How Long Does It Take to Build a Website in 2024 - Complete Answer

November 9, 2023

Whether you’re an enthusiastic blogger who wants to share your knowledge with the world or a business owner who wants to create an online presence for the product, having a website is a must in 2023.

But before deep diving into its creation, you first need to know exactly how long it takes to build the website. 

There are a ton of factors that go into this, including the type of website you want to build, features and functionality, the tools you’ll be using, and so on.

Read on to learn more about how long it will take YOU to build your website. Here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?
  • Website Building Timeline
  • Should You Hire a Developer for Your Website?

And more! Let’s dive in.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Website?

When it comes to building a website in 2023, the timeframe can vary widely based on several key factors. 

To begin with, whether you're tapping into the skills of an in-house team or outsourcing to a third-party vendor can make a difference. In-house teams may have a deeper understanding of the company's vision, potentially speeding up the decision-making process. On the other hand, third-party vendors bring specialized expertise and can often mobilize much faster than the time it would take you to hire and train an in-house team.

The nature of the website itself is another crucial factor to consider. A static website, generally a simpler collection of fixed pages, can be quicker to launch. A dynamic website, which includes interactive elements and is powered by a database, requires more time due to its complexity.

Then, the platform that you choose to use also plays a role in how long it’ll take to build your website. The typical choices here are a CMS (Content Management System) website or a custom-coded one. CMS platforms like WordPress or Shopify offer templates and plugins that can significantly reduce development time. In contrast, a custom-coded website, built from scratch, requires more time for development and testing.

Lastly, a company’s available resources, including the number of team members, skill levels, and budget, can greatly influence your website-building timeline. More hands on deck and higher skill levels can lead to quicker turnaround times, but this must be balanced against budget constraints.

Here’s a table that provides a rough estimate of the time it might take to build a website based on some of the above-mentioned variables:

Static Website Dynamic Website CMS Website Coded Website
In-House Team 1-2 months 3-6 months 1-3 months 4-8 months
Third-Party Vendor 3-4 weeks 2-5 months 2-4 weeks 3-7 months

Now, let’s explore how each of these factors plays in action:

#1. In-House Team Vs Third-Party Vendor

Choosing between an in-house team and a third-party vendor is a pivotal decision that can shape the project's trajectory. 

An in-house team refers to using the company's own employees to build the website. This team is often more attuned to the company’s culture and goals, which can streamline communication and ensure that the website aligns closely with the company’s vision. 

However, it can also be resource-intensive and may not be feasible for all businesses, especially if the required skills are not available internally.

Conversely, a third-party vendor is an external company or group of specialists hired to create the website. This option can bring fresh perspectives and specialized skills to the table, often accelerating the development process. Not to mention, a third-party vendor might be more cost-effective, especially for complex tasks, as they come equipped with the necessary tools and expertise.

#2. Static Vs Dynamic Website

The distinction between static and dynamic websites lies in their functionality and interactivity:

Specifically, static websites have the following characteristics:

  • They consist of fixed content; each page is a separate HTML file.
  • They are easier and quicker to set up, especially for smaller websites.
  • They are ideal for businesses that need an online presence without requiring user interaction.

Meanwhile, dynamic websites:

  • They are more complex, involving server-side processing.
  • Content changes dynamically based on user interaction or other factors.
  • Essential for e-commerce, social media platforms, or any site needing user personalization.

Imagine a local bakery that wants to establish an online presence. They need a website to display their menu, location, and opening hours. A static website is perfect as the information doesn't change often, making it easier to manage without much technical know-how.

Conversely, if the bakery decides to take online orders, it needs a dynamic website. Customers should be able to choose their pastries, fill a shopping cart, and pay online. Here, a dynamic website is crucial to handle the interactive ordering system and the backend processes that manage inventory and sales.

The choice between a static and dynamic website will significantly impact the development process, timeline, and how the site serves its users. A static site can be launched quickly and cost-effectively, while a dynamic site, though requiring more time and resources, provides a richer experience and functionality.

#3. CMS Vs Coded Websites

When building a website, the choice between using a CMS and coding a website from scratch is a decision that can shape both the speed of the development process and future content management:

CMS websites:

  • Utilize platforms like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
  • Offer templates and plugins, making them user-friendly and efficient to set up.
  • Best for those who want to manage their content regularly without deep technical knowledge.

Coded Websites, on the other hand:

  • They are built from the ground up using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and possibly other programming languages.
  • Allow for complete customization and uniqueness.
  • Suitable for businesses with very specific needs that cannot be met by a CMS.

