Time to Build a Website

Written On Day: 19

Your Thinking of Building a Website

Your browsing the Internet looking for information about creating a website. You have read a few blogs about it. Maybe skimmed a few forums. You think you understand the concept: Create a website, write some content for it, slap some advertisements on it, and that is it.

That is what I thought when I came across the concept for the first time too. I stumbled on a web page describing the concept of creating a revenue generating website. Three hours later I decided that I was going to create a website.

How Long Does it Take?

What I did not know was how much time it takes to create a website design. And how much time it takes to write the initial content. I read somewhere that you need at least 10 pages of content before you go live. Otherwise the website looks bare. So I made quick calculations in my head. 2 hours per page * 10 hours = 20 hours. Plus 3 days to create the website: the layout, logo, choose some colors etc. Total estimated time 20 hours + ( 3 x 8 ) hours = 44 hours. Just over one 40 hour work week.

I had an advantage because I was familiar with HTML. A website was not a black box to me. I knew the basics. The only problem was that I never used Dreamweaver (website creation software) before and I new nothing about CSS. After reading a few articles I figured that Dreamweaver and CSS are a must to create a proper website. So I added another day to my estimate to get familiar with Dreamweaver and CSS. My final estimate was 44 hours + 8 hours = 52 hours from nothing to a website.

That is a lot of time. Since I have a full time job I could only work on weekends. If I were to work for 10 hours a week then my website would take over 5 weeks to complete. I did not want to wait that long. So around Christmas I took a week off work and forced myself to work everyday until it is done.

Building the website

The first 2 days were slow with little progress. Getting familiar with Dreamweaver, CSS was tedious. But after a 10 hours of messing around I got the hang of it. After that I could begin to concentrate on creating instead of learning. For a week straight I built the website. First the general layout, then the logo, and finally the individual content filled pages.

The content pages are the worst part. Especially since I was forced to write them regardless of what mood I was in. I needed to be done before work started again. Days passed and I sat at the computer creating and writing.

50 Hours Later

As you can see on my spreadsheet it took me 50 hours to complete. After 50 hours I had a website with content. Something I could throw on the website host. Almost bang on with my estimate of 52 hours.

But then came the little tweaks. The touch ups. Change the colors, a little rewriting of the text. Move a image over a few pixels to the right, change the font size. Just tweaking and adjusting. No big steps, just little shuffles. There was always more to do, always some little change. Some little adjustment before going to bed. Let me warn you that these adjustments take forever, literally. Still doing them today.

I was finding to my horror that I was not really done the website. I would leave the computer and then I would get an idea to change something. This kept happening over and over again.

26 Hours Later

According to the spreadsheet it was another 26 hours of this pesky tweaking. Only after a total of 76 hours was I happy enough to state that the website is ‘complete’.

Of course I was not done-done. Never will be really done. A website is a growing entity. It always requires attention. There is always more to do. But I was at the stage that I could upload it to host and make it live. From then on it would only be a matter of keeping it up to date.

How Long Will Your Website Take?

How long will it take you to create website from scratch? If you are building a content based website with around 10 pages. And your abilities are like mine (a little HTML) then I would guess 50 hours of initial creation and then 25 hours of touch ups. In 75 hours you will have a completed website. Then all that is left is infinite hours maintaining it.

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