“How much?” and “How soon?” are undoubtedly the two most common questions I’m asked early on by clients.
And just like the question of price, it’s impossible at that point to give an accurate answer.
So, what do we do? You have deadlines and I need to schedule in my work…
Estimating a realistic timeframe
Once I understand what you need from your new website, I can estimate the time it’s going to take to complete the project. Now that I’ve worked on many websites of varying complexity, I can fairly accurately estimate how long my work is going to take.
What I can’t estimate, however, is the time it will take for you to do your part.
Yep – we’re partners in this! I want to build you an amazing website which meets all of your needs, but I can’t do that without your input at various stages of the project.
At the start of our working relationship, there are going to be a lot of questions I need to ask you to make sure we’re on the same page and understand each other. The questions I ask in my request a quote form are an important part of this. You might not necessarily know the answer to all of these questions, so we’ll discuss them and I can help you reach your answers.
Then, once the project is underway, I’ll need you to provide your content, give feedback on the design brief, wireframes and the design itself, plus make payments when they are due.
So here’s what will happen: I’ll let you know what I’m going to need from you and I’ll ask you how much time you want to allow yourself to do those things. Combining my time estimates with yours, we can make sure that we can realistically work together to complete your project by your deadline.
What can delay a project?
There are many things which could delay a project, but usually only a few which actually do.
- technical issues (e.g. power cut or Internet down)
- illnesses or other unforeseen needs for time off work
- underestimating the time required to complete the work
- delays in receiving your content, feedback, change requests, approvals and payments
I deal with these possibilities as best I can. Technical issues happen occasionally and rarely last longer than a day, but I also have other places I can work from as a backup plan. I also tend to build in a little extra time when I estimate how long it will take to complete work because no project goes exactly to plan; better to under-promise and over-deliver than vice versa!
But without a doubt, the thing which most commonly holds up projects is delays from my clients – in particular, waiting to receive the content for their new website.
If you’re writing the content yourself, I can give you some guidance. If writing isn’t your strong point, I highly recommend considering using a copywriter. Not only will their input get the job done quicker, but they will write persuasively, in such a way to encourage your website visitors to work with you.
The best case scenario
An average project which runs to the estimated timeframe could be turned around in as little as 3-6 weeks.
If you’re thinking about a new website, my best advice is to start thinking about your content right now. Think about your overall message, the pages you’ll need and, broadly, what you need to communicate in each of those pages.
And when you have a few ideas, fill in my request a quote form to get the process started. The information you give me there will help me to estimate a timeframe for your specific website project.