Realistic Web Design Timelines: Factors to Consider

website icons on a Macbook

Having a business without a website in 2021 is a lot like setting up a shop in the middle of no man’s land: Your customers may not even know you exist, which means you’ll likely struggle to draw them—and their money—to your establishment.

Unfortunately, research shows that 46% of small businesses in the United States still did not have websites in 2019. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a part of this statistic. Not anymore. With the help of a web design company, you can increase your digital footprint and get discovered by customers seeking your products or services.

The question is, exactly how long will it take to complete the web design process? 

As a general rule of thumb, the web design process takes around five months on average. However, it is possible to launch a web design project more quickly if you’re creating a minimalist or simplistic site. Meanwhile, larger-scale and more complex projects can take a little longer.

Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about a realistic web design process timeline in 2021, as well as the many factors that affect this timeline.

The Planning and Discovery Stage

As you embark on your web design project, you’ll first need to complete the planning and discovery phase, which might take anywhere from two to three weeks.

During this phase, you’ll begin to plan out what your site will feature based on your objectives. Part of this process involves determining who the website will be aimed at. During this stage, a web design company will typically start to create your website’s wireframes, a 3D skeletal model that shows how you’ll outline information on your website. Your vendor will also likely create a sitemap or a list of the website pages that your domain will include.

The Design Stage

Once you’ve navigated the planning and discovery stage, you’ll be ready to start the phase you’ve been waiting for: the design stage. This stage typically lasts between four and eight weeks.

During this step of the web design process, your design team will create mock-ups of your website and then determine the key elements of your site’s design. These elements include how your website is displayed on various devices, such as mobile platforms and desktops. Other elements include your site’s color scheme and your homepage’s layout.

The Content Creation Stage

This stage is an especially important part of the web design process as it typically lasts between three and five weeks.

Your website’s pages will need content that incorporates search engine optimization (SEO) phrases and keywords that will help to increase the quality and quantity of the traffic coming to your site via organic searches. Research shows that traffic generation is the top marketing-related challenge for 65% of businesses, so don’t overlook the importance of developing SEO content.

However, keep in mind that not all SEO content is created equal. Google uses specific search quality guidelines to determine the quality of various websites’ content. According to these guidelines, informational SEO content must be presented in a professional way, original, and accurate. In addition, artist content needs to be unique, and new content needs to be well-cited and in-depth.

In other words, high-quality SEO content is king. The better your content is, the greater your chances of claiming a high ranking on search engine page results.

The Website Development Stage

This phase of the web design process involves programming your website to bring your site to fruition and typically lasts between three and five weeks.

During the website development stage, your design team members will write code and create pages for your site. As part of this process, they’ll essentially implement your site’s various elements, including your content and images.

The Testing and Launch Stage

After your website has been fully built, it’s time to test it to make sure that it works properly across various devices. The testing phase will also tell you if the security features you’ve incorporated into your site are working smoothly. The testing phase may take one to two weeks depending on whether you run into any technical issues during the testing process.

Finally, you’re ready to let your website go live. You can expect the website launch to take a day, although it might take a week if you come across bugs you need to iron out during the launch.

woman at computer with illustrations and code

Key Factors to Consider

The skill level of the manager overseeing your web design process will have a major impact on your design timeline. So, when you hire a design service company, you’ll want to make sure that your project manager has a track record of keeping everybody operating in sync. The manager should also be good at encouraging the project team members to reach their targets. Otherwise, your team may not remain on course, in which case your web design process will be delayed. Also, make sure that your design company features high-skilled designers. These professionals will possess the necessary know-how for assembling your site quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

Still, keep in mind that creating an intuitive, simple, custom experience for the visitors to your website is a complex process that requires effort and time. Additional factors to consider are:

  • Site Size: How many pages do they need to work on? Can they handle transactions, product listings, etc?
  • Data Migration: Can they handle data migration? What would the timeline be?
  • Client’s Participation: How quickly can the client expect a response from the agency (and vice versa)?  
  • Data Readiness: Is the data already encoded and properly structured?

Embark on Your Web Design Process with Confidence Today!

Ready to take the leap into the web design process for your own site? With a reputable web design team at your disposal, you can easily begin the process of creating a winning site. In just a few months, you can have a site that will help to build your business’s credibility, showcase your unique brand, generate leads, drum up organic traffic, and better serve your customers.

Begin your search for the top-ranked web design services companies at Best Web Design Services Companies today, all while keeping in mind the above-listed web design timeline factors as you move from one project phase to the next.