In the last vlog I talked about making a "quick and simple" website, without really qualifying what "quick and simple" means. So, in today's vlog I'm sharing how long it takes to make a website.
At least, these are the time frames that I work with based on my web design process (which you can read about in detail here). Each of the four steps of my process require a certain minimum time to complete, but in the video I provide details on what goes on with each of these phases and why it takes the time it does.
Here is the video, and I'll provide some additional thoughts below.
So, based on the video its important to think about what the main factors are that delay or extend the amount of time it takes to build a website.
Two Main Time Factors
At the end of the day delays with a web design project typically come from two main factors:
Factor 1: The technical requirements
The more technically complex a website is to build — in other words the more technical requirements you have for your website such as E-Commerce, social media integration, forms, media, etc. — the longer it will take to implement. Each additional bit of functionality on a website increases the time it takes to build it.
The good news is, since these are functionalities that most web designers have experience with, they can anticipate the amount of time it would take to build them and factor that into the timelines they include in their proposal. We know how much extra work it will take to integrate an application form on a client's website, so it is easy for us to include that into our timeline estimates.
The second factor is a bit harder to anticipate though ...
Factor 2: The client's feedback and content
That's right, half of the reason a website takes as long as it does to build is based on both the timeliness of a client's feedback as well as whether or not the client is able to provide necessary content for their website to launch. Most client's don't realize just how time consuming content development will be, and it is almost always what ends up delaying a project.
Content is sort of a double-edged sword. On one side you have the fact that a client has to be the one to come up with the content for their website (which can add time to the project), and on the other side you have a common belief that website content determines the length of time for an entire website design project.
The truth about website content
As I alluded to, most people believe that the more content that goes on a website, the longer it will take to build it. So a "3 page website" should take 1/3 the amount of time as a "10 page website". But that is actually not how it works. The time to create a 3 page website and a 10 page website are almost the same.
In the video I mentioned something that is worth repeating here:
The belief that a 3 page website takes less time (or money) than a 10 page website comes from a common practice in web design:
Charging by the Page
Many web designers charge by the page (which we don't) and so people believe that more pages equals more time and money. At Akamai Websites we actually believe this is a disservice. It is basically telling people that every page, regardless of the technology implemented on that page, is equal.
If you have a 3 page website with a lot of crazy technical requirements or a 10 page website that is mostly just text content, then the requirements for the 3 page website are much higher and, at least in our book, it would cost more than the 10 page website.
We charge based on the technical requirements of a project. And we recommend working with designers who do the same, because it means that they are focused on helping you find solutions, not on helping them find ways to nickle and dime you.
In Summary ...
So, hopefully this vlog has helped you get a grasp on how long a website design project should take, and (more importantly) why. If I could provide you with one piece of advice that will make the biggest difference to you as you look for a web designer than it would be this:
No matter who you work with to build your website, make sure that they have a good grasp on the technical requirements for the various things you need and want to implement on the site. "Oh, yeah, we can do that." isn't the answer you're looking for. You want them to explain why what you want done is beneficial in relation to your goals and needs, and can provide a context for how it gets done and how it will be implemented.
Don't be afraid to ask detailed questions of your potential web designer. The more you are comfortable that they have a grasp of the requirements, the better the end results will be.
Want to talk shop?
And it probably goes without saying, but if you want to talk to us about your website project, please don't hesitate to reach out. Just contact us and we'll get back to you right away to learn more about what you want to do and make sure we're a good fit to help you achieve your goals.
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