Have you wondered how long does it take to build a website that is fully functional? Perhaps you need it for your business, for your boss, or your blog. To answer that question, we need to understand first what generally happens during a website building project. In this topic, we will discuss the website building stages from start to finish. But before we do that, there are a few things to consider:
- First, we should understand that every website is different. Even if your website designer outright claims they can complete your website within 2 to 3 months, there’s a high chance that it will not happen. This is because they have not completely understood the kind of website you want them to build.
- Second, several factors can cause delay. Sometimes unanticipated events could extend the launch date further. If you pressure your web designer to meet your deadline, you could risk the quality of your website. Your website could be incomplete with unfixed bugs and this could negatively affect the audience’s experience with your website.
- Last, building a website is teamwork. You can’t simply hire someone to build your website and wait for them to finish it. For your website to be successful, you also need to spare time to work with your web designer. Teamwork is the key to getting it done on time and getting the best possible outcome.
Here are the different stages of building a website that we will discuss in this topic:
- The Planning Stage (1 week up to 3 weeks)
- The Mockup Stage (Up to 6 weeks)
- The Site Development Stage (Up to 3 weeks or more)
- The Final Revision Stage (Up to 2 weeks)
- The Website’s Launch Stage (depends on the final revision stage)
Even if your website is just a small one, you still need to be methodological about it. You can find some points of these stages apply to your website even if it is small. For business websites or those that require many web pages, it is a must that you plan very carefully. So let’s now get into the details of each website building stage to learn how.
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The Planning Stage (1 week up to 3 weeks)
The planning stage includes several phases, from planning to hiring the person or agency to build your website.
- About the Website – This phase includes the type of website you would like to build. Is it for a blog? Or for eCommerce? And sometimes you want a specific layout for your website. Or do you want a specific theme that represents your individuality or your business’ brand better? While website developers usually have recommendations, it is still up to you, the client, who decides the layout and design of your website.
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- The Financial aspect – Carefully think about the financial aspect of building a website. Building a fully functioning website can be expensive. Especially if you’re going to hire agencies or web design professionals to build it for you.
- A web designer can charge you from $75 up to $180 per hour. But there are other places where you can pay less than that. For example, in Upwork, website developers’ average hourly rate can cost from $15 up to $30.
The cost will also depend on how many web pages you need for your website. Other website functionalities and features could come at a cost too.
A typical essential website can cost you around $1,000 or more, while a business website can cost anywhere from $5,000 up to $10,000. Another cost to consider is the content of your website. If you hire content writers for the job, their hourly salary is around $20 up to $30 on average.
- The Hiring Process – Hiring the right person for the job can be quite challenging. There are job marketplaces where you can choose from a pool of talented website designers. You can also seek the service of a website design agency. Whichever source you choose, ensure that you have thoroughly examined their background, portfolios, customer ratings, and customer feedback before hiring their services.
Also, if you were posting a job with the lines “I need my website to go live next month,” you may get a few applicants. Great web designers could also scroll past your post because of the time constraint. Some website designers may be busy working on a current project, and they may need several days or a few weeks until they can start with your website.
- Needs vs Time – So after choosing your website designer, it’s time to discuss the website. And the best way to do this is to share your needs instead of pressuring them for time. If you were in a hurry to get your website launched, you could end up with a poorly designed website and possibly with functionality issues here and there. Work wit
h your designer and let them know about what you need, your ideas, your preferences, and so on. Usually, if your website designer has enough experience, they can tell you right away how long they can build your website and estimate when your website can go live.
The Mockup Stage (Up to 6 weeks)
The mockup stage includes how your website and its pages will look across different devices. They may show you sample websites that could look the same as the outcome of your website. In this stage, your web designer may also show you different website layout themes that you can select from.
This includes the font style, color schemes, arrangements, and so on. This stage can take several weeks, depending on how big your website is, especially if you want to design every part of your website down to minute details.
The Site Development Stage (Up to 3 weeks or more)
In the site development stage, your website designer will build the actual website. And again, making your website can take longer depending on its size. It’s recommended to set up a regular meeting with your web designer to check up on their progress.
Of course, there could be valid reasons for delays that can come up during this time. So it’s best to keep an open line of communication and discuss necessary deadline adjustments. Work on some schedule adjustments that will be okay for both parties.
You can ask for the website links of the web pages your web designer is working on. During this stage, you can suggest further design modifications before the final revision. It’s better to let your web designer know about these right away than to inform them about the changes you want when the website is almost completed.
The Final Revision Stage (Up to 2 weeks)
In the final revision stage, your website designer will work on the final modifications or changes on your website. This can include design discrepancies, bug fixes, and so on. Although I mentioned that this can take up to two weeks, it can be longer than that. Until such time that you are completely satisfied with the outcome. And to do this, here are some suggestions you should consider:
- Schedule it – Try to block a schedule out of your busy day to review and test your website. After waiting for so long, it is just right to make it a top priority.
- Take your time – Don’t be in a hurry in checking every webpage, functionalities, and so on. Test it as if you are a visitor or a customer.
- List down imperfections – While you are testing your website, list down the things that don’t work out for you and let your website designer know about them. It’s best if you can sit down with your website designer and show them your findings. Or have them on a call with you while you are testing the website.
- Prepare your content – You can’t launch a website without any content. Ensure that you have them ready for uploading. This includes the articles, images, videos, and other materials you need to complete your website.
- Start marketing your website – Since your website is in the last stages of getting completed, it is the right time to promote it. Let your family and friends know. Share it on your social media accounts or in an active group that has the same interests as the niche of your website.
You can also do a website prelaunch countdown if you want to create hype for your audience. Website pre-launches can take a month or even as long as 3 months. In this way, you can build your email list by letting your audience sign up for email notifications on the pre-launch landing page. Remind your email subscribers at least 2 to 3 days before your website launch date.
The Website’s Launch Stage (depends on the final revision stage)
Finally, you will launch your website. But before that, review your content for final editing. Have at least 3 (or 5 up to 10) high-quality written content with 1,200+ words preferably. Your images should be at their optimum size, less than 1 MB for large images while less than 300 KB for smaller images.
Videos should be short and entertaining, at least 1 to 2 minutes long to maintain high engagement. It is suggested to launch it on a Tuesday morning. Not on a busy Monday, but early enough within the week to make further changes.
My final Thoughts
So how long does it take to build a website? The answer is not always definite. A typical website can take up to six weeks while big websites can take up to three months to be completed. However, this is based on an ideal setup or scheduling. Meaning you and your web designer religiously followed the schedule.
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