As a web developer, I often talk to clients who don’t understand why it takes so long to build out their website. The answer is that you don’t fully understand how much work has to go into building a website and how many steps are actually involved.
I’ve been working on a new version of my site for years now. I’ve gone through a few design ideas and even started building it out a few times, however, it never gets completed.
The problem is that it takes time. We often forget just how much time and effort it takes to re-do a website.
It takes time to figure out feature requirements. Do I want new features? Do I want to replace anything or enhance anything? Of course I do! Figuring out what we’re building is the first step. Prioritizing those items is important too so that if something needs to get set aside due to timeline or budget, you can pick something less important.
It takes time to create a design. This is the hardest part for me. I’m not a great designer but I do pretty good at times. Instead of planning things out, I end up designing it as I build it and that doesn’t work well at all. I find myself changing direction quite often and nothing gets done.
The design is your architecture. Without it, you’re just blindly putting things together and hope it turns out good.
Then you have to build out both the front-end and backend. Taking a design and turning it into a working website is only half the work. Integrating it into the backend is the other half. I love doing both, but when I try to fit it into a few hours a week, I feel like I’m going nowhere fast.
Oh, and then there is content. As I was going through my site re-design, I realized that my content was just as out of date as my design. So I have a lot of re-writing and updating to do.
Plus, if you’re doing it right, you’d have a discovery meeting at the beginning of the project and QA at the end. Those two items help ensure quality and satisfaction in the final project.
Even though it’s a lot of work, the end product is always nice. It’s makes me happy to visit a site that’s been re-designed and works better than before.