In this 7-minute read I’ll discuss another commonly asked question that small business owners have when looking at getting a new website – how long should it take?
In answering this question I’ll also be answering another common question – what is the process?
When doing some research on this topic, I came across companies that claim a website should take 14 weeks, 6 months, and other similar timelines to create a great website. I think that’s just excessive and inefficient. Business owners are busy enough, constantly putting out fires in the day to day operations of their company. The last thing they are looking for is 6 months of dealing with a web design company to get their website up and running.
Let me tell you what I think is a reasonable timeline to create a great website.
Before I get into it though, I want to define what will be considered a small business website for this article. My definition of a small business website is a website that does not exceed 25 pages. Anything between 1 and 25 pages is a small business website. Also, it is a website that does not require any unique and complex functionalities that require advanced web development.
I just wanted to define that because you could have a really advanced million dollar website project for a small business as well as a very simple website for a large business.
So, let’s go over each step of the web design process and how long each should take:
1. Discovery Process & Strategy (1 day)
This is usually done in one sitting and for a small project, it takes about 1 to 2 hours. If it’s a complex project, it may take 4 hours to a full day. This is where we find out more about the history and specifics of our client’s company, the products and/or services, the goals and objectives of the business as well as the requirements and ultimate objectives of the website. We’re going to write off a whole day for this.
2. Wireframe (1 Day)
This is the blueprint of the website and an idea of how everything will be laid out, simply what goes where. When wireframing a website, keeping in mind things such as the website objectives, user experience, and mobile design are crucial to building a great website. For small projects with one or two decision makers this can take as little as an hour and can be done in the same sitting as the discovery process. For complex projects involving a team of decision makers, this can take several hours, so we’ll write off another day for this activity.
3. Gathering Content (2 days)
This is where the client provides images and text content pertaining to the project as discussed during the discovery and wireframing process. Depending on how many people are involved in this and how busy their schedules are, let’s allocate 2 days for this.
4. Keyword Research, Copywriting, On-page SEO (2 Days)
This is the stage where we do a keyword research to find out the most relevant keywords pertaining to the client’s products and services.
Using those keywords in combination with the text content provided by the client we write the copy of the entire website with 3 objectives in mind: search engine optimization (ranking high in google searches), user experience, and brand image.
For a small project with just a few pages this can take as little as 4 hours but for a complex project this may eat up a couple of days.
5. Design (5 Days)
This is when everything gets put together. We got the wireframe (blueprint) and we just plug in the content (images and text) where it all belongs, link the navigation of the website, fonts, color schemes and so on.
Web design companies have different processes of how they do things. At Grandway, we try to be as time-efficient as possible so once we have the website blueprint completed, we sort of start plugging in content into it right away as it’s being gathered and created and revising it on the go, so steps 2, 3, and 4 often run simultaneously. We find this works well both for us and our clients. Other companies prefer to isolate each step.
Depending on the complexity of the website this can take anywhere from a full day to a full week so, let’s give it 5 days.
6. Revisions (2 Days)
After the first version of the website is completed the client has some time to review it all and submit a list of revisions they would like to see.
This is somewhat tricky because the client will often submit revisions that would negatively affect the website, so we must do some explaining as to things that should not be changed and why.
Also, if the previous steps (wireframing, copywriting, design) were done effectively with the input of the client, revisions should be few and minor. There might not even be any revisions at all, there might be just a few minutes worth of work, or there might be a list of revisions.
So, to stay on the safe side, we’ll write off another 2 days for this step, one day for the client’s reviewing, and one day for revising.
7. Other Tasks (1 Days)
There are also several other tasks, such as setting up Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels, Google My Business, Email Addresses. Some of these may not apply to all projects.
For these tasks, we’ll write off another full day, even though it may only take a couple of hours.
8. Testing & Launch (1 Days)
This is the final step, straight-forward, testing everything. Navigation, links, spell-check, page titles, descriptions, loading speed, contact forms, analytics connection, etc.
Again, depending on the complexity of the project and the process of the company, this may take as little as 1 hour or as much as a full day. At Grandway, we’re always testing as the project progresses, so the final testing is usually quick as there are little to no issues. However, other companies may be a little sloppier with their work and uncover lots of issues when testing.
So, we’ll write off another day for this.
Adding up the 8 steps I mentioned, the whole process of getting a website built from start to finish should take 15 days. If we’re talking business days, this means 3 weeks.
However, this is give or take depending on the variables.
One project may be simple, just a few pages, client is very responsive in submitting content, no revisions required, all tested within an hour – you could be looking at just 1 or 2 weeks.
On the other hand, the project might be complex, 25 pages, a team of decision makers that take forever submitting content, and a lot of revisions – you could be looking at 6 or 7 weeks.
I hope you found some value in this post and have some idea as to how long it should take for your new website to be built, as well as to what the process looks like.
If you’re looking at getting a new website for your business, reach out for a free consultation over the phone. I’d love to learn more about your company, as well as take a look at your current website if you have one. Let’s connect – no obligation or pressure.