One of the most intimidating things about web design is the time investment. A lot of people new to website building can be intimidated by the notion of fitting another task into their schedule, especially one so potentially time-consuming. I know that I can barely catch a breather some weeks, much less carve out time for building or maintaining a website. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save time and effort here.
Laying out a timeline for site development can help you get a grasp on exactly what to expect when building your site. It will also help you plan accordingly based on your- and your site’s- needs. Using an effective site builder and content management system like WordPress is also key to making a great site in a reasonable timeframe. So how long does it take to build an entire website from scratch and how long does it take to build a website you want in WordPress? Let’s first take a look at what kinds of websites can be built in WordPress and how your timeline might differ. You can also jump ahead to relevant sections using the table of contents.
Table of Contents
Web Design Timeline: Large Sites vs Independent Ones
As you can imagine, the average time to make a site will vary greatly depending on the scope of your project.
The amount of time it takes to build a site will, of course, vary. One of the biggest factors has to do with a site’s size. When a team of coders and designers is building something for a large company, the development process will typically be rigorous and lengthy. As such, the development timeline will look something like this:
- 1-2 Weeks for assessing needs and determining goals
- 1-3 Weeks for hard concepts and planning among the team
- 1-2 Months or more for development, again, depending on the final concept. Plus, an additional couple of weeks for review
So, for sites that require a team of developers, the timeline for building a site covers about half a year. In addition, there will be after-the-fact maintenance and update development time, which can be ongoing or indeterminate. This is something you’ll have to consider even for a personal site. Luckily, the timeline for building a site on your own is much more condensed.
A Personal Website Design Timeline
While it still requires an investment, the timeline for building a personal site is relatively short.
Since a personal blog or small business site has a tighter scope, it will also require much less time to put together. Without the need for a large team to cover all the work, there is much less need for coordination, pitching, and rigid planning. As you can probably tell from the last section’s timeline, this will already save months of development time. In fact, if you use the right content management system it can take less than a week! You can even break down development into how many hours will it take to build a site. Using WordPress, you can get a site up and running in a matter of days if you already have a plan in place.
- Planning: Depending on how much you’ve already considered about your site and its needs, this can take a few hours to a couple of days. Of course, you can always jump right in and start building as well. Learning your way around WordPress will help you understand exactly what your site’s potential needs are.
- Building your site: This is where all the fun happens. WordPress makes it easy to pick themes, visualize site layouts, and publish content for your new site. Depending on how in-depth you want to get for your first version, this may take a couple of hours or a couple of days of effort. Just remember: the more time you put in now, the less you’ll have to improve on later.
- Securing a domain and hosting: We’ll discuss selecting the right domain and host in the next sections, but for now, know that this will take you less than an hour to do. All you have to do is find the domain you want at a registrar site and purchase it. Selecting a web host is a similar process since it’s essentially just buying a service. We also have a blog post dedicated to breaking down the difference between domains and hosting, as well as the process for associating them.
- Publish your site: In the last step, I mentioned associating your domain and web host. Depending on the service, Domain Name Setup can take a couple of days. At that point, you’ll just have to be patient. Once it’s done, though, you’re ready to publish your site!
I mentioned that this plan assumes that you are utilizing WordPress and for good reason. WordPress is one of the most accessible and easy-to-use content management systems on the market. It’s free and open-source, but don’t think that means lesser quality. Unlike site builders like Squarespace or Wix, WordPress allows for much more flexibility with your site while utilizing an approachable interface. Although those other sites might allow you to publish a site more quickly, WordPress will save you much more time- and effort- in the long run.
The Average Time to Make a Website: Brainstorming and Decisions
You can save a lot of time by having a plan for your site.
As I mentioned, the time it takes to start building your site depends a lot on how much thought you’ve already put in. It’s important to know your goals, basic site functions, and potential layout before jumping in. If you are dedicating a site to blogging, you’ll want to make sure your blog feature is front and center in your theme. If you plan on building a site for eCommerce, you’ll want to install plugins for transactions via the WordPress dashboard. However, never be afraid to do more research and see what other users recommend for similar sites. Alternatively, you can also jump right in and start exploring the WordPress system. Knowing the options available to you might spur ideas as well!
How Long Does it Take to Build a Website: Content
Content is your site’s lifeblood, so let’s look at what to keep in mind for it.
Your chosen content is what will give your site longevity in the long-run. As such, it’s important to consider, even during planning. Obviously, you’ll have some notion of what your site will entail from the get-go. An eCommerce site, for instance, will need a storefront and plugins for online transactions as well as site statistics and tracking. On the other hand, if you’re building a blog, you’ll want updates feeds front-and-center, maybe an “about” page for yourself, and links to other sites or social media for sharing.
Speaking of a content feed, you’ll also want to consider updates for your site, depending on your needs. Going back to eCommerce, you’ll probably want to keep visitors apprised of new products, whereas blog visitors will expect regular updates. This is all especially important if you’re looking to make money off of your site since regular updates are an important factor for SEO and engagement. So know your content, know your audience, and plan accordingly.
How Long Does It Take to Create a Website with Hosting?
Once you have the front-end of your site ready, there’s also some technical work to be done.
As you saw, much of the technical work has to do with securing a site domain and host. As opposed to content, hosting is something that users might not be aware of but will make all the difference in the long run. Basically, a web host is a service that provides a server to store and deliver your site’s data. They are in charge of updating, maintaining, and securing all the architecture that lets your site stay up. Therefore, choosing a good host will end up saving a lot of time and headaches by providing a reliable service that takes on these responsibilities for you.
WP Super Host provides up-to-date security, reliable up-time, and a dedicated support team that will help you resolve any issues as quickly as possible. You won’t have to worry about security breaches that need your attention or website crashes that can lose site traffic. You’ll get the most for your time- and money- by visiting WP Super Host’s pricing page and choosing the right plan for your site.
Website Design Timeline with Maintenance
How long does it take to set up a website is one question, the timeline of maintenance is another.
As mentioned before, other sites can make site maintenance a hassle. Luckily, WordPress provides a couple of distinct advantages here, namely through plugins and access to coding. Plugins on WordPress are independently developed applications that can expand site functionality. This can include statistics, eCommerce options, dedicated page-builders, and many, many more. Plugins are all easily accessible through the WordPress dashboard. Despite their simplicity, they can go a long way in helping your site run smoothly. If you ever have an issue resolving a problem through the usual interface, it’s easy to get into site coding WordPress. Even if you aren’t familiar with code, there are plenty of resources out there to help.
To Sum Up
As you can see, the question of “how long does it take to create a website?” does not have one, simple answer. Depending on the scope and scale of your site, it can take anywhere from a day to a year. However, for personal sites, the process doesn’t need to be any longer than a week or two. It all comes down to using the right tools and planning ahead.