Typical Website Design and Development Milestones
The length of time needed to develop a website varies based on the complexity of your project, the size of the website, and how quickly you respond to requests for feedback or approval.
For the most part, however, most sites are completed within 6-8 weeks. Below is a typical timeline for the complete design and development of a custom WordPress-driven website.
Please note that most projects are booked 4-6 weeks in advance. You’ll want to keep this in mind for planning purposes so that we can schedule your project as soon as possible.
The process starts with your inquiry through the Quote Request form, after which I put together a detailed proposal for you, with several options to choose from. Once you have reviewed the proposal, we can further discuss any questions you have and decide on the best plan of action for your site.
After deciding that we are a good fit for each other, a signed contract and 50% deposit secure your spot on the development schedule.
The sample milestones on this page are based on that start date.
Preliminary Design: 1 Week
Once your start date arrives, we begin working on the preliminary design for your site. This is the stage where we create the site’s general look and feel, including site-wide elements, such as the header, footer, content area, and sidebars (if needed). A large focus is placed on the home page
This first step takes 1 week to complete. At this point, you will gain access to the Client Studio so that you can review the preliminary design for your site.
Design Revisions: 2-3 Business Days – 1 Week Per Round (rinse and repeat)
Once you’ve had a chance to look over the initial design, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback or request changes. Ideally, you’ll respond to these feedback requests within 1-2 business days, but some clients take a week or more to respond. This is the type of thing that delays the project completion date. So how long this stage takes is really up to you.
However, once you do provide feedback, the typical turnaround time for relatively simple revisions is 2-3 business days. Major changes to the design or requests for an entirely new design concept take 1 week. We will continue this process of fine-tuning the design until we have your approval.
Development of Interior Page Content: 1-4 Weeks
This is where estimating a timeframe gets tricky because the type of content and number of pages will vary greatly from site to site.
The beauty of WordPress is that as a CMS (Content Management System), you can easily create all of the interior content pages yourself, without knowledge of HTML or CSS. In many cases, clients will just need a custom WordPress theme design, and they continue to add all of the content pages themselves.
If that is the case with your project, you can skip over this step entirely. However, if you prefer to better spend your time focusing on your business and leave this entire step to me, I will gladly add all of the interior pages for you (based on your provided content).
The timeline for this phase varies greatly depending on the number of pages you need and if you are prompt with providing all of the content for the site. If you have a 1-10 page site, for example, I can have the interior pages completed in 1-2 weeks. On the other hand, a 50-page site will likely take closer to 3-4 weeks to complete.
Of course, if you are not prompt with providing all content for the pages, or if you frequently make revisions to previously approved content, that will slow down this stage, as well. I’ve had projects stalled for months waiting for content – it’s more common than you would imagine in the web design industry. I highly recommend taking the time between booking your project and waiting for your start date to gather all of the content so it is ready to go from day one.
Website Launch: 1 Week
Once the website is complete and you have approved everything, you will receive the final invoice for the completed work. In most cases, there are no changes from the initial invoice from when the project began; however, if project specs have changed throughout the process, such as adding additional pages, the final invoice will be adjusted accordingly. Final payment on this invoice is required before migrating the site from the Client Studio to your web server. Once the balance is received, however, the migration process begins. This includes installing WordPress, a core set of essential plugins, your new theme design, and any new content that’s been created for you.
After the transfer is complete, we run through a final set of testing to be sure that everything is functional – then you are all set! This marks the official launch of your website, making it live for the viewing public.
Website Maintenance: 2-3 Business Days to 1 Week
With a WordPress-driven site, you will be able to easily add and update content on your own. However, if you prefer to have me make future updates for you, or to perform regular backups and upgrades as new versions of WordPress and various plugins become available, I will be more than happy to continue working with you.
I offer several Maintenance Plans to existing clients, which can be used to update and manage your website for you, on a regular basis and at reduced rates. Alternatively, I also offer hourly maintenance if you only anticipate needing infrequent updates on an as-needed basis.
Clients with a Maintenance Plan receive priority scheduling for future updates. Simple updates to your website are typically completed within 2-3 business days. Larger changes can take up to 1 week or more, depending on the complexity of the updates.