How long does it take to build a website?
Excited about turning your big idea into an online business? If you’ve already registered your domain name and bought a hosting package, the next step is to build your website.
You’re probably wondering how long you can expect it to take before your site is ready to launch. Is it days, weeks, months?
There’s no correct answer. The time it takes to build a website depends on many factors – how you want it to look, whether it’s a basic five-page site or an online shop, whether you’ll be building it yourself or hiring professionals to do it for you.
In this post we’ll provide you with some rough estimates of how long it would take to build a site, depending on how you choose to create it, so you walk away with a better answer than “it depends…”
Let’s begin with the planning stage.
Determine your needs and create a plan
Lots of people dive right into building their site without having a clear idea of how they want it to look.
There’s nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about your new site and wanting to get started straight away. Just make sure that before you dive in, you take some time to draw up a plan of how you want your site to look and function.
Without a plan, there’s a chance you’ll lose track of your aims and end up with a site that isn’t suitable for your business.
So, here are some things you’ll need to consider at this stage:
- What your site’s primary goal is. For some sites, the goal is to get prospects to a physical location while for others it’s to drive online sales.
- The pages and functionality you want your site to have. For example, a flower boutique should include pictures of the flowers and arrangements, as well as the location and instructions on how to get there. An agency might also need a blog.
- A basic site map to give you an idea of what pages and content you’ll need. If you’re unsure about what your business site will need, then take a look at this guide that walks you through the different kinds of landing pages so you can determine which ones you might need.
Why is this important? Because preparation is half the battle, and having a plan of action in place can help speed up the process of getting your website up and running.
Now, keep in mind that we won’t be talking about content in this guide. Instead, we’ll focus on how long it takes to build a site that looks good and is ready for you to add your content.
Let’s get started.
If you build it yourself from scratch
A few hours to two weeks
If you don’t need a custom website, if you’re familiar with HTML code and have time to work on it yourself, you can choose this option.
Depending on your technical skills, the type of site and how much time you can allocate daily to create it, this can take from a few hours for a basic website with a few pages to up to a few weeks for a bigger website or an online shop.
The good news? If you get web hosting from 123 Reg, you’ll have access to lots of tools and free applications, including WordPress, Joomla and Prestashop, that allow you to create blogs, good looking websites and online shops quickly and hassle-free.
If you don’t have experience with content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, don’t worry. It may seem confusing at first but once you learn how to get around, which shouldn’t take too long, you’ll find that it’s easy to use.
Need more help? We’ve got you covered with a great guide that explainshow you can use WordPress to build the site you need.
If you use a website builder
A few hours
If you’re not familiar with code or you just don’t want any technical hassle, then using a site builder is the best option for you.
For example, the 123 Reg website builder only takes a few minutes to set up and then you can start building your site. How? Easy. You choose a template, customise the photos, colours and information, and then you simply click ‘Publish’ to get your site online.
Here’s how it works:
There’s a variety of templates to choose from for all types of sites and businesses, from event planning to real estate and photography. Rest assured they’re all responsive, which means that your site will look and work properly on all devices – desktops, tablets and smartphones. This is extremely important considering the increasing number of users now accessing the web using mobile devices.
Now, if you sell products on your website, we’ve also got you covered with several ecommerce packages that make it simple to build an online shop and start selling online.
If you hire professionals to build it for you
15 days to 3 months
If you don’t have the time, skills or patience to build a site yourself, you can always hire an agency or a freelance web designer and a web developer to do it for you.
Chances are you’ll get a good-looking design with all the bells and whistles. However, this option (especially if you required a very complex site) can prove to be costly and time-consuming.
Web developer Bill Erickson wrote an article where he explains the stages to building a new site. The first three stages – discovery, design and development – take about 12 weeks. Add to that the modification period, which can take up to two weeks. That’s three months and a half.
Take into account that this time estimate doesn’t also include the time you spend researching and interviewing developers and designers, nor the potential delayed start due to their availability.
Want it faster?
Try the Make Me a Website service where our team of online experts will take care of all areas of your site. They’ll not only design, implement and get your site up and running without a big budget, but they can also provide compelling content and images for your site to entice more visitors to buy from you.
Plus, they can even promote your new site to make it easier for your target audience to find your business online.
How long does it take?
Once you provide the expert team with all your ideas and assets, they typically need around 15 working days, often less, to prepare a draft of your site.
Building a website that looks good and works properly can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months, depending on your needs and goals for your new site, as well as your budget.
Hopefully, you now have a better sense of what factors go into the timing of a website building project and how long it can take to get it up and running depending on which option you choose.
Just make sure you first create a plan so that the project moves as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Good luck!