After months of brainstorming, dreaming, planning and developing you are ready to launch your business to the world. You have the company name registered, the bank account opened, the funding available and the services and products ready to be sold. But wait, you need a logo.
You know that your logo is going to be the face of your business and the launch pad of your brand identity. Maybe one day people will instantly recognise your company by its font, colours and symbol/s. This is big, this is important. You need to brief a designer. But where the hell do you start?
Know what you want from the word 'go'
If you wished to write a story and chose the short story format, this would equate to roughly 5,000 to 10,000 words whereas if you went the novel route this would be roughly 50,000 to 70,000 words. Same story but the difference between the two is apparent. One is much lengthier, while the other may be brief and to the point. One has a more fleshed-out plot while the other doesn’t beat about the bush.
The same goes for websites. If you have a website that only needs one page to tell your story, this can take a developer just a few hours to complete. If, on the other hand, a website needs to have more pages to display a range of products or tell a more detailed story, this will take a developer longer to complete. Each of these pages could need to be designed differently. This could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete.
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How detailed the website needs to be
When I mention detail, I’m talking about the ‘fancy pants’ effects you can add to your site. I’m talking about using realistic drop shadows so that the images lift or pop off the page. Or the illuminated hover effect when the visitor moves over a button with their cursor. All of the tiny, ‘flashy’ elements can take time to implement.
If your budget caters for it, why not? Expect to have the website up a little bit later, but it’s going to be a visually amazing end product.
If you choose to have your logo designed by Tech Warrior we provide a Logo briefing document shared online for our clients to complete. It guides you through the process and makes it that much easier to think through the elements required. As with anything, however, you get out what you put in. Make sure what you put in is clear and focused.
Hard coded vs themes and templates
I’ve spoken about the difference between hard coding a site and using WordPress’ themes and templates in a previous article. It really is a fundamental part of the building process.
Using templates and themes may mean certain aspects of your site bear similarities to others’ but you can get your site up faster than someone sitting writing out lines of code. There is also far less margin for error when you use themes and templates. These are prebuilt for you, so you know it works.
Events beyond the control of the developer
This hits a little too close to home for me. Recently I had a really bad run-in with technology. My computer failed on me which resulted in my hard drive and memory needing to be replaced and with that I lost a whole bunch of data. Thankfully we store backups so getting everything back again wasn’t that big of a sweat, it just took a long time. The malfunctions I experienced set me back nearly two weeks.
Unfortunately, hardware malfunctions are something we might all experience at some point, and in the context of the article it can add to the time it takes to build a website.
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Receiving content from the client
This is possibly the single biggest thing impacting the length of time it takes to build a website. A website structure is relatively easy to create. Populating it with the appropriate branding, colours, content and products is what takes time. It especially takes a long time if the client delays the supply of any parts of the content or wants to make too many revisions to the content.
Certain measures can be put in place to help structure the content delivery process from a client to the developer. Additionally a developer needs to stick to the agreed deadlines. The key thing is commitment from the client when it comes to delivering all the content needed on time and in a format that can be worked with. Retyping handwritten documents is nobody’s idea of a good time. Neither is resizing images when the right dimensions were previously agreed to. Things like this can really add to the time it takes to build a website. Not to mention the possible added expense.
Number of changes or edits
If a client wants images to be changed and text to be edited, it needs to be done. However, people sometimes don’t know when to stop making these changes and clients sometimes try and change everything. This can be a challenge to manage and comes down to clear guidelines and boundaries around the scope of the website project. Some developers don’t charge for these edits, which can come back to bite them in the long run. Those clients who don’t know what they want tend to push the boundaries by not adhering to conventional office hours or making mass edits and changes.
One definitive way to prevent this from happening is to clear up any ambiguity around how many changes and edits form part of the initial website build. Thereafter clear communication on how much changes and edits will cost and how long they will take is also important. This way clients are left in the dark about how the process works.
How many months does it take to build a website? As I mentioned at the start of the article, it’s really an open ended question.