Imagine a freelance photographer who wants a portfolio website to showcase their work. They choose WordPress because it allows them to select a visually appealing template and easily update their portfolio as they take more photos. They can also add new functionalities as needed through plugins.

Conversely, a tech startup that’s creating an online service with specific user interactions, performance requirements, and custom workflows should opt for a coded website to ensure that the customer journey is unique and tailored precisely to the startup's innovative service model, providing a competitive edge in the tech market.

The decision between a CMS and a custom-coded website hinges on the balance between convenience and customization. CMS websites allow for quicker development and easier management, while coded websites offer unparalleled flexibility and control.

#4. Available Resources 

The available resources a company has, including its budget, time, and personnel expertise, are critical factors in determining the scope and speed of website development. Let’s go over each of them in more detail: 

  • Budget: Your budget determines the quality and quantity of resources that can be allocated to the project. It also affects choices between using in-house development, outsourcing your IT project to third-party vendors, and using premium tools or services.
  • Time: Deadlines can dictate the intensity of the development process. For example, if you need to accelerate your time to market, you may build a simpler website with only basic features, which takes less time. In general, more immediate timeframes might necessitate more streamlined solutions like a CMS.
  • Personnel: The skill set of the team is vital. Experienced developers can craft custom solutions more rapidly. In-house knowledge of the business can lead to more efficient progress and fewer revisions.

For example, a startup with limited funds may choose a CMS for their e-commerce site to keep costs low. They might use free plugins and a template that requires minimal customization, allowing them to allocate funds to other areas like marketing. 

Similarly, a company launching a new product might need a landing page within a week. They could use a website builder that offers ready-to-publish templates to meet their tight deadline.

The interplay of budget, time, and personnel will influence the complexity of the site's design and functionality, as well as the website’s speed and efficiency. 

Website Building Timeline

The website building time is segmented into distinct phases, each with its own set of goals and tasks. This structured approach helps in managing the project efficiently and ensures that every critical aspect of the website is given the attention it deserves. 

Below, we'll explore each phase, from initial planning to final reviews, providing a clearer picture of what to expect when it comes to how long they last.

#1. Planning (2-3 Weeks)

The planning phase is foundational in the website building timeline, where clear directives for the project are established. Over the course of 2-3 weeks, this stage involves several critical steps:

  • Goal Identification: Pinpointing the primary purpose of the website. Is it to sell products, provide information, or something else?
  • Scope Definition: Deciding the breadth of the project, which includes enumerating the pages needed, the functionalities required like forms, shopping carts, or live chat, and any specific user interactions.
  • Resource Allocation: Assigning tasks to team members based on their expertise and determining the budget for each phase of the project.

Consider a small business, such as a coffee shop, seeking to establish an online presence. During the planning phase, they would:

  • Define the goal: To inform customers about their products and offer online ordering.
  • Set the scope: A homepage, about page, menu, contact form, and e-commerce functionality for orders.
  • Allocate resources: Assign a project manager, hire a web designer, and set a budget for web hosting and domain registration.

The planning stage also includes researching competitors, understanding the target audience, and planning the content strategy. 

In this phase, it's also crucial to decide on the technology stack (like the CMS or programming languages), ensuring that it aligns with the project goals and resource capabilities, and to create a roadmap, guaranteeing you meet all your short and long-term goals.

#2. Content Creation (4-6 Weeks)

During the content creation phase, the substance of the website comes to life. This 4-6 week period is dedicated to:

  • Content Development: Writing informative, engaging, and original text for all web pages, ensuring it aligns with SEO best practices.
  • Visual Elements: Sourcing or creating graphics, videos, and photos that complement the text and enhance user experience.

For example, a tech gadget review site in this phase would craft detailed reviews, source high-quality images of the gadgets, and produce video reviews. They would also create comparison charts and infographics to help users make informed decisions.

Content creation is a collaborative effort that often involves writers, graphic designers, and SEO specialists working together to produce high-quality and relevant content that resonates with the intended audience.

#3. Website Design (2-3 Weeks)

The design phase is where the website starts to take visual shape, typically requiring 2-3 weeks to complete. Here’s what this phase entails:

  • Layout and Templates: Putting together the visual layout, including the placement of text, images, and navigation.
  • Branding Integration: Ensuring the design aligns with brand colors, fonts, and logos for consistency.
  • User Experience (UX): Focusing on the user journey to make sure the site is intuitive and accessible.

An online bookstore would, at this stage, decide on a warm and inviting color scheme reflecting the cozy experience of reading. They would design a homepage that features bestsellers and new arrivals, create easy-to-use category pages, and ensure the checkout process is simple and secure.

