How long does it take to build a new B2B website?
Thinking of redesigning your website? The website design process can take time - here's an idea of what to expect, and when.
Published: 22 Jan 2020
7 minutes read
If you’re thinking of embarking on a new website project, it may be difficult at first to start plotting out how long it will actually take. The temptation to dive right into the website design process and get started with a redesign may be strong, but it’s important to understand why you want to redesign your site, and what you’re actually able to do with your available time, team and resources.
You may need a new website simply because it’s looking a little outdated, or you might not be seeing the results that you want. Either way, the only way you can carry out a successful website project is to understand the timescale of your efforts.
Building a new site is about more than creating a new, prettier version of your current site - you need to consider who your site is for, what it’s trying to achieve, and the user journey that you have in mind for site visitors. This all sounds time-consuming - and it is! This blog should help you fully understand the time that you need in order to launch a new site, and the best way to get started with your project.
How long does it usually take?
It’s painful, but it’s true - usually, a complete website design process (or re-design process) takes around 4 - 6 months to get right. With the planning stages, then the design and build stages, not to mention all of the technical work included, you’re looking at a large chunk of your day being taken up, every day, every week, for around half a year. This can easily stretch out much longer, too, as most website projects are plagued by missed deadlines, creative differences, and conflicting opinions, which leads to further hold ups.
In traditional website design, you created all of your pages at once, then put the entire website live, with a complete new launch and rework of all of your existing content, if not an entirely new content plan. If you don’t have an internal development team, then getting pages actually built can be time consuming - especially if you’re building 30+ for one launch. In addition to this, you need to think about video requirements, photoshoots for site images… before you know it, your website project is more time-consuming (and costly) than you anticipated.
Is there a faster way?
Yes there is! One way that B2B businesses can get around the long time frames of a traditional website design project is to utilise the Growth-Driven Design approach. This is a little different from the traditional website design process, as it focuses less on having the whole ‘finished package’ and more on creating the foundations of a site that you can build on gradually. The idea is to focus more on data than on creating something that looks good, in order to maximise traffic, conversions, and ultimately leads. The best part? For a GDD project, you’re looking at around 2 months to get your new site live.
The most important part before starting a GDD project (and indeed any website design project) is that you have a solid strategy in place. This includes mapping out who your buyer personas are, what you want to achieve on each page, and your long-term goals for the website. This is why you should dedicate some time to the strategy phase of your Growth-Driven Design project at the beginning of the website design or re-design process. During this phase, you need to work on understanding your audience, and what they want to see. Think about the problems they may be facing, and how your website can help solve them. You should spend 2-4 weeks conducting a full analysis of your customers, your prospects, and how your current site performs in these regards, before even beginning to design your pages.
Once you’ve mapped out your strategy, it’s time for the fun part - the launchpad. This is your site, but not as you know it. Focus on your high priority pages, and aim to create these first. This then forms the foundation of your website, which you can continue to build on as time progresses. This is why it’s called the launchpad - it enables you to get your new site off the ground, but acknowledges that it isn’t a finished product … yet. Building the launchpad can take some time if you are working with a lot of pages, but it usually takes less than 60 days to get this phase completed, depending on scope.
The last phase of a Growth-Driven Design approach is perhaps the most important, but doesn’t actually factor in as part of your build process. By the time you reach the continuous improvement phase, your site is live, you already have some traffic coming through to your site, and you have pages that you can be proud of. The idea of continually improving your site is particularly useful once your site is live, as you can base it on the data that you are already gathering from your site.
As your website is already live, you can collect the data, using tools like Google Analytics, Hotjar, and HubSpot, to analyse how your pages are being received, and start running tests. Once you do this, you can then expand on your launchpad website with a deeper understanding of not only your audience, but also of the way that they interact with your website. You should work to identify high-impact actions that have a lasting impression on your bottom line - you are ultimately looking to build a website that will drive traffic, conversions, and leads.