Can you create a small business website in a day?By Lawrence Dy
As a marketing professional, you understand the significance of a high-quality website for your clients. With your own budget and ROI in mind, you’ve probably found yourself wondering if it’s possible to turn out a professional small business website in a day. While it’s not impossible to create a one-day website for a small business, a day simply isn’t enough time to conduct keyword research, write content, and design a full website in many cases.
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That begs the question: how do you budget your time and resources for small business website design? In this article, we discuss the factors that affect your website development schedule, as well as what to consider when trying to create a website in a week, a day, or anywhere in between.
Factors that affect website development time
There are plenty of tools out there that promise quick, simple website design and development. While most of these tools are helpful when it comes to building a very basic website, there’s simply more to it than just clicking a button.
A good website builder can pull a templated design together for you quickly. However, it won’t include the same level of customization and development you’d get from working with an experienced web design team, and that’s something that’s important to a lot of small business owners.
What factors should you consider when determining how much time it’s going to take to build a small business website for your client?
- Planning: Work with your client to determine what they’d like to see on their website and offer them some web design ideas. Be sure to discuss how many pages they’d like, what those pages should contain, and any special features they’d like to include.
- Design: Whether you’re handling design yourself or using a template, you’ll need to budget time for customization.
- Content: A website is only as good as the content it includes. Set aside time to write SEO-rich content yourself or hire a professional freelancer to handle copywriting for you.
- SEO: Considering 70 percent of web traffic goes through Google (Net Market Share), search engine optimization (SEO) should also be considered a crucial stage and element in your client’s website development.
- Development: Development consists of front-end and back-end maintenance and coding that’s done to ensure a website performs well and offers a high-level user experience (UX).
- Testing: Once you’ve completed your client’s website, you’ll need to perform UX and bug testing.
- Launch: After you’ve planned, designed, developed, and tested your web design, you need to launch the website. While the launch itself doesn’t take more than a few minutes in most cases, you’ll need to double-check that all pages and features have launched correctly and that process can be time-consuming.
Can you cram all these development stages for a website in a day?
While it is possible to complete the steps listed above in a single day, it’s certainly not ideal. Trying to build a website in a day can result in a lower-quality website that’s chock-full of issues and errors, including poorly-written copy, ineffective SEO, and broken links or codes.
Types of businesses that might benefit from a website in a day
It’s usually better to skip the one-day website and aim to build a basic website in a week, a month, or even longer (depending on the scope of the project). However, there are some businesses that could practically operate online from a basic one-day website, even if it’s built on a single page.
Small retail shops
Small retail shops typically don’t have a large inventory, which means they don’t have a need for a comprehensive e-commerce shop either. If your client operates a small, single-location retail shop that only needs a simple website to establish credibility, it may be possible to create their website in a day.
Most home-based businesses, whether they provide a service or a product, don’t need many web pages on their site to advertise their business. A simple homepage with a contact form and a list of services is usually enough to establish an online presence and drive leads to their business.
Plumbers, electricians, and tradespeople
Depending on the complexity of their services and their business structure, most plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople can advertise the services they need on a one-day website. The ideal trades website should consist of a homepage with a contact form, a list of services, and an about page that includes licensing and affiliations, as well as testimonials from past clients.
Basic local service providers
Clients providing a simple service locally, such as beauty services, independent attorneys, and accountants, can typically get by with a simple webpage that’s comprised of just a few basic pages. Provided these clients don’t require complex online booking applications or web forms built into their websites, you can typically build a website in a day for them.
Situations when a website in a day is not possible
In many cases, creating a one-day website for your clients simply won’t be possible. Your client may make complex requests that require more than a single day to fulfill, such as:
- Custom programming: Unless your agency has a programmer on staff, you might need to outsource this portion of your web development to another agency or a freelancer.
- Specific branding: If your client asks you to customize every element of the website’s branding and design or asks for specific details such as a custom font or professional photography/videography, you’ll require additional time to complete their request.
- Long-form content: Extensive copywriting can take longer than a day to write and refine in most cases, especially if research is involved.
In some cases, clients may also request a website that’s part of a larger project or campaign and in those cases, it’s often best to set aside more than a day to research, plan, and coordinate the design and development of their website.
What’s the best time frame to create a small business website?
The amount of time you schedule to create small business websites for your clients will vary with every project. While it’s typically not reasonable to plan on creating a website in a day, you may be able to build a website in a week for those with small project scopes.
Things to consider with your estimated website building schedule
Website size and complexity
While a basic three-to-five-page website might be possible to build in a week or less, a website comprised of multiple service pages, team bios, and e-commerce or booking functionality will take you much longer to plan, design, and develop.
Consider what you can reasonably complete in an eight-hour work day, keeping in mind that content writing alone will likely take up a considerable portion of your day. For example, the average person’s typing speed is 40 words per minute (WPM), meaning that without research, editing, or quality assurance, a content writer can produce a maximum of 2,400 words per hour (Typing Pal).
Is your client happy with a templated website that features their logo and basic information about their business? Or do they want an elaborate, branded design full of long-form copy?
Before you send them a schedule or quote, gather specific details about what they want to see and be reasonable about how long it’s likely to take.
When determining your time frame, you’ll also need to keep your client’s desired timeline and associated deadlines in mind and make sure to work within them.
Generally speaking, it’s ideal to allow a minimum of one month to build a website. For clients with more complex or extensive content writing requirements, plan to take as long as six months to complete the entire process from start to finish.
Frequently asked questions
How many websites are created every day?
Around the world, an estimated 175 new websites are created every minute. That works out to approximately 252,000 new websites that are created each day (Siteefy).
What is the average time to build a website?
The length of time it takes to build a website varies. While some people can create a website in a day, others can take months. On average, most take between 10 and 14 weeks to build a website (Forbes).