I am often asked, "How long does it take to make a website".
The time involved in creating a website can range anywhere from a few minutes to several months, depending on the complexity of the website AND the knowledge and experience of the website developer.
If the website has only a few pages with text and images, it can be launched in less than 1 hour.
For some projects website templates can be used which allow the developer to simply paste over the placeholder content with the actual web content for the site.
Some websites require specific functionality and complex navigation and content organization. These more complex web projects necessarily take more time in planning as well as building.
The best way to accurately estimate how long it will take to have your website built is to first create a blueprint of the website. This can be done on a sketch pad or with software called “wire-frame” programs.
Wire framing allows you to quickly create a prototype of the website without having to spend time creating text and image content and extra functionality. You use build blocks or placeholders to represent all the web elements that the website will require.
If you change your mind about a specific element you can just delete it and rearrange all the other “pieces”. It’s similar to designing the interior of a house by arranging little cutouts of sofas, tables, beds, closets, etc…
Once you are satisfied that the wire-frame prototype is a good representation of what your website will need, you will be able to get a fairly accurate time (and cost) estimate from an experienced web developer.
If you’re working with an inexperienced web developer, you are taking a big risk. Can they deliver the website you need in the time frame they agreed? It takes years of work to learn the many skills necessary to be a GOOD web developer.
If your budget is tight, I would recommend starting with a small, simple website built by a professional. As your business grows you can invest more in extending the functionality of the website. Or even rebuilding it altogether, since a website which is more than 4 years old is past due for a make-over anyway!