As a web design company, I can tell you we get a lot of questions about web development. The most common: How long does it take to build a website?
Many people forget that website development is a world apart from the plug-and-play website builders many people are familiar with. Depending on your age, you may have had a Tumblr, LiveJournal, or a Geocities website that was “built” in under an hour.
Contrast that with a professional website that takes weeks or months to build and launch. To help answer this question of why website development takes time, let’s examine the key processes that go into a finished professional website.
Even if we’ve built dozens of websites for lead generation businesses, that doesn’t mean we’ve built a website for your lead gen business, and in today’s market, to boot. Professional websites require upfront research in a discovery process in order to find out exactly what work needs to be done and how it will benefit the business and its stakeholders today and as the company grows.
The discovery process for every firm is different, but it always starts with defining the website client’s goals and objectives. Then comes market research, which could include looking at organizational data and third-party reports, and doing research on competitors and your own customers. The process may also involve digging into the analytics data and content performance of your existing site to see what works and what could be improved.
Web development for your business website is going to be a different process than for a over-and-done novelty website. Most easy-to-build website tools you hear about involve simple fill-in-the-blank templates. A no-frills template site may work for a while for an unfunded startup or a tiny two-person firm with modest revenue. But to take things to the next level, every business needs a professional website.
Web developers do more than create a new template for your website content. Best practices call for coding that improves the speed at which your website loads, optimizes image rendering, and provides the usability and functionality the business and its website visitors need. This under-the-hood work takes time, but it ensures your end user has a great experience using your site.
Another important process is UX design. UX or user experience has a lot to do with whether your site visitors can do what they need to do on your site and whether they come back. The UX design process uses the research on competitors and your own customers from the discovery process to build a site that will help you stand out from the competition and wow your customers.
User experience can involve big decisions, such as how information is organized and presented on the website, as well as little details, such as the color or placement of call-to-action buttons. It can take a bit of time to come up with the best UX design for a new project, because industries, competitors, and customers are always changing.
Strategy for Marketing, SEO, and Content
When you take a step back, a business website has three main functions: it needs to be an attractive online storefront for your business that allows your customers to find you and convinces them to enter your sales funnel. The way this is achieved is by developing a strategy for each of these functions: marketing, SEO, and content.
Regarding marketing, your site should present a polished, credible presence to the world. The design and functionality is consistent with your brand, helps build up a rapport with prospects and customers, and supports your business and sales objectives. Part of the web design process will involve the strategy needed to meet these needs.
For search, it’s a must that new prospects be able to find your business among the billions of other websites out there on the web. Search engine optimization (SEO) has a big impact on the design, often preceding a lot of the web development work, in order to make sure that the structure and design will help and not hurt your ability to be found in Google Search results.
Content is what people come to your website for, so it makes sense that some time go into the strategy of your content. While a lot of content from your old website may be carried over, you’ll likely need new content, as well. It can take some time to craft a strategy and then to create compelling copy that connects with your website visitors.
Website development may not be as complicated as rocket science, but as you can see, there’s more to it than meets the eye. When you hire Kaleidico to build your next website, we’re going to do a lot more than set up a new Tumblr blog for you.
It takes time to do the necessary research on business goals, objectives, competitors and your customers. Building the site itself may involve creating a visual design, coding for functionality and then making sure everything under-the-hood runs smoothly. The UX design process will make sure your site users have a great experience. Lastly, strategic planning for marketing, SEO and content will make sure your finished site looks great, shows up in search and helps you convert more leads. Good web development can take some patience, but the result is worth the wait.