A very popular question we get asked by potential clients is ‘What is your availability like’ and / or ‘How long will it take to get the website up and running’?
One thing that people need to remember when building a new website is, like the old expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, websites don’t get built overnight. There are definitely websites that get built more quickly than others, but a great deal of the time is dictated by the client. WHY? Well, a website cannot be built without information from the client. Without the information, the website cannot get started and inevitably cannot get finished.
What dictates how long a website will take to develop?
There are a few factors that dictate how long a website will take to develop:
- Availability of content – the client is responsible for getting their content together. Content consists of text for each page to be implemented on the website, images, logo, contact information, etc. Once the content is available, the website design can get started.
- Complexity of website – the more complex or involved the website is, the longer it could potentially take. While this isn’t always the case, it is an important factor. Sometimes things that a client thinks are quick and easy to implement / develop may not in reality be that quick and / or easy. So, make sure to ask your web agency about time lines for certain ideas that are not the type of things you see everyday on websites. This may give you an idea of complexity.
- Database Development – if the website requires a database to be implemented, this usually adds to the development time of the website. Databases are NOT something you want to rush, especially if they are a fundamental part of your website. The programmer / developer needs to make sure your database structure is correct before development begins and thorough testing needs to be done by both developer and client to ensure the database backend is functionally correctly.
- Size of website – you may not require a database, but you require a website that is completely static i.e. doesn’t have any form of database requirements and is NOT a Content Management System (CMS) and it consists of 50 pages that need to be designed and coded. And, you may also want each page to be optimised for major search engines such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. In these instances, web developers who have experience in building CMS or database driven websites, may suggest building a CMS for your website, but in some instances that may even be overkill. So, the web agency lands up coding every page manually. This certainly adds to the design and coding time. PLEASE NOTE: Every website company designs and develops websites differently, so some agencies may take longer to develop than others.
- Client Feedback – a client can delay the website process if they don’t respond to emails or questions sent by the project manager / designer. The client may be away, may not be contactable or may even be sick. Delays in feedback can carry a heavy impact on website development.
- Third Parties getting involved – Another delay can be caused when a third party gets involved in the project that wasn’t involved from the beginning. Everyone thinks differently and as soon as a new person / third party gets involved and doesn’t know the background or hasn’t been involved in previous discussions, delays can creep in. This is a VERY important factor in ensuring faster turnaround times.
How to I increase my website turnaround time?
Simply take the factors mentioned above into account by doing the following:
- Make sure to get the information together that your web agency has requested. Get the information through to them as soon as possible.
- Make yourself available. You’re building a website and want it done as promptly as possible. Your feedback and input will be required, so make sure you’re available for questions, comments and feedback whether it be by email or phone / cell.
- Make sure your requirements are clear and understood by your web agency. Miscommunication can happen, so make sure that you are 100% on what you want and that you have communicated it clearly and precisely to your web agency.
- Don’t pass the buck. You are responsible for your website. Make sure your web agency speaks directly to you and don’t handover responsibility to a third party.
- Give feedback promptly and make sure it’s consolidated. When your website is being developed and you need to do testing or run through the new website, make sure to make a consolidated list of changes and send the list through to them. Filtering information through as you spot things can delay fixes as the web agency doesn’t know when they can allocate a slot to address all issues.
Right, so if you want to get started with your website, make sure to take the above information into account and consider reading the articles in our Building a Website category which may help you get the information quickly that will not only save your web company time, but YOU time.