How long should a web design take?
The length of time to build a website, including development and design all depends on the customer’s wants and needs. After all, they are in charge of the final design.
This is a follow up to my article What To Expect When Building A Website.
Development and Design
Developing and designing a website can be time consuming, or time well spent. It all depends on two factors.
One, the developer/designer needs to know what they are doing, and have the tools they need to do the job swift and efficiently.
Two, the customer needs to know what they want on their website.
If either of these factors aren’t present, the development and design of the site could take a while.
We at South Metro Web Designs strive for a 30-day turnaround on website development and design.
Once an agreement between the developer/designer is reached, the developer starts building the hosting server where the files will reside, and installing all of the software that will run the website. If the customer has their own hosting, the developer will have to have access to said server in order to install the software.
Once the server is built and all software is installed. A password for the cPanel (backend to the server) is created for the customer (at least that’s what we do.) This password can get the customer into the server if ever they need to. At South Metro Web Designs, we give the customer complete control over the hosting that they are paying for. They could even go in and delete all of the website files (not a good idea), so this password should be kept secure.
The customer will also have a login and password to the back end of the website itself. This is where changes and updates are done. Much damage can be done here as well, so that password should be kept secure along with the one for the server.
This is where the designer takes over. They should have already been working with the customer to determine what they want. If it’s a site built from a template, the designer will have sent them a diagram of the template they selected with sections marked so the customer can tell them what they want where.
If it’s a website built from scratch, the designer will be sending mockups (also called “wireframes” to the customer to be approved.
This part is where the vast majority of time comes in. If the designer can’t keep up with the customer’s requests, the site won’t be delivered on time. Likewise if the customer doesn’t respond to the designer’s offerings, the same thing happens.
The two have to work together.
Let’s Build a Website
Once the customer and designer comes to an agreement as to what the website should look like, the designer then starts creating the site. As mentioned above, designs from templates will not take as long, as the basic layout is already created. A custom built site will take longer.
At South Metro Web Designs, we build a website live. The customer can see the changes as they are made. The website is password protected so no one stumbles upon it by accident. A “Coming Soon” page will be what the public sees.
The purpose of this is so the customer can review changes as they are made, so if something doesn’t look right the designer can make the change immediately instead of having a laundry list of items to correct at the end.
The customer will be sending photos and text to be inserted into the website. Prompt delivery of these is essential to the timeline.
The designer will be working with the customer this whole time on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The site will need to have the correct keyword in it in order for people to find it when they search for the customer’s products or services. Certain bits of text will possibly need to be changed in order to do this. When we build a website, this is standard practice.
Once the design is complete, the designer will run SEO tests on it to see if it conforms to Google’s search requirements.
Another set of tests that will need to be run on the website is compatibility. This is where the designer checks to see if the site looks good on all devices (desktop/laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) Many different tests will be run for many different devices.
If any of you have a website that you want to do a cross browser check, here is a free resource.
The final slate of tests to be run is through a site checker. It will scan the site for errors. Common errors are photos too big, broken links, etc. Any errors on this or the compatibility tests will have to be fixed before the site can be delivered.
Once the design is complete, all tests have been run and any issues fixed, the website will be delivered to the customer.
It’s a Lot
Yes it is. This is why a professionally built website out performs any of the DIY website builders. Developers and designers put pride in their work. Or job isn’t just to build a website for the customer. Instead, our job is to build a website that will drive people to the customer.
Check us out at southmetroweb.com for your next project.