What I wish I could do right now is to give you a definitive answer with an exact time. But unfortunately, the true answer to how long does it take to make a website is this:

It depends.

This is true for almost anything that gets built. How long does it take to build a house? I’m willing to bet the 1,800 square foot ranch comes together a lot faster than the 4,000 square foot mansion. 

The same goes for websites. There is no one right answer. I’ve seen websites come together in a week, and I’ve seen them drag on for years. There are many factors that play into how long it takes to make a website.

How big is the website?

A simple brochure site that has five pages is going to be a lot faster than a 100 page website. If you simply need to showcase your services and portfolio, a little info about you, then your website will come together much faster than one that has a library of hundreds of blog posts.

What kind of functionality does your site need?

How you intend for your visitors to interact with your site makes a big difference in the complexity going on behind the scenes. A simple brochure site may have a few pages for visitors to review and a contact form for them to submit. But a more complicated site may require users to add items to their cart and checkout, sign up for a membership plan, or interact with the website in some other way. Maybe we need to integrate some third party apps into your site as well. These kinds of sites will take longer to create.

How complicated is your design?

There’s simple design and there’s complicated design and that also can be a factor in how long it takes to make a website. Do you also need a custom logo, custom icons, and a lot of other custom graphics? Do we need to figure out how to integrate other elements into your design and make it flow cohesively? The time it takes to design your website, as well as the time it takes to build out that design, also plays a role in that time it takes to make a website.

how long does it take to make a website

What’s a typical turnaround time for Sumy Designs?

Like I said, there really is no typical but we shoot for 6-8 weeks for most websites. Here’s how we break it down.

Discovery: The time we spend learning about your, your business, your competitors, and getting to know your needs and aesthetics.
1-2 weeks

Design: The phase where we take the information we’ve gather in discovery and turn it into a visual concept for you to review. It takes time to create the initial review, but there’s also a process of revisions and changes based on your feedback.
2-3 weeks

Development: During this phase, we take the design concept that was approved and create a custom WordPress theme for your website. Hopefully your content has been completed and approved, because during this phase we input all your content into your site and lay it out on each page.
1-3 weeks

Testing: We’ll spend time with you, going through your site and testing it, making sure it works well on phones and tablets, checking it on other devices, testing links and making revisions to make sure it’s performing its best.
1 week

Launch: The last step in the process, where we launch your site into the world. Hopefully the launch itself doesn’t take long, but we want to test and debug to make sure that your site is working with no issues. We also take this time to secure your site, make sure it’s submit to all the search engines properly and is working well on a variety of devices.
1 week

That’s it for a day in the life of a Sumy Designs website build, but what about other factors that could affect your timeline?

Your Team

Do you have a busy team or board that needs approve each phase? The more people you add to the mix, the longer the process takes, particularly if each person wants to provide input and have changes made based on their feedback.

Your Decisiveness

Your ability to make decisions is crucial to the time it takes to make a website. If you are prone to change your mind a lot, or have trouble making decisions, plan for the process to take a little more time for your website to be completed.

Your Content

One of the main things that slows down website development is not having your content ready. Your content is one of the most important aspects of your website, and unless you hire us for copywriting, it is something you’ll have to complete and have ready. The longer it takes you to finish and provide to us, the longer it takes us to complete your website.

Pro-tip: Start early writing your copy, allot time to work on it, and plan it on taking twice as long as you expect. Don’t forget to proofread.

Vacations, illness, and general busyness

Those of us here at Sumy Designs do sometimes take vacations and that may delay your website production. (We try to alert you when those occur so you’ll be prepared.) Our clients also sometimes take vacations and that is a factor too. We’re happy to work around your vacation schedule because everyone needs a vacation. Tack on the possibility of someone in the chain being sick, a death or birth in the family, and you have a lot of other chinks in the chain that can slow down the process.

In general, our clients are busy, and if you’re busy, you may have a tendency to put your website on the back burner. This can slow down the process too.

Tips for keeping your website project on track

  • Write your copy early and have it ready prior to the start date.
  • If you have a big team, designate one person as the liaison and final decision maker. Getting ten different emails from different people can slow down the process when you’re trying to get approval.
  • Be prepared. Look at other websites before you start, know who your competition is, and more important, know who your target audience is. Remember, your competitors are not your customers.

My Best Advice

Perfect is the enemy of done. This is a website on the Internet, it is not carved into stone. We have the ability to make changes all the time. You could spend days pouring over your content, finding every flaw and rearranging your sentence structure. You could overthink and second guess every photo and design element. But the beauty of having a WordPress website is that you can make changes. Your content is not final the day we publish. I literally change my website every single day and you can too. Don’t let minor indecisiveness delay launch. Just plan to revise and revamp. It’s always a good idea to review and refresh your website.

Have more questions about how long it takes to make a website? Leave us a comment! Ready to get started? Request a quote today.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

1 Comment

  1. Tim Graham on February 8, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Whatever the time frame for your site, Amy is the best at what she does. If you havent called on Amy to build your website, wait no longer. We are blessed to have Amy and SumyDesigns on our side. She is truly amazing.

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