Whether building it yourself or hiring a designer, almost everyone I have spoken with reported that their websites take much longer than anticipated.
We’re talking double, triple, or even longer.
And as a web designer myself, I know that website projects, especially without much planning, easily take more than double the time.
Why? Here are the top reasons:
1. There’s a lot to learn and a lot of unexpected trip-ups.
2. Without a clear vision for what you’re creating, you won’t know when you’re “done.” And with all the bells and whistles out there, you can easily go on forever.
3. Psychological barriers are also at play. Stuff like perfectionism, writer’s block, and fear of being judged can easily cause you to be stuck in eternal “under construction.”
In a study I did, I found that website-creation efforts ended up like this:
- One-third were done fast, in a matter of weeks with an intense effort.
- One-third took many months to, in some cases, over a year to go live.
- One third never made it to prime time. I call this “failure to launch.”
And so, I made this quick calculator to help.
Just answer the questions and do the math.
When you’re done estimating, these two articles can help:
Ok, let’s go …
Step 1. Start with 8 weeks
I’m assuming you’re not a total technophobe nor an expert programmer, but somewhere in between – patient enough and willing enough stumble through.
I suspect you’re pretty good with email, Facebook, and shopping online, and you do computer work at the office.
Also, I’m predicting that you have a full-time job, some family obligations, but can a few sittings each week to work on your website.
So, 8 weeks is your starting point.
Step 2. If you’ve got free time, then subtract two weeks.
If you’ve got more time on your hands than most people, for example, you:
- work part-time
- are single
- don’t have a demanding job and commute
- have retired
… then go ahead and subtract two weeks.
You’re not allowed to cry, “I don’t have time,” and I will guilt-trip you if you don’t get it done quickly.
Step 3. If you NEVER built a website before, add four weeks.
There’s going to be a lot of new learning and unexpected trip-ups.
There will be content to create and fuss about, visuals to think about, fetch and download and technical bits-n-pieces to learn.
Since it’s your first dance, add four weeks.
Cut your website project time in half and make it 200% better using the content, design, and tech tips in The Coaching Website Guide. It’s like a map through the forest – without one, you get lost.
Step 4. If you HAVE built a website before, subtract a week.
If you’ve built a website before, you’ll have less to learn and fewer tech issues.
But, with all of the latest bells and whistles, and your new brilliant ideas, you’ll spend a lot of time learning new stuff.
So, sure, subtract a week. But, don’t expect your second round to be any less of a fight.
Step 5. If you have no hard deadline add four weeks.
Without a deadline, I’d bet against you ever getting it done. Without time pressure, the project will expand on forever.
In this modern world, there’s too much distraction to derail you.
If you look back at life, you’ll see that most things that actually finished had a deadline, like:
- Writing assignments
- Course work at university
- Finishing coaching school
So, add four weeks to your estimate. Also, add 10 grey hairs because you’ll stress more, knowing that Kenn is betting against you. 😉
Step 6. If you have family obligations or work long hours, add four weeks.
If any of these time commitments exist in your life, then add four weeks:
- take care of a sick family member
- having a big family, four in the tribe or more
- being a single parent
- or, you work long hours or bring office work home
Family obligations are no joke. I have a high-maintenance pet rock, and can barely get my laundry done.
Step 7. If you resist writing, add four weeks. If you’re a writer, shave off two weeks.
It’s vital to talk about your services in an exciting way to engages visitors.
And so, if writing is a struggle for you – whether you can’t come up with the words OR you have too much to say and can’t get focused – then add four weeks.
At this point, I must plug in and urge you to get my guide because it’s great for crafting content that shows the value of coaching.
If you’re an experienced wordsmith, then take off two weeks.
Step 8. If you have a techy on hand, subtract a week, maybe.
If you can call someone who has built a website before, this can be a huge help and save you from time.
Just be sure to bug the hell out of them every morning because your work-for-free project will be their lowest priority.
If that person is known to be responsible and diligent, yes, you can subtract a week.
If their timeliness is questionable, then add two weeks and expect things to get awkward at their kid’s birthday party. 😉
Step 9. If you love researching, love learning, and love technology, then forget about coaching, and start a web design business like me. Add four weeks.
This is really a warning.
There’s so much out there (plug-ins, apps, tools, etc.), and more of it shows up every day – 99% of which you do not need.
One of my pet peeves is calendar software. It’s just not needed at the start, yet so many coaches dilly dally with it for days.
The ability to learn something new, play with technology, and tinker online is endless. It’s like being a kid in a candy store who will suck down everything in sight until he passes out.
If you love tech and learning, add four weeks.
Step 10. If you’re a perfectionist or are worried about what others will think, add four weeks.
Perfectionism is a productivity slayer.
If you need things to be right, perfect, pristine, you’ll struggle to get your website done.
Even if you hire someone else to do it, your perfectionism will keep them busy because you’ll always want to tweak something.
As a tip, consider websites as an ongoing “work in progress.”
Aim for “good enough for now” and realize that what you’re looking to measure is how well you can use your website with your marketing to actually secure new clients.
I would say a “perfect” website is one that’s out there, that has traffic, that is generating leads. So, get your site up and start tracking and then improve it towards perfect.
If you’re like, “Whatever, Kenn, I’m going to make this website amazing before I launch it to the world,” then add four weeks.
Remember, plenty of clients are out there waiting for you to show up! So, don’t flounder for months with your website. See how The Coaching Website Guide can help.
Btw, here are those two articles from the beginning to help you avoid long delays:
Ok, it’s time to own up! What’s your time estimate? Post it below. (If you’re afraid to post it, add another two weeks)
You may be a bit shocked at your estimate. But, from my experience, so many websites take forever or never launch.
So, what’s your estimate?
Any ideas come to mind about how you’re going to proceed to get the job done well and get it done on time?