It’s the question that we get asked almost every single day, so we thought it about time that we created a quick and easy article that fields all the questions involved. With this simple 7-minute read you’ll find out how long your website will take, learn about some of the key stages involved, and get some exclusive top tips on how to get things moving faster.
I need it by the end of the week…
Okay, so we’re going to get this one out of the way right at the start. If someone promises to build you a website in a couple of days, and when you approach a professional web design agency in the hope they’ll match their offer, you’re not going to hear what you want.
This is because building a website is a technical, time-consuming, and highly detailed undertaking. It’s not something you simply throw together in a couple of hours if you want to do it right. Here are 3 things you need to take into account when you’re reviewing the turnaround times you’re quoted:
- The most skilled developers don’t just sit there idling — they’re sharpening their skills by continuously working on new projects. This means that if you expect them to start writing code 30 minutes after you hire them, you’re going to be disappointed. That said, a skilled team will have a steady flow of work that they know how to manage.
- They will have developed a proven approach that ensures they can give every web design project their best. It takes that long not because they want to keep you waiting, but because they’ve homed in on a structured approach as a result of delivering hundreds of projects.
- The time it takes you to hand over key information, review what’s created, and request any changes also have to be factored in. You might be someone who has everything ready, or you might be someone who isn’t aware of the level of input you’ll need to have.
How We Work
Whilst we hope the points above have introduced you to some of the constraints a typical web design agency has to work around, there’s no substitute for delving into the details. That’s why we’re going to talk you through the key steps in our process, and highlight ways you can help move things along.
Onboarding & Project Kick-off
This is the main strategising session that gets the project up and running. It’s the part that sets the tone for everything else that’s to follow, and it’s where your input is absolutely key.
We’ll lead the way by introducing you to the way we build and design websites, and we’ll have a whole host of discovery questions ready and waiting to discuss with you. This means that if you want to get your project off to a fast start, you’re going to need to come prepared. Don’t worry, it’s not a test about how much you know about web design, but it is your forum to tell us everything we need to know about your brand and audience.
We typically allow 1-2 weeks to get the onboarding and discovery taken care of, and if you want to ensure we get everything we need the first time, here’s a couple of tips on how to prepare:
- Create an elevator pitch length introduction to your brand and business that you can use to get us up to speed as quickly as possible
- Have a clear idea of the overall aim and purpose of your website, and of the people who you want to use it
Website Design & Strategy
This is where we need your input on the aesthetics and visuals you want your website to have. There’s a degree of subjectivity at this stage, which is why we really need your input to help guide the way. We’re not asking you to tell us exactly what you need us to do, but we do need to take our overall direction and vision from you if we’re going to develop a website design you like. Here’s what you can do to help:
- Gather all of your key branding: colours, logos, tag lines, writing style, etc. That way we can get an instant overview of the look and feel of the site you’re hoping for
- Identify any style of site you’ve seen that you like, as well as any that you definitely want to avoid imitating
- Provide feedback on the draft visual website at your earliest convenience, and be specific about any changes you would like made
This period typically takes 2 weeks, although it can take significantly longer given the specificity and lead time of the feedback.
Website & WordPress Development
Now that the visual website is complete we embark upon the full WordPress theme development to turn those visuals into a fully functional site. This stage typically takes 3 weeks, and it’s really helpful if you’re able to pass on any changes or modifications you need to the theme:
- Let us know of any issues you foresee at this point with any aspect of the work you have seen so far
- Be proactive when it comes to discussing the functionality and brand presence you expect to see in your demo site
Content Loading & Demo Website Review
It’s at this point that your website feels like it’s really taking shape as we spend a week turning your WordPress theme into a functional demo site. It will have all of the content and images requested uploaded, allowing you to click around and see for yourself how things are taking shape. The demo site testing is very much driven by you, and we typically allow 1 week to complete it. It’s a really crucial part of the web design process because it’s the first time that you will get to interact with our vision for your web presence.
This is the final link in the chain, and it’s here that your input and feedback are more important than ever. If you want to take your site live quickly and efficiently we suggest scheduling a planning call as soon as possible after the demo site testing is complete and signed off. That way we can get started on the launch right away and give you a live website within 2-3 days.
Common Mistakes You Need to Know About
Hopefully, now that you’ve heard how we progress our web design projects you’ll have a better understanding of just how long you can expect your website to take. To get you really up to speed we’re going to finish with the common mistakes we’ve come across over the years. Take them on board and you’ll find things start to move an awful lot faster.
Assuming the developer knows as much about your brand as you do
Being as specific as you can about what you want to achieve is the key to avoiding this mistake. No matter how well known your brand is, you can guarantee you’ll have more familiarity with it than anyone else. Share your knowledge with your web design team and you’ll have a much faster-paced project.
Not designating a member of your team to act as the liaison
Having a point of contact your developer can connect with is the best way to keep information flowing back and forth. If there are too many people involved then all that will do is reduce the chances of anyone taking the time to reply in a timely fashion.
Providing non-committal feedback
If you need something changing or amending it’s no problem at all, but make sure you’re specific. The job of a web design team is to create something that you like, so make sure you provide the clear and precise feedback needed to bring your vision to life.
What Happens Next?
Our goal is to make the process of designing a website quick and efficient so that you can build your brand as soon as possible. With a dedicated team ready and waiting to lend a hand, what are you waiting for?
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. If you want my team to just do your marketing for you, click here.