• How long the design and coding actually takes: The design of a website, no matter the length of the site, typically takes about 2 weeks when the business owner’s feedback is given to me quickly. This process can be rushed, but there’s an additional fee involved for that.

The coding for a site can vary depending on the number of pages being created and the functionality required. For a simple, HTML-only site of 5 pages, the coding can be accomplished in 1 week. For a site with many pages, with forms and newsletter sign-up capabilities, a longer timeline will be required.

And, if there’s a delay in providing the site map, site text, photos or feedback, the timeline will be extended accordingly.

  • When to start: This depends on your schedule. You want to start the project when you’ve done a bit of your homework – that is, getting started on your copy and nailing down your site map. Again, many designers do offer website planning to help with this step.
  • You also want to make sure that you design your site at a time when you have some time to devote to feedback, completing your copy, and giving your designer the attention they need from you to complete your project. This shouldn’t take a lot of time, but your designer won’t be able to move forward if you’re on vacation, too busy to return calls or emails, or otherwise unavailable.

    Be sure to allow plenty of time for your designer’s schedule as well. If you have an important event coming up, plan to begin your website design at least a month before that to allow ample time and to avoid rush fees. If you also need to design a logo, keep in mind that you should do that before designing a website, and that will add about 3 weeks on to the process.

    And, be aware of the “busy times” for designers. The end and beginning of the year, along with the end of each fiscal quarter, tends to be pretty hectic for most of the designers that I know. You may not be able to just call up your designer of choice and get on their schedule right away, especially at those times.