How long it takes to get a website built depends on the content of the website.
- Home page and a couple of inside pages may take two or three days. Of course it can take less, but allow time to check how it looks against how you expected it to look.
- eCommerce websites may take two weeks.
But those times depend on you providing all of the information before the website is started.
All websites need:
- Text information
- Key search words
- Pictures (if any)
- Contact details
- Colour, font, layout preferences.
Ecommerce websites also need:
- Spreadsheet of products, categories, brands, prices, details, colour and size ranges.
- Pictures of products
- Delivery options and charges
- Payment options
- Returns policy
If information is supplied in instalments, the web developer is faced with loss of time in starting and stopping and restarting the job. We have experienced many stop-start situations which drag out the time building the website. It is the same in any procedure. If you stop and start, you take more time than if you continue uninterrupted from beginning to end.
If images supplied need optimising for the web then time must be allowed for that. e.g. Sometimes a client has sent poster sized images of 2 or 3 megabytes, in different dimensions and aspects – landscape and portraits all in landscape. These need to be resized and some rotated to the right way up. Sometimes we have rejected images because of poor quality.
Delays happen if you do not check out competing websites on Google — and work out what words visitors should search Google for in order to find your site. The text then needs to be reworked to include the key search words. Web designers know their own business of designing websites. They expect you to know your own business better than anyone else.
Web designers may start another website while waiting for content for the first one. This extends the completion date even further. Most web developers have clients waiting for them to start another project.
When website owners cannot decide, or change their minds about content, text and pictures and what inside pages to have, the site is delayed. We once had a client where we would have been better paid by doing the website for free, but charging $2.50 for every email the client sent. The client was very happy with the website, but it was a lesson to us.
Once a website is visible under its domain name on the web, time must be allowed for search engines to index first the home page then, usually the following week, the inside pages. There is a good case for hosting the domain name early with a home page containing just the relevant text with key words, so that search engines can start indexing. There is also a good case for going live while you are still reviewing text and finding what position you have in the search engines.
One client spent weeks dotting “Is” and crossing “Ts” and revising his text but refusing to go live until he and his friends had appraised every word and every picture that they themselves had supplied. Then, the day after hosting was set up and the domain name delegated and the site became visible at the domain name, he sent us an email saying he could not find his site on Google in a search for certain key words. The facts of life are in the previous paragraph. Google will normally take a couple of weeks to index your website.
When website owners put thought and planning into their content delays are fewer, the website is completed faster and it is listed by Google faster.
These articles were first published on www.platywebs.com.au and have been re-published on many other websites and ezines over the years. New readers are still finding them to be of value and up to date with today’s conditions. We believe they illustrate common sense and the value of thinking through situations. Please check out the other articles advising on small business, web design, search engine optimisation, web hosting and domain names.