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Website Design and Development Timeline: A Complex Look

8 min read

This guide will find a comprehensive answer on how long it takes to design and develop a website. We’ll look at:

  • Breakdown of design and development time by website type;
  • What factors impact the web development timeline;
  • How to streamline web development and design process;
  • And more!

Our article will be beneficial for startup founders, serial entrepreneurs, and product managers.

Let’s get straight to the point.

How Much Time Is Required to Design and Build a Website?

The time it takes to develop a website ranges from 150 to 500 hours.

The website building process will go through various stages if you are getting it built from a technical partner. The project discovery phase, design phase, development phase, and website improvements phase.

And all of them take their dedicated time and on an iterative basis.

Here is an estimate of the average time to create a website as far as designing and development are concerned.

Type Required hours
Design Development Total
Landing Page 40 40 80
Corporate site 60 80 140
Simple Web App 120 480 600
Average Web App 200 960 1160
Complex Web App 300 1500 1800

As listed above, there are websites and web apps. Both of these vary based on a number of factors. Choosing between a simple website and a web app depends upon your target audience.

A basic website and landing pages take less time as the number of features in these are less.

On the other hand, web apps such as Youtube or SaaS platforms like Canva take more time as they are packed with top-end features. Moreover, web apps have additional functionality as compared to websites.

Also, the development and design process for these projects are more complex than that of a basic HTML and CSS website.

Let’s take a look at a detailed overview of pricing factors.

Factors That Influence Average Time to Create a Website

The average hours to build a website mostly depend on 3 factors:

  1. Business goals to achieve;
  2. The complexity of the concept;
  3. The level of a development team;

Let’s take a look at the aspects that affect the average time to create a website from scratch.

Factor 1. The Goal of a Website

The key point, that defines the web development timeline is the goal of a future website. Let’s find out more about options.

Goal Description
To launch marketing The end goal of almost every corporate website is marketing.

If you are having a digital marketing agency or a software development agency, you will need a website to showcase your services and garner clients.

A website with the goal of marketing will take less time as it will not need any type of special customization. Moreover, user interaction with such websites is also limited.

A simple WordPress website will be enough.

Keep in mind that websites that are made for marketing require more effort on the SEO (search engine optimization) side.

Social media, domain name, and proper optimization of the CMS (content management system) are also important factors to consider.

To launch a web product The core motive of a web app is to provide the user with the required utility by interacting with it.

Web apps can easily run on any browser and are easy to maintain. They are cross-browser-friendly. Hence, web apps can take more time for building.

Since the objective is to create a custom website, there will be a ton of web design elements and features that require a huge amount of time.

For instance, Google Docs is a web app that allows you to edit, share and download docs.

Youtube allows you to watch, save, download and upload videos.

Udemy has a plethora of courses that you can take and learn.

For such web apps, you’ll need to partner up with a web development team that has at least one web designer in their team.

They will take care of the user experience, user interface, for example for a homepage, and other factors that affect how the website looks.

These web apps take months and plenty of UX redesign iterations to create as they have more features and require more user interaction.

There are mockups, wireframes, and a lot of revisions. Sometimes, it also becomes costly for a small business.

The business goals of the website determine the business logic. And the business logic determines the complexity of web development.

Let’s understand this relationship.

The proper answer on how long does it take to build a website first of all depends on the goal of a project

Factor 2. The Complexity of Business Logic

The second critical factor that affects web development timeline is the complexity of business logic. In other words, how many roles and features your web project will have.

The more complex the logic is, the more time-consuming and costly the website project becomes.

Now, the complexity of the site or a web app is dependent on various components.

Component 1. Number of Roles

The number of roles in a website or a web app highly affects the cost and time needed to build it.

Website Web application
For instance, a website will have 1 or 2 roles.

One will be the user who may send a request form. The other one will be the admin or the owner of the site, who will respond to that mail.

Both will have different permissions to access site data. For example, the user can only read the information.

However, the admin can read as well as revise the content as per will.

On the other hand, a web app can have multiple roles.

For instance, Trello, a work management tool, can be used by various users at the same time. Users have different access rights, which means multiple roles.

An app like Trello that has multiple roles can take around 4 months.

Component 2. Number of Features

If any factor significantly affects the time taken to build a site, then it is the number of features it has.

Website Web application
A website, on the other hand, may also have countless features.

