A business's web design timeline depends on factors such as scale of the project, expertise, and project management. Understanding the distinct stages of the web design process and influencing factors will help businesses approach their web design project with realistic expectations.
In the modern world, it's absolutely vital for every business to have some sort of online presence. By 2024, more than 20% of global retail commerce will occur online.
Most people go online to search for products and services and many people visit official brand websites before placing orders.
To experience success online, businesses need a solid website stratgy. Designing and developing an effective website obviously is very important.
The web design process, however, can't be completed overnight. Consumers can be very discerning about the websites they visit: 75% of people make judgments on brands based on their site design, so you have to put in the time and effort required to get it right.
To begin the web design process, it's important to establish a realistic web design timeline. You should think about the different stages of your site's design and development. It's important to always align with a web your web developers to establish timeframes for each stage.
6 Stages of the Web Design Timeline
Some of the most common stages of the web design timeline, along with their average timeframes, include:
- Discovery/Planning: The first phase of any web design timeline is usually the discovery and planning phase. This is when you start planning out what the site will be, what its objectives are, who it is aimed at, and so on. This is usually where the sitemap and wireframes will be created too. Average timeframe: 2-3 weeks.
- Design: Next, the web design timeline moves into the design phase. This is when you create mock-ups and decide on the core elements of site design such as the layout of the homepage, the color scheme, and views on different devices like desktops and mobile platforms. Average timeframe: 4-8 weeks.
- Content Creation: Next, create content for the site. Content is what can boost your site in Google rankings, and Google accounts for more than 70% of all search traffic. Content will need to be created for your site's pages, incorporating keywords and phrases for SEO purposes. Average timeframe: 3-5 weeks.
- Development: Once content has been made and the design has been decided on, the site will need to be programmed. This is when code will be written and pages will be created, with the various elements of the site put into place by trained developers. It can be quite a speedy process if the site is small and minimalistic, but may take much longer in some cases. Average timeframe: 3-5 weeks.
- Testing - The site should then be tested out to ensure that everything works smoothly across different devices, as well as verifying that all of the various security features are working as intended. Average timeframe: 1-2 weeks.
- Launch - Finally, the site will be ready to launch. Average timeframe: 1 day – 1 week.
What Factors Influence Web Design Timeline?
It's clear to see that websites can take wildly different amounts of time to develop. Some can be set up in just a few weeks, while others take several months to put together. The following factors can influence the efficiency of your web design timeline:
Scale and Complexity
One of the main factors that will impact your timeline is the scale of your project. If you plan to launch a huge site with extensive amounts of content and hundreds of pages, it will take a lot longer to put together than one with just a dozen pages or less.
For example, a site with a simpler user interface, such as Reddit, may not take as long for the design phase (though the volume of content it contains certainly makes it complex).
The complexity of your project can also play a part in your timeline. Let's say that you're setting up a site for a new hotel and want to create a custom booking system for users to make reservations. Development of this feature will take more time than if you were to make a simpler site with photos and descriptions of hotel rooms, for example.
Skill and Experience
The skill and experience levels of your developers and designers will also have an impact. Highly skilled web designers experienced professionals have the know-how needed to put sites together quickly, relying on techniques and skills they've picked up over time.
Inexperienced developers will need more time to get to grips with your ideas and carry out the necessary coding and programming.
The influence of management on your web design timeline also cannot be understated. Web design projects need managers who can keep everyone on the same page and encourage teams to hit their targets. Without sound management, it's easy for web design timelines to be delayed due to teams lacking the necessary guidance to stay on course.
Bugs and Issues
Site designs don't always go perfectly. Even with great developers and designers, little bugs in the code can appear and technical issues may arise. These problems require time to fix and might not be detected until the testing phase.
Creep is when a project slowly starts to expand and grow in different directions and unexpected ways, with new features and ideas added on long after the initial planning phase. If your vision for the site starts to become larger and grander, you need to re-evaluate the size of the project or extend your timeline.