How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?

Posted 17.06.2024

By Pete Bingham

Building a new website can feel like a daunting task. Getting it right involves several key stages: research and planning, web design, web development, and finally, launch. Each of these steps has its own set of processes and checks, with skilled experts playing their part along the way.

The time it takes to build a website can vary based on the project’s complexity and scope, the tools and technology used, and the skill level of the people involved. In most cases, this can take between a month and six months. In this article, we’ll break down each phase of the website building process and explore what factors affect the timeline.

An example of the wireframes and protypes we build in Figma

 

The Web Design Process

Before a professional website is built, web designers take the lead. They start with research and planning to inform their initial wireframes and mockups, before finally creating a fully designed prototype. The web design process can be broken down into these three key areas:

 

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Research and Planning

The foundation of any successful website project starts with thorough research and planning. This phase requires a deep understanding of the client’s needs, target audience, and business goals. Key insights are gained through market and competitor research, defining critical project objectives like increasing sales or improving brand awareness, and outlining the project’s scope in terms of pages and features. Perhaps the new site needs a new drag-and-drop WYSIWYG page editor, or a whole new eCommerce function adding in. Knowing all of this information upfront will help to establish a clear budget and timeline.

 

A mockup icon with a placeholder image and some text

Wireframing and Mockups

Once planning is done, the next step is wireframing and mockups. Wireframes are basic layouts that outline the website’s structure and functionality, while mockups add visual design elements – all informed by the research and planning phase. Our web design team uses prototyping tools like Figma to add design and branding elements such as colours and typography to breathe life into the wireframes.

 

 

Two text boxes, with coments and video icons

Approval and Development Handover

Once the client gives their feedback and any revisions are made, we hand over the approved design to our skilled web development team. In this phase, our project managers check that the website’s design and functionality align perfectly with the client’s brief – confirming all technical, structural and SEO requirements are met. Depending on scope, revisions and feedback cycles, the web design process stage can typically take around two weeks.

 

A screen showing php code

The Web Development Process

With the designs now crafted by our web design team, the next phase is to transform these prototypes into a fully functional website. This involves a comprehensive process of coding, backend database setup, and configuring the content management system (CMS) to precisely meet the client’s needs. The website development process typically consists of the three following phases:

 

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Front-end Development

Front-end development is the process of bringing the designs to life on a staging site (hidden from public view) using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to code the website’s structure and styling, adding interactivity and developing the user experience.

 

Back-end Development

To ensure websites function smoothly, it’s crucial to have all the essential components in place – the nuts and bolts that operate behind the scenes. Depending on the complexity of a website, this may involve tasks such as configuring and managing product databases, integrating secure payment gateways and order management systems, as well as customising the content management system (CMS) to meet the client’s preferences. Our clients are given ample opportunity and time to road-test their new website before our web developers move on to deployment.

 

Testing, Deployment, and Launch

Thorough testing ensures that all of our websites function flawlessly and meet the expectations of our clients and their customers. We meticulously check all functionality, and compatibility across various browsers and devices, as well as conducting rigorous security checks to ensure the utmost protection.

Once both the client and our development team are satisfied, the website is prepared for deployment. With a comprehensive and well-tested launch day checklist in hand, our experienced team ensures every detail is in place for a smooth launch, monitoring the site over the course of a week or two to address any potential issues swiftly, ensuring a successful launch.

As you can probably appreciate, the web development timeline can vary hugely, ranging from a month to several months, with complexity playing a far more significant factor in this phase compared to design.

 

Imperial College London new website

So, How Long Does it Take to Build a Custom Website?

At Frogspark, we’ve wrapped up plenty of simple business websites in a matter of weeks, while others have stretched out over several months. Ultimately, when building your website, it boils down to the scope of your project. A straightforward website without too many bells and whistles might clock in around a month or two for completion. On the flip side, a more expansive enterprise eCommerce website is likely to span something like 4 to 6 months.