Professional designers might use wireframes and prototypes to visualize the website before coding begins. They typically work with tools like Adobe XD or Sketch, which allow for high-fidelity mockups to present a clear vision of the final product.

This phase is critical because it translates the website's objectives into a visual representation that users will interact with. If you’re a startup or established company, it’ll turn into a collaborative process that usually involves feedback loops with stakeholders to refine the design until it meets all functional and aesthetic requirements.

#4. Testing and Review (1-2 Weeks)

In the final stretch of the website building timeline, testing and review are essential to ensure quality and functionality:

  • Functionality Checks: Every feature, from links to submission forms, is tested to confirm it works as intended.
  • Compatibility Testing: Ensuring the website operates smoothly across different browsers and devices.
  • Performance Review: Assessing load times and responsiveness to optimize user experience.

For a newly developed online fitness platform, for example, this phase would include rigorous testing of workout trackers, membership logins, and video streaming across various devices. 

Depending on its team structure, it could also gather a group of beta testers to provide feedback on user experience.

This phase is crucial for ironing out any kinks and verifying that the website meets all technical requirements before going live. It’s not just about finding bugs; it’s about ensuring that the user’s interaction with the site is seamless and satisfying.

Should You Hire A Developer to Build Your Website?

Deciding whether to hire a developer to build your website is contingent on your specific needs and resources. While website builders offer a do-it-yourself approach that is, at times, easier, they come with limitations:

  • Customization: Website builders often limit the level of customization you can achieve, potentially hindering the uniqueness of your site.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, a website created with a builder may not scale as well as one designed by a professional.
  • SEO Limitations: Built-in SEO features in website builders may not be as robust or flexible as a custom solution.

For those with complex needs, or lacking the time and technical expertise, hiring a developer can be a wise investment. A professional developer brings technical skill, creative solutions, and the ability to create a custom, scalable website that stands out in the digital landscape. 

They can also provide ongoing support and updates, which is crucial for maintaining security and relevance.

Make IT Simple, for example, offers personalized attention to detail, cutting-edge technology integration, and a deep understanding of user experience design, ensuring your website serves as a powerful tool for business growth. 

In the end, while website builders can be suitable for simple, static sites, for dynamic, sophisticated, and future-proof websites, enlisting the expertise of a developer is the strategic choice.

Pros & Cons of Hiring a Developer to Build Your Website

Are you still on the fence about whether you should hire a developer to build your website? 

Here are all the pros and cons that come with hiring a developer to build your website, in a single table: 

Pros of Hiring a Developer Cons of Hiring a Developer
Tailored design and functionality. Higher upfront cost.
Custom-built to meet specific business requirements. Higher initial investment compared to using a simple website builder.
Professional quality. More time to launch, if the website is complex.
Easily scalable and more flexible.

How Much Does Hiring an Outsourced Website Developer Cost?

Determining the cost of hiring an outsourced website developer is not a one-size-fits-all answer. The price tag, just like the building duration, can vary significantly based on several factors:

  • Complexity of the Website: Simple websites with standard features are less expensive than complex e-commerce sites or custom-written software meant for enterprises.
  • Experience of the Developer: Seasoned developers or agencies will often charge more for their expertise and track record of successful projects.
  • Geographical Location: Developers based in different regions may have varying rates due to the cost of living and market demand.

Approximately, a basic website might start in the range of a few thousand dollars, while a sophisticated, feature-rich website could escalate to tens of thousands. 

It's also common for developers to work at an hourly rate, which can range from $50 to $200 per hour, depending on their skill level and the project's demands.

It's crucial to consider that while the upfront cost might seem steep, the value a professional developer brings can far outweigh the initial investment. 

A well-built website can enhance user experience, strengthen brand identity, and ultimately contribute to increased revenue, among other benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions on Website Building

If you still have some questions about the topic, here are our answers to what people commonly look for when it comes to website building: 

#1. What Is the Quickest Way to Build a Website?

The quickest way to build a website is to use a website builder - also known as CMS - such as WordPress. This stands especially true for cases when the website you want to build is simple and doesn’t require user interaction. 

If you have to build a complex website that requires user interaction, several features, and future customization and scalability, it might be quicker to build your website through a professional web development company

#2. Should I Hire Someone to Build My Website?

This depends on several factors, including the complexity of your project and your budget. 

While an external developer is likely to do a more professional job at building your website, if your project is something simple that doesn’t require many features or user interaction, you may be better off using a simple website builder. 

#3. Can You Build a Website in a Month?

Yes, you can definitely build a website in one month! If your website is very simple, doesn’t require a lot of features or user interaction, and you have some time on your hands, you can use a website builder and get your website up and running in less than three weeks. 

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