The answers to this question are as varied as the businesses that ask and answer them. It depends on what you need, who you’re working with, what you consider “new” and what you require to consider the website “done.”
Here at Websites For Anything, it typically takes six weeks to design, build, review, revise, and launch a redesigned small business website. Common exceptions are that websites larger than 15 pages usually take about eight weeks, and our 1-page new-business-focused website package only takes three weeks to complete.
Other companies might promise you a website in 24 or 48 hours, but that’s usually just a rough draft of the design. It’s a great start, but the website is hardly “done.” You still need to go through a proper process of reviewing, modifying, and adjusting the design and flow of the website before it’s truly ready for the public eye. Or they require all of your content up front before they will even begin work.
It Takes Six Weeks
If you take a look at our Project Roadmap you’ll see that we have a clear plan for the process of designing and building a small business website in five to six weeks. Following this process gives you a predictable timeline and helps us deliver you consistent, professional results.
Phase One – Two Weeks – Kickoff and Design
Your Client Representative begins your project with a Kickoff meeting (usually one to two hours) to discuss design concepts, the homepage, and the page structure of your website in detail. We schedule your Review One meeting for about two weeks after the Kickoff meeting and get to work. During this phase, we’re crafting your custom designed website while you’re organizing photos, writing content, and uploading or emailing those things to us. (Unless you need us to write it for you, of course.)
At the Review One meeting, we share our custom design with you and get your feedback. We also collect and look over your final content at this meeting to ensure everything looks good.
Phase Two – Two Weeks – Revise and Build
After the Review One meeting, we’ll offer you a couple of extra business days to “sleep on it”, show the design to your silent partners, and provide any additional feedback about the design. We then get to work revising the design based on your feedback and make any changes we agreed upon during the Review One meeting. We also take the content you’ve provided (or any we’ve written for you) and build out all the secondary pages, making sure they match the revised design.
At the Review Two meeting, we review the revised design together and walk through every page of the website. We discuss any tweaks or changes, test features together, and of course, give you a couple of days to “sleep on it” again and send us your feedback.
Phase Three – One Week – Finalize and Launch
With the Review Two notes and any extra feedback in hand, your Client Representative will oversee final changes to the website. We then start our 4-stage Launch Process which includes final technical checks on the site, foundational SEO, testing the contact form functionality, taking the website live, verifying some key things, testing the contact form (this time to you instead of us), and a bunch of other steps in between that I won’t bore you with. Once everything is verified, our customer support team will let you know that the site is LIVE, so you can begin showing it off to the world!
Do You Need It Faster?
If you need a new or updated website done more quickly than our six-week timeline, here are some suggestions and options:
- Let us know your timeline before we begin.
- Forgo your two-business-day “sleep on it” periods. This saves almost one week!
- Add a placeholder page to your project. Placeholder pages can usually be set up within one or two business days. This allows us (and you) to make sure we’re devoting the proper amount of time to the rest of the project.
- Have your content prepared in advance. The most common delay to a project is that we are waiting for content to build your pages.
- Skip pages that can wait. We can always add them later at a very reasonable cost.
- Skip paragraphs and images that can wait. Thanks to the Advanced Support included with every package, you can come back and have us add those at any time!
- Have everyone who has a say on the website in attendance for the Kickoff, Review One, and Review Two meetings and make final decisions in the meetings.
- Share the particulars of your vision, goals, and feedback early, clearly, and often.
- Communicate quickly and consistently with your Client Representative.
- Sort out your domain and technical details before Review One. Our support team can help with this.
- We offer one week and two week RUSH options. Give us a call or visit our FAQ page for more information.
Do We Need More Time?
Does six weeks seem like not enough time for your schedule or for how big your website is? Our goal is to never rush a project but to do it right. There is a balance between dragging things out and rushing things. In our experience, we’ve found that to six weeks is about right. But here are some reasons it might take more time:
- Lots of pages. When a website has more than 15 pages we’ll discuss extending the time between Review One and Review Two.
- Content Writing. Sometimes we need a little extra time if we’re writing content for your website for you.
- Group Decision-making. If your organization is led by a Board of Directors or the project is being overseen by a committee or team, we’ll plan extra time for feedback.
- Planned Trips & Vacations. We believe that downtime and family time are critical for both you and us. We always plan around those together!
- Unscheduled Crisis. People get sick, cars get their fenders bent, etc. We’ll do whatever we can to reschedule and get your project back on track.
Questions or Concerns About Your Web Design Timeline?
If you still have a question, please reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss the particulars of your situation and provide you with a custom estimation of how long it will take to move your website from concept to completion.