How Long Does it Take to Build a Website?

The key to success in today’s digital age is a robust online presence—without a carefully crafted website, you could potentially miss out on winning leads that help your brand thrive. However, building a custom website takes time—and more of it than you might anticipate. 

If you’re new to the website development process, this guide will tell you what you need to know about creating a website from the ground up.

Factors That Affect How Long it Takes to Build a Website

How long it takes to build your website will depend on what you want it to do, how you want it to look, and whether you plan to equip it with multiple media types.

Type of Website

Basic websites typically comprise home, about, product or service, and contact pages. However, added subcategories can contribute to a slower website build. For instance, case studies, galleries, portfolios, and landing pages are all factors that can take up more time in the development process. 

Factors such as eCommerce compatibility and integrations can also add to your overall timeline. 

Number of Pages

Depending on how many pages you want to publish on your website and how you intend to populate them, they can take weeks or months to design and prototype. For instance, compared to only 20 website pages, which can take between one and two weeks, developing a hundred can take up to eight weeks.

Media Elements

What you publish on your website can also dictate build time. For example, if you intend to publish high-quality original photographs, outsourcing a photographer and performing edits can take time if you intend to publish high-quality original pictures. Similarly, crafting and posting original videos, infographics, and animations can take as long.

Copywriting is another element to consider—persuasive and informative writing can take more time than you’d anticipate.

Chosen Developer

Another factor to consider when developing a timeline is your chosen developer and their experience level. Depending on the complexity of your website, you can choose to work with a junior, mid-level, or senior developer. 

Generally, a developer’s efficiency can increase between 20% to 30% with every year of experience.

What content management system and builder language (HTML, JavaScript, or CSS) your developer uses can also influence your timeline. 

Using a Website Builder

Most drag-and-drop website builders will promise a fully functional website in just five minutes. However, these solutions may only be suitable for those looking to create standard websites with simple functions. 

Website builders are ideal for small business owners with little technical experience and a tight budget. Builders like Wix or Squarespace can provide you with an up-and-running website in literal minutes, though can be challenging to customize should you decide to make significant changes.

In addition, some website builders have limited eCommerce functionality and can limit your creative control. 

how long does it take to build a website

Stages of Website Development

While some businesses manage to develop fully-functioning websites in-house, collaborating with outsourced developers can scale your timeline down significantly. With the right help and a concrete plan, here is what you can expect throughout each step of the website development process.

Goal-Setting (1 – 2 Weeks)

When developing a website, preparation is half the battle. The key to preventing delays and staying on-track is knowing what your website should do. Defining that goal can provide a clearer timeline of tasks and execution. Let’s look at how several options can dictate your timeline.

  • Marketing: Every website is a marketing tool. While marketing websites will require SEO knowledge, they are typically faster to complete because of their lack of customization.
  • Product launch: Compared to marketing websites, product pages require more customization, functions, and a handful of design elements that can take a longer time to process.

What you discuss with your developer can also affect your timeline. While allowing them complete creative freedom can take a lot off your plate, you may spend more time reviewing the content they provide.

Developer Selection (1 Week – 1 Month)

Your website goals will ultimately influence who you select as your developer. For example, if you aim to introduce your brand to the public, a simple yet eye-catching design by a smaller developer may suffice.

On the other hand, more established brands who want to incorporate more interactive elements and pages might have to seek multiple management layers.

Design (1 – 3 Weeks)

After choosing a developer and creating a loose action plan, it’s time to develop design mockups. Often called wireframes, these website blueprints indicate where specific elements will appear. Developers usually present mockups for every page of your website, allowing you to give detailed feedback. 

Depending on the complexity of your wireframe, the initial design process can take up to three weeks. You’ll also have to provide brand guidelines and important information to establish a clear design path, which may take longer the more requirements you have. 

In-Depth Development (1 – 2 Weeks)

Once you’ve approved every mockup, it’s time to dive deep into development. During this stage, developers create a fully functioning website, providing updates as they progress.

While developers will already have a detailed blueprint to build upon, expect to experience a few minor delays.

Final Review (1 – 2 Weeks)

Before sending a website for review, developers will first test and optimize the materials. If everything has gone to plan, any changes should be minor. Edits might involve simple fixes like changes in visual elements or minor functionalities.

In addition, you might discover you want to incorporate new features down the line, in which case investing in a long-term developer can become useful. 

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The Bottom Line

Depending on how many moving parts you plan to incorporate into your website, how long it takes to build can vary significantly. However, with the right developer and technological support, you can deploy an engaging and functional website that delivers the results you need.

If you’re in the market for a web developer with multi-industry experience, look no further than Igloo. Our experts are well immersed in various niches and know how local users behave. Whatever you’re looking for, we can deliver.


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