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5 Minutes to 5 Hours…Why Does Development Time Vary So Much?

5 Minutes to 5 Hours…Why Does Development Time Vary So Much?

When a change needs to be made to a website’s structure or functionality, it’s a job for our development team. Understanding how long changes will take can be a frustrating experience, as what may appear to be a simple change can take a great deal of time, while other changes, that seem far more complex, can be made fairly rapidly. Why does development time vary so much?

[Tweet “Developers build websites to order, based on a plan created reflective of the client’s vision.”]

Factors that can impact how much development time include:

The platform your website is built on.

Our proprietary platform, Stella, is built to accommodate rapid changes. WordPress is similarly designed to be easy to work with, allowing for a streamlined editing process. Be aware that a WordPress site’s flexibility can be impacted by previous design decisions. Other platforms, particularly those that are heavily template based, are not as amenable to being changed. Doing so will require more development time, in instances where the desired changes are possible.

The original plan for your website.

Developers build websites to order, based on a plan created reflective of the client’s needs and vision. If changes are made to this plan after the construction of the website has already begun, the necessary technological infrastructure may not be in place to accommodate the desired changes.

Changing the infrastructure that is in place can create a host of issues, as many elements of website construction are interconnected – removing or altering one element will cause other elements of the website to change, often in undesirable ways.  Returning the impacted elements to their desired state takes time.

The techniques and tools used to build your website.

There are a lot of ways to build websites. If your website was built by someone using a non-standard approach, there can be coding errors that take some time to identify and remedy. The use of third-party tools to create specific website features can be problematic. If these tools are out of date, contain coding errors, or are not compatible with the desired changes, this must be addressed, either by finding an alternative third-party tool that achieves the same function or by custom creating one that works in this specific instance.

Keeping Development Time to a Minimum

Everyone has a budget, and there’s lots of interest in ways to keep development time to a minimum. There are some factors that are entirely within the clients’ control that can help keep costs down:

Pre-Visualization and Planning

Before you have a website built, or upgrade your existing website, you want to have a clear vision of what type of experience you want your customers to have on your website. Your account manager will work with you to pre-visualize your website. During this conversation, you’ll talk about what you’d like your website to look like. It’s also important to think about your website functionally. Thinking through what you’d like your website to do, and what your customers will expect from it, is a vital step.

The reason these conversations are so important is because they create clarity, letting everyone working on the website know what is needed and wanted.  If you’re not sure what a feature looks like or what it does, these pre-visualization conversations are an ideal time to ask: the account manager will be able to show you examples, so you can be sure that what you’re asking for is what you actually want on your website.

For example, let’s take a common feature: filters that allow a customer to browse your online inventory in a quick, efficient way. Identifying all of the possible filters that would be relevant to your customer– things like item type, brand name, price point, color, size – ahead of time allows your development time to build them in from the get-go, eliminating the need for time-consuming revisions later.

Forming a plan and committing to it is the single most important way to keep development costs low.

Choosing a Website Platform

Whether you’re having a new website built or are upgrading an existing website, platform selection is incredibly important. If your existing website is built on a very restrictive platform, migrating to a more flexible platform can be the most cost-effective way to achieve the results you want.  When choosing a website platform for a new website, you’ll want to think about what your existing needs are, as well as what you expect your needs to be two to three years from now. This will help you get a website that’s capable of growing as your company grows.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Specialties:
Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Platforms/Tools:
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress

Analyst/Strategist

Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Specialties:
Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Platforms/Tools:
Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office