How long does it take to build a website?

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Before you start building your site, it is important to understand the process, how long it will take, and to set some milestones. This will help ensure that things stay on track and you don’t get blindsided by new developments.

There is no fixed time-frame for how long a website will take to build. Some websites can be finished in as little as two weeks, while others can take as long as 2 years to finish.

That doesn’t really help, does it? Let’s find out what factors are involved and how they affect timelines.

Website design milestones

Typically, website development involves the following 6 phases:

  1. Onboarding
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Content
  5. Testing and revisions
  6. Launch

Each of these phases can take a certain amount of time. We will look at these in detail below. To help matters, all timeframes will be for a typical ‘small to medium sized website’.

Onboarding

The onboarding stage is when a client provides all the information to a developer. This stage can take between 1-2 weeks on average.

It’s important for developers to ask as many questions as possible and obtain maximum information. It’s also important to discuss things like SEO, UI/UX, hosting, and project management.

Design

The design stage can take between 4-6 weeks. Once everything has been agreed and information exchanged, the designer will begin to work on some preliminary designs for your site.

Using the agreed upon sitemap, a wireframe will be developed before higher quality designs. The homepage is usually the first page that gets designed followed by other pages. It is also important to ensure that the web design is mobile compatible. Once the client is happy, the designer can move to the development stage.

Development

The development stage can take between 4-6 weeks as well. This is when the site starts getting built using different languages such as JavaScript, HTML, or CSS. The site is also integrated to the agreed content management system or CMS. This is when your website starts coming to life.

Content

Adding content to the new site takes 2 weeks on average. In some cases, the content is already prepared and developers can start adding it right away. Otherwise placeholder content is used while the final content is prepared. This is also the stage where some revisions have to take place – the content might not go with the site design or vice versa. If this happens, it may take longer.

Testing and revisions

The testing and revisions phase also takes around 2 weeks to complete. By this time both the developers and clients are eager to get the project launched, but it’s always prudent to test as extensively as possible. Each site must go through a complete audit that involves:

  • Browser, OS, and device compatibility
  • Functionality and content
  • Site speed
  • SEO

Launch

Finally you website is ready to be launched! It takes one day on average to get the website published and live on the internet. A few final tests are run and voila! You have an up and running website.

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