As a website designer, I often get asked by new clients how long it takes to design and launch a new website, from start to finish. There are so many turning cogs when designing, building and launching a website, and this can vary from site to site (no two websites are the same!).
What does a website timeline look like? And what steps are involved when you engage a designer, to when your new website is finally live? It’s safe to say that with over 1.6 billion websites on the web, your business definitely needs an online presence to compete with your competition, so here is what you need to know about how the website development process works and what to expect, step by step.
Keep everyone accountable with a process guideline
Once you have found your dream website designer (I know a great website designer located in Newcastle, in case you are looking! hehe), a rough timeline and process guide should be discussed so a plan of action is set. Here is my process & timeline guide to give you an idea of what to expect! As an estimate, I provide a rough guideline to my clients so they can see the steps to building their site, which generally includes a rough approximate timeline for a “standard” site. This initial consultation normally takes place within a few days, and can also include approving the contract and paying a deposit.
Collecting and organising content
Prior to developing your new website, your designer needs to collect lots of information from you. This is usually done with a questionnaire to understand the specific needs of your new site, such as how many pages are required and what content & information needs to be supplied.
After this questionnaire (through emails, a meeting face-to-face or via Zoom) has taken place, it is now time to start collecting copy, photography and all content for your website so that a site map can be designed. You will supply this to your website designer, or if you need any professional photography or copywriting, they can hopefully help point you in the right direction. This process can take anywhere from 1-4weeks, depending on how much content you need to deliver and the size of the website.
Once the content and site map is finalised, it is now time to start the fun part! Your website designer will either provide you with some mockups and concepts of your website, also known as wireframes, or they may ask you to provide some examples of websites that you like (and don’t like!). This step is crucial as it helps set the overall look and feel. If you have a set of brand guidelines for your business, it is important to provide this so the designer ensures your website uses the correct colours, fonts and styling for brand consistency. Concepts can take approximately 1-2 weeks to get right, and it is important not to rush this part of the process.
Building your website
Once concepts have been approved by you, it is time for your website designer to start building your website. The building process can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks, depending on how many changes are made, as well as how large or technical the website is. For example, a small 3 page website may only take a couple of weeks, whereas a large website with over 20 pages may take up to 6 weeks to complete.
During this process, it is important to carefully review the design, layout and content to ensure that everything is correct before your website goes live on the internet. Your designer will generally provide a few rounds of changes for you to review, make any changes and approve.
Sending your site live
Have you checked over everything? Twice? Now is the time to approve your new website! Your website designer will do their own final check of links, styling, functionality, SEO and ensure that there are no bugs or things missed prior to launch.
Once your launch date arrives, your new site will then be connected to your domain and hosting and finally sent live across the web! Time to celebrate by breaking out the bubbles! Sending your site live should be booked in advance so that you can organise a launch campaign across social media and in your local community.
So how long does it take to build a new website?
As you can see, even a small website can take time to build, so it is crucial that if you are planning to get a new website for your business that you take time to find the right designer and set a realistic deadline. In my experience, building a website for my clients usually takes anywhere between 6 to 10 weeks if all goes smoothly.
If you are thinking about getting a new website for your business, or simply updating the website you currently have, I’d love to chat and see if we’re a good fit! I love building custom websites using the ever-so-powerful WordPress platform. Or, if you are needing a simple site, Squarespace is a great template builder that is easier on the pocket, but has a variety of eye-catching designs and layouts to customise.
Contact me here and let’s get started!