iPad, iMac, keyboard and mouse

One question I’m asked frequently is, “How long does it take to build a website?” To which I respond, “Well, it depends.”

Do you like puzzles? Have you ever put one together?

How long does it take to put a puzzle together?

How long it takes to complete the puzzle depends on a few things, right? The size of the puzzle. How intricate it is. If you have all the pieces.

Likewise, to give an accurate estimate of how long it takes to build a website, I’d ask:

  • What size puzzle are we doing? A 12-piece, 100-piece, 500-piece? How large is your site?
  • What kind of puzzle is it? Is it really intricate or something simple? How complicated is your site?
  • Do you have all the pieces ready? Do I have all the necessary information to put the puzzle together — usernames, content, images, other assets?
  • Is there a picture on the box to work from or is it unclear? Do you have a brand (logo, colors, styles)? Do you have a design for your site?
  • When do you need the puzzle to be completed? Do you have a target date for release?

In addition, I normally build time into the estimate for calls and emails to discuss the project as well as revisions. Sometimes you need to see something to know if you like it or not, so I fully expect there to be changes. (Since my puzzle analogy doesn’t really work here, maybe think of it like writing a paper. Write a rough draft, make changes, polish it up and end up with your final copy.)

Here is a list of additional questions that allow me to learn more about you and your project, which will allow me to gauge the scope of work and deliver a better estimate on cost and time.

How about a ballpark?

If you’ve never worked with a developer or designer before, you may have no idea of how long the process typically takes. This isn’t representative of all projects, but here is a standard timeline.

Consult + Propose

  • We discuss your business, project, goals and requirements
  • I draft a proposal with 2-3 packages to fit your needs
  • You accept one of the packages, sign the contract and pay the deposit
  • 2-4 weeks

Prepare + Design

  • We refine your goals and determine a sitemap
  • You gather your content, images and branding
  • We collaborate on a site design
  • 2-4 weeks

Develop + Review

  • I build your site
  • We review it
  • You provide feedback and revisions
  • I make the revisions
  • We test the site
  • 2-4 weeks for development + 2-4 weeks for revisions and testing

Launch + Train

  • I release the site
  • We make sure everything is working properly
  • I train you on how to use the site
  • 1-2 weeks

Total Time

The total time is about 12-16 weeks. My projects often include one month of post-project website care where I continue to maintain your site and include up to 30 minutes of time for tasks or questions. After the month is up, you can choose to continue to work together. I love to continue to maintain my clients’ websites and help them grow their business online.

If you’d like to know how long it might take to complete your project, request a quote today.

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