Whether you are building a website from scratch or revamping an existing one, there are a lot of different variables and factors that you should consider. The website building process may also take longer than you expect, especially if you want to customise the website for your company. Building a website can take a couple of weeks to several months depending on how you proceed. Learn more about the different steps required to build a website and approximately the time estimated for each step.
Formulating a strategy and planning for your website
Average time: 1 – 10 business days (1 – 2 weeks)
- Identify your website goals and user intent
- Set up a sitemap with individual page goals
The first thing you should do before designing and writing content for your website is to identify your website goals and user intent. Understanding both of these will help you to formulate a strategy and plan for your website.
Identify your website goals and user intent
What do you want your website to accomplish? Are you looking to increase leads, sell products, establish credibility, or raise customer awareness? Who is your ideal user? Depending on your answers, the way you design your website may vary.
For example, websites geared towards generating leads may include more calls to action and website content that feature the unique services or products you provide. In contrast, those looking to establish authority as a thought leader will have more blogs, best practice guidelines, or informative pages.
By having these decisions right from the start, you can ensure that every aspect of your website, from content to design, is aligned with and reinforcing your goals. A clear website goal also makes it easier in the future to measure the effectiveness of your website over time.
Set up a sitemap with individual page goals
To visualise your website strategy, set up a sitemap and identify individual page goals. These are helpful to organise and clarify what is needed for your site. Think from the perspective of a user. What do you want the user experience to be like?
By creating a navigation flow-chart and outline of all the pages, you can eliminate any unnecessary pages that take away value instead of adding it. Streamlining your website before the actual content, design, and development stage will save a significant amount of time and cost when building or overhauling a website.
Preparing your website content
Average time: 10 – 20 business days (2 – 4 weeks)
- Competitor analysis
- Prepare brand collateral
- Write content yourself or find a professional copywriter
Content is a big component of a website. Through your own words and images, you are delivering a message of who you are and what you can do for them directly to your customers. Leverage your niche angle or unique selling point. Additionally, quality content can boost the number of people finding your website through search engines, resulting in more leads and conversions.
When deciding on what type of content should be on your website, market research is step one. Besides understanding your target audience, you can look outwards and do a competitor analysis. Analyse what pages and segments your direct competitors are covering. How is their information organised? What are they doing well? Is there anything that you wish to see that wasn’t there?
With a competitor analysis, you can gain a competitive edge on your website. Since people usually compare several options of similar products before settling on a decision, this is an especially useful step to undergo.
Prepare brand collateral
Next, you should prepare brand collaterals which showcase your brand’s core value and personality. Put together logos, brand guidelines, pictures, and videos reflecting your brand image so that you can be content ready.
Guidelines are especially important because they help you to maintain a standard of quality. Even if there are different people and teams working on the pages, the guide ensures that all communication is connected and that every word written and visuals designed speaks with the voice of the brand. The timeline calculated for this step assumes that brand collaterals are prepared beforehand. If it hasn’t, additional time might be needed.
Write content yourself or find a professional copywriter
In terms of the actual writing, you can make the decision of writing the content yourself or hiring a professional copywriter. Writing it yourself provides higher levels of control and may be faster if you are dedicated.
In contrast, having a professional copywriter may take more time since there will be more back and forth communication due to a lack of industry knowledge. However, professional copywriters have experience in different formats of content creation, including landing pages, product descriptions, case studies, testimonials, and blogs. Their expertise is using relevant content to achieve your website goals.
If your website includes many pages and texts, finding a professional copywriter may be worth it since more words means more time needed. Consider choosing Sinfa Digital Designs. As a web design and SEO company, we create content outlines for core pages and offer native writers to improve efficiency.
Getting started on your website design (design stage)
Average time: 15 – 30 business days (3 – 6 weeks)
- Choose to use a template, customised or hybrid approach
Website design is more than just looking nice. An effective design strengthens your message and brand to your customers. Remember that content and design must be done in tandem or else your website can seem disconnected and disjointed. For example, if your content is about something somber like critical medical conditions, you would not want a website design with bright colours, fun typography, and a creative layout. Instead you might look for a neutral background, minimalistic designs, and an orderly layout with accessibility requirements.
Choose to use a template, customised or hybrid approach
To turn your website design into a reality, there are three approaches; template, customised, or hybrid. Every approach has its own pros and cons.
Template Web Designs
Templates are great for when you don’t have much time since they already exist and do not require testing. They are also cheaper. But the tradeoff is that they are generic and harder to scale up. If you are just looking for a simple website, then the template design is for you.
Custom Website Design
The custom design option, as the name suggests, tailor fits your designs and features to your needs and brand. You can add various extra features like image galleries, interactive opportunities, feedback forms, or custom icons. However, a bespoke website takes much longer. The process of designing, client feedback, revisions, custom development, testing, and revisions again to avoid design inconsistencies can result in a lengthy design process.
