When a small business owner is ready to design or update their website, they often struggle with how much time it is going to take to launch or relaunch. That can depend on a few things.
Typically the biggest deciding factors are determining whether their website is set-up properly, how much content do they have already and how much of that content is “production ready”? What that means is how much content is technically suitable to use online.
Many want to also generate new content for their site, like taking photos of new staff members or a newly renovated office space or embedding videos from events.
This takes time because they have to account for how much time it will take them to get the work from a third party vendor like a photographer, manufacturer or a copywriter.
For a basic website that provides essentially the same information that you can find in a brochure, it should take no longer than a month. For something more complicated like an e-commerce site for a shop, it could take 3 – 4 months, but here are 2 things you should keep in mind:
Make Sure You Have a Proper Site Installation
Hosting a site with a good web host and ensuring that the basics on the front-end and the back-end of the site are in place can take time, but in my own experience, unless they have an resolved dispute with an independent web host most of those problems can be resolved relatively quickly.
Making sure that a client’s website is planned and installed properly, so the client can increase the functionality of their site as they grow is very important. Having a well-planned site from the very beginning can save a small business lots of time and money.
Small business owners already have packed schedules and if my clients manage to carve-out some time to work on their website, I try to help them make that as carefree and seamless a process as possible.
The goal is to get it right the first time – so neither of us waste time or money and when they are ready to take their website to the next level they won’t have to start from scratch.
Expect to “Tweak” Things Along the Way
But once a site is designed, programmed, tested and launched – it has to be monitored for minor tweaks and improvements that can’t be detected before a site goes live. I offer my own clients a 30-Day Customer Service and Quality Assurance policy.
In short, I help my clients “breaking in” their new site in “real time” and on occasion we may need to make some fine adjustments or “tweaks” here and there, that we did not catch before.
I also like to provide my client with step-by-step training so they can walk away with a clear understanding of exactly what their site can and can’t do and why.
Quality assurance tests and client training add to your project’s timeline. They are services that most small business owners want but don’t consider when they are looking at timelines and proposals from designers for their site.
The bottom line is, how long it will take to get a website up will depend entirely on your needs, your budget and your availability. Work with your designer, to develop your project’s timeline and don’t forget to take into account your schedule, the designer’s current workload, the holidays, family obligations and the time needed to get all of this done as well as all of your other work.
On average I find that a project realistically can take anywhere from 2 – 3 months. But take your time! Plan and then plan some more. It will save you time and money in the long run on and then you can get back to doing what you do best!
Question: When it comes to planning your website, what are you struggling with the most? Share your comments and concerns below.
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