“How long will my website take?”
That’s the burning question I get a lot from new potential clients, and… there is no correct answer.
I’ve built websites in a few weeks. I’ve also worked on some projects that took YEARS. (I am not proud of that fact, ha! Lessons learned.)
You would expect that the larger, more complicated websites would take longer, but that’s not always the case.
Sometimes the smaller sites linger, with clients going missing for weeks or months, emails sitting unanswered, timelines getting obliterated, and a website designer sobbing in the corner.
(That would be me. 😭)
How to avoid website project delays
There are a lot of contributing factors to delays in your website project, but in my experience, it almost always comes down to at least one of three things.
Roadblock #1: Content
The words on your website are the most important part, because they tell your audience what you do and how you can help them. But writing those words can be the toughest part of the whole website process, and it can bring things to a halt.
Website Content Roadblock Solutions
Hire a copywriter. Partnering with a professional to write your website copy not only smooths the process, but you’ll end up with better content in the end. Copywriters know what questions to ask so they’re able to create content that will speak to your audience and get them ready to buy from you. When you outsource content-writing, you’ll have more time to run your business while keeping the website project moving forward!
(I offer website packages that have copywriting built-in to the process, and I partner with some amazingly talented writers!)
Use a killer content planning guide. If you don’t have the budget for professional copywriting, you can still get great website content. You just need support! I work closely with my clients to create a strategic sitemap and content plan. Then I create a custom content workbook to give them support while writing their content. It covers everything from boosting search visibility with keywords to focusing on the calls-to-action on each page. The content planning guides make DIY copywriting possible and (mostly) pain-free!
Need help planning website content that brings you customers, showcases your skills, and sells your services?
Multi-tasking in the timeline. I don’t design websites until I have all of the content from my clients, but that doesn’t mean I’m twiddling my thumbs in the meantime. While my clients are working on their content, I make sure everything is in place – hosting, project management tools and timelines – so we’re ready to hit the ground running when the project begins. I also create the style guides that will help us nail down the visuals for the site (which speeds up the design process – keep reading for more details on that!)
Roadblock #2: Design approval
The visual stage of custom-designed websites can take weeks to finalize, even with limited revision cycles. As a designer, I’ve spent hours working on a new design only to have a client not love the direction at ALL, so I have to essentially start over. That adds time and frustration to the project, and nobody wants that!
Website Design Approval Solutions
Start with style guides. This is something I only recently started doing and I’ve been amazed at the impact. Instead of diving right in with a homepage mockup, I’ll create a style guide that outlines typography, color palettes, photos, and the other visuals we’ll include on the site. I’m able to do this part without content, so I can work on this while the client is writing the content (see the multi-tasking solution above!)
By establishing the visuals with a style guide, the page mockup designs get approved SO much faster, with fewer revisions (or even none at all!) This saves time and speeds up the process by days or even weeks!
Use a WordPress template. I KNOW. I’m a website designer who hates using WordPress themes, so I prefer building everything custom. But here’s the thing: I created a streamlined design process that I use to design and build sites faster for my clients. This option is perfect for business owners who need to get a site up quickly but need help getting it done. We skip the lengthy process of design mockups and revisions and get right down to the task of building and launching! Check out my website services page to learn more about how I create websites.
Roadblock #3: No clear process or timeline.
Hard truth: when a website designer is essentially throwing spaghetti at the wall during a project, it will not get done in an efficient way. So much time is wasted figuring out the next task, what’s due when, and where the current priorities are.
Website Process & Timeline Solutions
Hire a designer who has an established, proven process. Obviously it can be difficult to tell if a designer has their ducks in a row before you actually work with them. The best options here? Read testimonials. Follow and get to know some designers on social media. Ask for solid referrals from people who have worked with website designers in the past. And then: JUST ASK THE DESIGNER. Ask for details about their process, what the timeline looks like, and how you’ll be communicating during the course of your project. If the designer is able to outline a clear plan ahead, chances are they’ve got a great process that will keep your project moving and get your new website launched with minimal hiccups!
Remove the Website-Building Roadblocks
There are lots of moving parts in a website project that can cause delays. If you can address the potential pitfalls outlined above, you’ll be more likely to get your new website done faster and with fewer headaches. And the sooner your site is launched, the sooner you’ll start profiting!
Want to chat about how we can get your website done together – avoiding all the roadblocks above? Schedule your free call and let’s get started!