If you’ve never built a website yourself, or haven’t had your company’s site updated in quite some time, it may be hard to know just how much time to allocate for the project. You know your site is outdated and something needs to be done soon, but when it comes to setting a realistic timeline, every project is different.

We’ve certainly worked with clients in the past whose website just needed a quick refresh, as well as those on the opposite side of the spectrum needing a complete overhaul and reorg. Of course these aren’t the only two options – there are so many factors that affect the project timeline. A small local company that needs a functional, attractive website will take less time, say 6 weeks, than a large ecommerce website, which can easily take up to 6 months. Sorry if this seems vague… we just value honesty more than B.S.

So how do you get started? Oftentimes, the best place to start is by focusing on the things that aren’t working and make a plan from there. Is your site currently not mobile-responsive? Are visitors not finding the information they need? Is it super outdated and in need of some lovin’? Hyper-focusing on these pain points first is a great way to set a baseline for the amount of work that needs to be done.

In a perfect world, the site will come together quickly and with few glitches, but this isn’t always the case. Many things come up during the project that may affect the timeline including major design changes, additional features, content creation, and even holidays. Since we rely heavily on our clients providing us with information, resources, and feedback throughout the project, there can be some hold ups if not addressed in timely manner. We understand you’re busy (trust us!) but sometimes we just can’t move forward without your go ahead.

To help keep your project on track, there a few easy things your web provider can do right from the get-go. We’ve mentioned this before, but here at HADM we use a project management system called Asana. This helps us stay on track by creating tasks, assigning due dates and keeping information organized. Communication between our team is a big aspect of sticking to the timeline and we’ve found this to be a very useful tool. We also provide our clients with regular updates regarding the status of the project so they’re never sitting around wondering what the heck we’ve been up to!

The best way to budget time for your website project is by sitting down with us and talking about what’s working, what’s not, and what you’d like to see change. This way we can all get on the same page and hopefully put together a timeline that is realistic, achievable and works for everyone. Ready to get started? Let’s talk.

2016 SEO checklist