With a web solution, organizations can provide services online, promote their goods, and gain a competitive advantage. However, a common question that business owners and C-level managers ask is “How long does it take to build a website?”.
In this article, we will consider how much time software engineering companies need to deliver each project stage, from prototyping to testing.
How long does it take to build a website?
Creating a site of medium complexity requires 1.5-3 months. Besides the project size and level of difficulty, the experience of a software engineering company also affects the time necessary to make a web solution.
When looking for an IT service vendor, it is better to choose a firm that specializes in Website Development.
Cooperating with a reliable partner, customers faster get quality products that align with their needs and expectations.
The process of site creation includes the following stages:
- Discovery—a custom website development company collects project requirements, analyzes business objectives, and helps the client to prepare a technical specification.
- Design—from mockups to a dynamic prototype, the team makes product design. It is crucial to create a user interface/experience (UI/UX) design, so that end customers can enjoy a beautiful look and intuitive navigation across all devices.
- Development—an IT service vendor builds a website by adding the necessary functionality and coding a design.
- Testing and debugging—quality assurance engineers check a web solution for bugs and errors, compliance with the requirements, security vulnerabilities. By resolving the detected issues, the company prepares the product for launch.
- Launch and project maintenance—after release, a custom software engineering company can provide post-release project support.
When asking “How long does it take to build a website from scratch?”, business owners and C-level managers should know the main factors affecting the website development time.
What factors affect the website development timeline?
1. Project size and complexity
Project size and complexity have a significant impact on the time necessary to develop it. A simple website can contain just one page while large solutions can involve dozens of pages.
Building rich functionality—including, for example, a catalogue of services, authorization, user profiles, online payments, admin panel, an artificial intelligence-based chatbot, etc.—will consume more time compared with a small product consisting of the main page and blog.
2. Technical Specification Preparation
A Technical Specification is a document that contains software requirements:
- how the website should look and behave
- what actions users can do
- what tasks the product should perform
A Tech Specification also describes the site information structure, operating systems supported, and characteristics of a web solution such as high availability, security, and scalability.
Since it is difficult to prepare this document, especially when there is no technical background, a software engineering company can assist in this issue. However, if the organization has provided a clear specification, it allows both the client and vendor to reduce website development time.
To create a Software Requirements Document (SRS), an IT firm needs to dive into the customer’s business problems and objectives. Thanks to this, an IT service vendor will be able to write a SRS taking into account every small detail. From discussing project issues, preparing a technical specification, and approving it with the client, this stage usually takes 12 days.
The average time to create a Technical Specification is 12 days.
2. Website Content Creation
Content creation is another factor affecting website development time. Although it may seem to be a simple task, C-level managers and business owners should focus on it to describe their goods and/or services in the best way possible. If the organization decides to include a blog, it will be reasonable to prepare at least a few articles.
Additionally, the company should focus on Search Engine Optimization to increase high Google rankings. It is worth noting that software engineers are generally not involved in this stage. In most cases, customers prepare site content with the help of in-house employees, freelancers, or a third-party marketing agency. We recommend that you set aside 10-25 days to write the required descriptions and articles.
The average time to create website content is 14-30 days.
To create a prototype of a website, an experienced website development company usually needs 3-10 days. With a clickable prototype, the customer and vendor can visualize the structure of a future product and imagine how it will work in action. Employing design tools such as Zeplin and InVision, clients can leave comments on how to enhance the product or modify it, so that it meets expectations.
The average time for website prototyping is 7-14 days.
4. Layout of website pages
When estimating how long it will take to build a website, a company should take into account the time for layout development, including fonts, layers, and graphics.
The average time for creating website layouts is 6-13 days.
At this stage of custom website development, client participation is minimized. The team builds the business logic and the required functionality. An experienced software engineering company needs about seven days to create a web solution.
The average time for programming a website is 7 days.
6. Site testing
After design and development, it is important to test a software solution. This stage directly affects the time required to build a website. The more features and web pages the product has, the more hours quality assurance engineers need to check it for bugs and errors.
The average time for website testing is 4-5 days.
How long does it take to build a simple website?
Simple websites generally consist of 1-4 pages, have a standard set of blocks, and don’t contain many complex design elements such as animations.
Making a one-page site can take between 5-16 days. In case the organization has already had a prototype allowing it to visualize the future product, web development consumes less time.
If the company needs to build a custom site as soon as possible, for instance, to pitch the product for investment or move its business online during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to start with a simple solution. Then, the institution can gradually extend the website, adding new features, pages, content, and design components.
Recommendations to improve time-to-market
If you aim to reduce time-to-market, you should:
- Participate in the project—when building a website, it is important to check out intermediary results, review the outcome of each stage, and provide the team with feedback. This will help software experts to faster deliver a product that meets business goals and client expectations.
- Hold regular meetings—communicating with the team throughout the site creation process, you will be able to quickly address arising issues while getting answers to various questions.
- Hire a reliable website development company—collaborating with a trusted software development firm specializing in web solutions, you are likely to reduce costs and time-to-market as skilled engineers will address technical challenges much faster.
When asking “How long does it take to build a website from scratch?”, C-level managers and business owners should consider project size and complexity. It is crucial to define how the product will add value to users, what features it should have to address their problems.
Creating a software requirements document on their own, companies can reduce the website development time. However, it is great only if an SRS is prepared by in-house specialists with a technical background. Since a specification contains multiple tech details, it should be written by professionals.