you’ll provide feedback on. In addition, the developers will need to check that the designs are financially and technically feasible.

If you or the developers aren’t pleased with the mock-ups, this phase could become longer whilst you wait for revisions.

     5. Web development (1 to 2 months)

So, you’ve finally agreed on your designs. Now it’s time for your developer/s to turn those mock-ups into a reality. Since the speed of this process depends on the size of your website, it’s the hardest to give a time estimate for. However, if the planning and mock-up stages have gone according to plan, the development stage shouldn’t have any delays.

At this time, your input should be minimal since everything’s already been planned. Ideally, the most you’ll be doing is receiving updates from your developer/s.

Towards the end of this phase, there’ll be some testing done to ensure the site functions correctly.

     6. SEO and content creation (3 to 8 weeks, then ongoing)

Without content, you’ll just have a pretty site full of Lorem Ipsum. Whilst your designer or developer is badgering away, it’s a good time to get started on your site’s content.

You’ll at least need website copy for your home page, product pages, about us page, and contact page.

Furthermore, blog content strategies are a highly popular (and rewarding) part of digital marketing, so you might consider hiring blog content writers to create this for you.

To produce a sufficient amount of regular site content and blog content, you’ll need a few weeks. You might also consider hiring an SEO strategist who can help with optimising your content for SEO.

They’ll be able to conduct keyword research to help optimise each page of your site. Plus, they can set you up on Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor and analyse your progress.

Blog content won’t be essential for all websites – it’s generally used by e-commerce sites, informative blogs, or blogs earning money via affiliate links.

     7. Review (1 to 3 weeks)

Now that your site has been developed, it’s time to do your checks. Does it look how you wanted it to? Does it perform as you intended?

If not, now’s the time for corrections. But if it does, it’s time to launch!

From start to finish, the above seven steps could take between 14 to 32 weeks (3.5 to 8 months).

Who should I hire to build my website?

When there are multiple contributors working on a project, the process can be slowed down. Since these team members will have to collaborate, it’s inevitable that individuals will sometimes be waiting for responses, sign-offs, edits, and other people’s work.

The project of building a website isn’t exempt from this issue, as there are several people you’ll need to hire. Here’s who you can expect to need on your team:

  • Web designer (translating your brand’s vision into visual elements on the site, focusing on optimising user experience)
  • Front-end and back-end, or full-stack web developer (code how your site functions and bring the designer’s concepts to life)
  • SEO specialist (on and off-page SEO, site structure, keyword research, and setting up tools such as Google My Business, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console)
  • Content specialist (working alongside the SEO specialist to produce SEO-friendly website copy and CTAs)
  • Project manager (to manage the entire process, although you could do this yourself)

How many hours does it take to build a website?

If 35 hours are worked each week, and the project takes between 3.5 and 8 months (14 and 32 weeks), you’re looking at a figure between 490 and 1120 hours.

How long does it take to make a simple website?

When you don’t require that many features or pages, the process of building a website is much quicker and simpler.

For example, one-page sites might take only a month to build. Simple sites with multiple pages might take as little as three months.

How much does it cost to build a website?

The cost of building your website will vary depending on the methods you choose.

Building your site yourself, with the help of a website builder, will be significantly cheaper than hiring a web designer. For example, building an ad-free site with a template from Wix or Squarespace can cost as little as $16 p/m.

Your domain will cost around $10 to $15 per year, and web hosting can cost anywhere between $3 and $70 per month.

Web design and development will be your largest outgoings. Depending on the size and type of your website, the amount you pay will vary:

Web design costs:

  • Small sites (8 to 16 pages) $1000 to $5000
  • Large sites (20 to 70 pages) $9000 to $30,000
  • E-commerce sites (under 1000 products) $5000 to $50,000
  • Database sites (25 to 2000 pages) $7000 to $70,000

Web development costs:

  • Blog or news website (around 120 hours) $4500 to $5000
  • E-commerce website (between 900 and 1200 hours) $36,000 to $48,000

Adding more functions to your site will raise the cost:

  • Membership portals could cost between $90 and $400 to run each year.
  • E-commerce utilities are essential for online stores, but a fully customised e-commerce site can cost at least $2000.
  • Customised programming is often needed by larger businesses, and this can add many hours to your developer’s contract – this cost will depend on the developer’s rate and the required hours.
  • Subscription services could cost you around $50 per month to run.

Once your site is finished, there’s the issue of website maintenance. It’s a good idea to keep a website developer on board to handle any maintenance issues when they arise. The cost of this will vary depending on what the developer charges and how many issues come up.

Best website builders

There are several website-building tools on the market. Most are very easy to use and come at a reasonable price. The following are the top 10 website builders according to WebsiteBuilderExpert:

  1. Wix was voted the best overall
  2. Squarespace had the best template designs
  3. GoDaddy was voted the fastest to build with
  4. Shopify was best for sites selling ten or more products
  5. Weebly had the best free plan
  6. Zyro was best for businesses on a budget
  7. Jimdo Creator was voted best value
  8. Duda was best for a polished website design
  9. WordPress was best for content-heavy sites such as blogs
  10. Strikingly was voted most easy to use

The website builder you choose will depend on your circumstances. Whether you’re on a budget or you plan to put out a lot of content, there’ll be one for you. But if you’re unsure about using a tool at all, read on to learn the pros and cons of DIY website building.

Should you build your website by yourself?

If you’re thinking about DIY website building, there are a few things you should know:

Pros of doing it yourself

  1. You’ll save a lot of money
  2. You can work at your own pace
  3. You won’t have to give away creative control to someone else
  4. You know your company and its needs better than anyone

Cons of doing it yourself

  1. It will take much longer
  2. You’re likely to make mistakes if you’re not an expert in design or development
  3. You probably don’t have specialist design/development software or tools
  4. You won’t have the experts readily available to help you when issues arise

So, there you have it. You might be better off going it alone, and you can always hire help in the future if things don’t go to plan.

One thing’s for sure – there’s a lot involved when building a website. If your site is to turn out the way you want it, you’ll have to spend the required amount of time.

If you need help building your website, you could hire us: purpleplanet. Our team of experts can bring your vision to life every step of the way – without any time wasted. Click the link below to learn more about our services.


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