The factors that impact web development time
Some practical ways to help reduce web development time (and web project costs)
So, you’ve audited your website recently and decided it’s time for a web update. Congrats! When it comes to web projects, reaching out to a trusted web development team is the easy part. Understanding how long these website changes will take can be trickier. What appears 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. Let’s explore why web development time varies so much — and share some simple ways you can reduce web development time to minimize costs.
5 Factors That Can Impact Web Development Time
These are some of the primary factors that determine how much time your web project will take.
1. A Website Plan That Changes Halfway Through the Project
Your website plan is the first step of the web design process. It’s an outline you create for what you want the redesigned website to look like. The website plan includes the goals you have for your website, states who your target audience is, and establishes what features and pages you want the finished website to have.
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 ripple effect since many elements of website construction are interconnected. Removing or altering one element will cause other elements of the website to change, sometimes in undesirable ways. And returning the impacted elements to their desired state will add extra time to your web project.
2. The Flexibility of Your Website’s Platform
The platform your website was built on is another thing that impacts web development time. Some platforms, like WordPress, are more adaptable when it comes to website updates and additions. (Find out more about WP Engine, the platform we use here at TTG and the one we recommend to all our clients.*) Other platforms 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.
3. The Techniques and Tools Used to Build Your Website
The building blocks used to construct your original website are another factor that feeds into how much time your web updates will take. Say 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 also be problematic. If these tools are out of date, contain coding errors, or are not compatible with the desired changes, this must be addressed. The web development team must either find an alternative third-party tool that achieves the same function or custom create one that works in this specific instance.
4. The Experience Level of the Web Developers
The expertise of the web developers you hire is yet another consideration that can make a web project take longer than expected. Make sure you vet each web development team you’re thinking of using before signing a contract with one and launching the project. The best ones will work efficiently and do everything in their power to stay within time constraints so you don’t have to exceed your budget for the project.
5. How Much Time You Can Commit to Meeting Project Deadlines
It’s easy to assume that the success of a web project relies entirely on the web development team. But web updates require at least some input from the clients along the way, whether that’s supplying the web developers with web content or giving their approval to take the project in a different direction if need be. When a client doesn’t provide info or feedback at crucial moments during the web update, this slows the entire project down (and can tack on more web development time).
3 Ways to Reduce Web Development Time
Whatever type of web update you’re initiating, though, there are some practical things you can do to help cut down on the project time.
1. Have a clear vision and specific plan for your website upgrade.
Forming a plan and committing to it is the single most important way to keep development costs low. Your website architect 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 website architect will be able to show you examples, so you can be sure that what you’re asking for is what you really want on your website.
2. Be open to shifting to a new website platform.
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 evolves and expands.
3. Carve out time to meet project deadlines.
Aim to provide feedback and other resources the web developers need when (or even before) they request them. This will help web developers maximize the time they do spend on your web upgrade and minimize the chance that they’ll have to put in extra hours to complete the project.
Ready for a Website Refresh?
Website redesigns are one of the Technology Therapy® Group team’s specialties. Browse our web portfolio to get inspired by some of our past projects for clients. And make sure to check out the following on-demand training sessions to bolster your website and website marketing skills even more.
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