Hybrid Web Design
Lastly, the hybrid model lets you pick, choose, and configure readily designed and developed elements and visual design into a layout that is something unique. Although this approach is faster than having a custom website, it takes longer than using templates as designers and developers still have to collaborate to make sure that everything is in working order. With the hybrid model, there is still a high level of customisation despite the developed elements.
Depending on which model you choose to proceed with, the web design process and timeframe will be different. The customisation option will take a lot more expertise and time to create from scratch. As always, with more pages, extra time is needed to execute the website design. At Sinfa Digital Designs, we offer the three approaches of visual design for you to choose from. Check out our web design packages here.
Building your website (the main development phase)
Average time: 10 – 35 business days (2 – 7 weeks)
- Website development process
- Website testing and optimisation
Now that you have the website design and content ready, you are finally at the main development phase. This is the more technical aspect of building a website and involves website testing, optimisation, and final review before the launch.
Website testing looks at the website from the perspective of a user and sees what their experience would be like if they were on your website. On the basic level, you have to do some website testing. Check the site building functionality and compatibility of the different elements on your website. Do all the links work? Are you able to easily navigate to different parts of your website? Are the images and graphics showing up? This step may be a little bit tedious but it is an important one to make a good first impression from the start.
You can go a step further with website optimisation. Using different tools and strategies, improve the website’s performance, drive more traffic, and increase conversion. How long does each page take to load? Does your website adapt to both mobile devices and browsers? Does the resolution show up the way you imagined it to?
According to Google, more than 50% of visitors will opt to leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Try Implementing a CDN, or a content delivery network, which allows website owners to transfer their site’s file to their end users quickly, increasing the overall speed of the website.
CDNs have the added bonus of helping to increase Google ranking factors like page load speed, bounce rate, and security. Page load speed, a measurement to see how fast the content on your page loads, is a key signal used by Google to rank pages. A faster page speed of a website has a high chance of being shown higher on Google’s search engine, increasing potential click rate.
More people are browsing on their mobile phones instead of the desktop. Since 2015, studies have shown a steady increase in the percentage of mobile device traffic worldwide, from just 31.2% in the first quarter of 2015 to 54.8% today. In contrast, only 43% of traffic is attributed to desktops.
If you leave your website to be solely catered towards desktops and not mobile users, a majority of the 54.8% of mobile browsers may leave your site. Since the size and shape of the screen differs for mobile devices and the desktop, websites that have identical layouts and configurations will be too small and hard to read. The small buttons, content and photos makes it difficult for the visitors to engage and stay on your website.
However, just changing the screen to fit a mobile is not enough. The mobile design has to have a mobile user in mind. Every detail has to be crafted so that visitors are kept engaged in the same way they are on the desktop. Make your website mobile-friendly by:
- Not letting the menu bar take over most of the screen and distract users from your brand
- Avoiding difficult-to-read long texts for photos
- Keeping the design simple
- Making use of icons and images that are optimised for the mobile
Launching the website
Once you do a final review to see if your website is as you expect, you are ready for launch. This does not mean that it is the end. Once the website goes live, you should continually run user testing on new content and monitor analytics so that you can further refine your branding. Install tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Google Search Console is a web service by Google to help you measure your website’s performance and troubleshoot your site’s presence in search results. Part of that service is a Core Web Vitals Report which analyses the user experience quality through different criterias including loading speed, responsiveness of interactivity, and visual stability.
Another useful tool is Google Analytics. By tracking website activity of individuals, such as how long they are spending in each page per session, how many pages they scroll through per session, and what is the bounce rate, you are able to better understand your customers. These tools lets you see how your website is performing and what you can do to improve your website with data-driven steps.
Both these tools help you to understand your customers better by providing valuable insight and user analytics. Facilitate website decisions and steps with data-driven guidance. For example, you might want to prioritise a specific section of your website if you noticed that a particular section of your website is very popular. Moving that section to where it will be easily accessible would help users get where they want faster, improving customer satisfaction.
Finally, you might want to set up Google My Business to increase brand awareness and connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. By creating a listing for your business on Google’s local search results and on Google Maps, it becomes significantly easier for customers to inquire, read about, and contact your business.
Our Final Thoughts On Website Building
Building a website can take up to 1 – 3 months but by spending a little more time on the details, you can reach more customers and fulfil your website goals. With so many components making up a website, you may want to outsource the process to minimise how long it takes to build a website and shorten the entire process.
At Sinfa Digital Designs, our team of experienced developers and website designers help you to build beautiful, fully-functional, and lead-generating websites while our WordPress specialists keep your website in tip top shape by maintaining, updating and keeping it all secured. As a web design and SEO specialist, we can also help you with brand strategies and copywriting services. Take it step by step. Don’t let your website hold you back. Build the success you deserve with Sinfa Digital Designs.