 

For a clearer picture crafted to your specific needs, we recommend getting in touch with one of our team members. They’ll be happy to provide an estimated cost and timeline to guide you through the process.

 

What Can Affect the Time It Takes to Create a Website?

From complexity to client feedback cycles, there are many factors that can extend a custom web project timeline.

 

Project Complexity

The complexity of the project is a major factor in determining the timeline. A simple website with a few pages and basic functionality will take significantly less time to build than a complex eCommerce site with advanced features. A skilled project manager can help navigate these complexities and keep things on track, but unexpected technical challenges or changes in scope can throw a wrench in the works.

 

Content Creation

Content is king for any website, but how long it takes to whip it up depends on the volume and type of content required. Whether it’s text, images, videos, or other media, crafting top-notch content can take a good chunk of time and if you don’t have your content ready to populate your new website with, you could delay your project significantly.

An example of the wireframes and protypes we build in Figma

 

Feedback & Revisions

Timely and clear feedback from the client can speed up the process, which is why we have very clear feedback procedures, with established communication channels and a dedicated project manager. We encourage our clients to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns promptly, allowing us to address them efficiently. Our collaborative approach ensures that we’re always aligned with the client’s vision and expectations.

 

Your Questions, Answered


 

Can you build a website in a day?

Well, theoretically, it’s possible, but it all boils down to the complexity of your project and how realistic the timeline is. Can we build a bespoke eCommerce site in 24 hours? Probably not. But a simple landing page or a one-pager? That’s definitely more manageable.

However, consider whether rushing your project is doing your business justice. Have you thought through all the details, and what kind of return on investment are you expecting? We’ve been in the web design and development game long enough to know that a job worth doing is worth doing well.

 

Can I build my own website?

Thinking about taking the DIY route for your website? It’s certainly tempting, and for simpler projects, it can be quite doable. Platforms like Wix, WordPress or Squarespace offer user-friendly tools that make website creation accessible to just about anyone. However, before diving in, consider the intricacies of your project. While you might be able to craft a basic site using a website builder, more complex functionalities usually require coding expertise.

Screenshot of the WordPress Gutenberg page editor

 

Plus, there’s the question of design – ensuring your website reflects your brand in the best light possible requires a designer with some creative flair. Of course, you can pick up an off-the-shelf pre-built theme for your website, but how many other sites are using the exact same one? How will you stand out from the crowd?

We’ve seen many DIY sites in our many years of web design and development – and we know that while building your own site can be satisfying, there’s real value in enlisting professional help to ensure it’s done right.

 

Is a website redesign quicker than building a new website?

When it comes to giving your website a makeover, opting for a simple website redesign can often be a quicker and more cost-effective route than starting from scratch. If you’re just sprucing up the visuals and making minor tweaks here and there, you could be looking at a turnaround time of just a few weeks. But if you’re going all-in with a complete overhaul of the structure and functionality – you might as well be building a brand-new website.

The most crucial thing is having your content ready to roll alongside a clear idea of what you want to achieve with any redesign. Are you aiming for a sleeker look, improved user experience, or better conversion rates? After all, if your website’s more than five years old, it might be worth taking a closer look under the hood before you opt for a simple facelift, as there could be more pressing issues beneath the surface, such as out-of-date technical functions or SEO implementations.

 

Speaking with one of our team can help set you on the right path and help you decide which is the best option for you.

 

Our Professional Web Design and Development Services

At Frogspark, we understand that building a website is no small feat. With our professional web design and development services, we’ve got you covered from start to finish. Whether you’re looking to create a stunning online presence or expand into the world of eCommerce, our experienced team is here to bring your vision to life.

With years of industry experience and a portfolio full of successful projects, we’ve honed our craft to deliver exceptional results every time. Plus, with a dedicated project manager and web developer by your side, you can rest assured that every aspect of your project will be handled with care and attention to detail.

Ready to take your website to the next level? Get in touch with us today and let’s make something amazing together!

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