From the initial stages of planning, to a complete finished product published and live online, how long does a web design project usually take?  Hmmm…a good question indeed.

First, the short answer: Depending on the complexity and type of the project, designing a new website usually takes anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks from start to finish.

Now, in reality, it’s not always exactly this simple.  Let’s take a deeper look at the details and timelines of a typical Sleepless Media web design project.  Ready?

Weeks 1 – 2:  Lead Time

During the first week or two, we strive to get the project organized and all set up so it can correctly roll through the following project phases without a hitch.  When we say lead time, this means we’re planning and organizing the paperwork, collecting the deposit, and making sure we fully understand your project needs…all while gathering your logos, photos, and all other particulars for your unique project.  Proper planning and mutual organization ensures smooth projects.

Weeks 3 – 4:  Graphic Design Phase

This is the true design part of the project.  During our standard design phase, we’ll create up to three separate design mockups.  Once the initial design direction is chosen with your consultation, we’ll begin doing requested revisions to get the design fine-tuned to perfectly suit your organization’s desires.  Naturally there’s a reasonable amount of back and forth during this process to ensure that everything is just right — so the exact time frame for the design phase can vary quite a bit from one client to the next, all depending on their specific needs.  It is always our goal to be as transparent as possible and keep you fully up to speed on our progress and time estimates.

Weeks 5 – 6:  HTML Coding

This phase of a web design project is where we take the finalized graphic design and slice it into individual components that will all be tied together with code to make a cohesive HTML site.  This typically involves all static HTML work, CSS programming, and adding all basic JavaScript functionality as necessary.  Sounds complicated, but in simpler terms, this is just taking the visual design and coding it to work for the web.  The last step of this coding phase is extensive cross-browser/platform testing to make sure the site will work perfectly with all major systems.  Finally, once the HTML coding process is all complete and there is now a basic working website to interact with, we’ll ask for your review and complete a round of revisions at this time if it’s needed.

Note: For basic static sites, the process is more or less complete after this phase, some final testing, content addition, and launch.  As we continue, we’ll be referring to additional functionality beyond the most basic static sites.

Weeks 7 – 8:  Custom CMS/PHP Programming

If you’ve chosen to have a CMS-enabled site (Content Management System), we’ll get right to work on the programming required to build this functionality just as soon as the static HTML Coding process is complete, tested, and approved.  Once the CMS programming is complete and tested, we’ll work with you to plan the addition of all of the content to be added via the new system.

Weeks 9 – 12:  E-Commerce Creation / Additional Features

For more complex web projects — such as those featuring full E-Commerce shopping cart and payment systems, we’ll usually need up to three more weeks to implement all of the required systems and for setup and testing.  If additional features above and beyond the norm are specified for a unique project, it’s during this final phase that we’ll work to complete these features.

Wrapping It Up…

So basically, each major phase of the Sleepless Media web design project takes about 1 to 2 weeks, making the entire project length anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks total — again, depending on the complexity and features of the website in question.  The timeframe is not always set in stone — in rare situations, we’ve even been able to complete full e-commerce projects in just 2 weeks and full static websites in only 4 days.

However, it is very important to remember that there are a lot of moving parts that must be fine-tuned to work together in creating website.  Doing it right does take time.

One thing is certain in all cases.  Web design projects always go more smoothly when all necessary materials, approvals, and feedback are received in a timely manner.  A great two-way stream of communication is key and we’ll always do our best to ensure a well-organized project for you!

DISCLAIMER: Everything on our site is our opinion but sometimes we put links and stuff that give us kick-backs, but we don’t link to anything we don’t believe will be a viable solution for our readers.