For instance, if you are selling a solution via your website like antivirus software, it will require a payment gateway which will consume more time.

A 10-15 web pages site might be ready in a few days or weeks, or months. It all depends on the site features and their complexity.

Even though the number of pages is not a decisive factor here, but it plays a crucial role in the entire process.

Even though you can start a new site with templates and plugins, but taking that new website to the next level will require you to develop customized solutions.

As an example, you can check the website redesign case study undertaken by Spdload.

It took us six months to redesign the entire website. We integrated various fresh features into it.

Web apps are mostly eCommerce apps, eLearning apps, Social networks, or management tools.

These web apps are integrated with special features that elevate the cost and time to build the app.

For example, AirBnb is a web app that has features like house listings, location, search function, payment gateways, etc.

All of these are top-end features that increase the cost of building the app. A web app like AirBnB may take around 6 months to complete.

GetReinvented is an online fitness platform developed by Spdload. The web app was developed in 1200 hours.

It has various features like video on demand, payment via PayPal and Braintree, and many more!

Component 3. Complexity of Features

The answer to how long does it take to build a website is not solely dependent on the number of features. It also depends on how complex the feature is.

Here are some factors that increase the complexity of the feature.

Amount of data to use The number of integrations
When it comes to data usage, the app or site needs to be optimized. However, there are some features that increase data consumption.

Features like in-app purchases, in-app ads, video playbacks on the site, etc., boost data usage.

Playing an HD video on Youtube consumes more data. Hence, the utility of HD playback in a web app will require more development time.

If your site has more videos, it will surely increase the amount of data used.

Integration in a web app or a site can be of various types.

For instance, in the case of eCommerce web apps, you need to integrate payment gateways for accepting payments.

The more the number of gateways, the more complex the app will be. Thus, more will be the development time.

Maps integrations are required in a corporate site to help the clients find the offices easily. This will again up the time needed to develop a site.

Hence, the complexity of the feature affects the answer to how long does it take to design a website.

Another important point that complements the relationship between business goals and business logic is the level of the team.

Because the level of designers and developers determines the ability to bring your website to life. But in addition, sets the time and money limits.

Let’s look at the details.

To answer how long does it take to design a website in a detailed way require understanding of business logic

Factor 3. The Level of the Team Involved

The expertise of the team you have also affected the time required to build a site. No matter if you are building a site or a web app, you will need the following members of your team:

  • Project manager
  • Business analyst
  • UX/UI designer
  • Markup developer
  • Backend web developer
  • Frontend web developer
  • QA Tester
  • Marketing manager (on-demand)

The website building process goes through various phases if you have hired a professional agency to do the job for you.

Let’s find out the connection between the development process and the required web design and web development hours.

How Do the Stages of Development Affect the Average Time to Create a Website?

Here you’ll find a step-by-step list of web development stages and how do they impact the required hours of development.

As an example, we’ll consider an average corporate website.

  1. Discovery phase. All the factors that affect the answer to how long does it take to design a website are analyzed in this phase. The phase leads to the formulation of a plan that needs to be put in action for making a top-notch website. It is usually 40 hours or 1 week.
  2. Design phase. The design phase of the site-building process takes most of the time. 53% of users consider the aesthetics of the site to be a factor for customer retention. Hence, it is necessary to allow time here. You need to allow at least 80 hours or 2 weeks to do this.
  3. Development phase. The coding phase of the site takes around 240 hours or 3 weeks if the site is simple and you have a professional team. In contrast, it may also take months if the site is complex.
  4. Review phase. This phase of the website building process takes around 40 hours or 1 week. It can be less or more based on the number of stakeholders. If the stakeholders are more, the volume of input is also more, and so will be the time.
  5. Migration and launch. There is no fixed time for this. It is entirely dependent on the review period of the site. Once the user is satisfied with the output, you can roll out the site.

On an overall basis, we can say that a website will take a minimum of 4-6 weeks to build. If the specifications for the site are more (more complex), it may even take more time.

Finally, the average time to create a website based on expertise and experience of a team engaged

Interesting to Read More about Website Design and Development?

Well, you have a brief idea about the average time to create a website, right! If you want to learn more about the design and development of a website. You can refer to our detailed guide on how much does it cost to develop a website from scratch.

Read More

Find out how much does it cost to create a website

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