Have you heard those ads claiming you can launch a website in an hour? Or worse, what about the claims that you can launch your website in as little as 10 minutes?
I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit.
Don’t spend one cent with the expectation that you’re going to build a professional website in 60 minutes or less.
And if you’re currently building your website wondering how other people did it so fast when it’s taking you so long, trust me, they didn’t do it. Most people aren’t out here building one-hour websites or even one-day websites.
I have recommended that a lot of people launch their own site. One person who took my advice told me that she was under the impression that it would be a lot easier. Everything that she saw made it sound so simple, and I didn’t exactly make it clear how much was involved either, she told me.
I want to apologize to her and anyone else that I’ve led to believe that building a website is quick and easy because I definitely know better.
I built about 95% of KnowGoodWords by myself. At the end of the process, I hired someone to add some capabilities and tweak some things that required more far more knowledge of coding than I wanted to learn.
When I started out, I was thinking I would dig in on Friday evening and be ready to launch on Monday.
That’s what you call optimism at it’s finest. That was me vastly over-estimating what I’m capable of.
Instead of a weekend, this site took me a month to build.
In the best-case scenario “someone with a lot of experience” who is building “a modest website with a couple of pages” can get it done in a few hours, says an article from Elegant Themes, a company that sells web design services and tools.
I repeat– The best case scenario for highly experienced indivuals is a modest product in a few hours.
Even the most conceited professional designers aren’t bragging about building websites in an hour. They know any site built that fast isn’t worth associating your name with, and it isn’t going to turn out how you want it.
If you don’t have experience, it will take you at least an hour to get familiar with the dashboard and probably at least another hour learning terminology related to the job. And I’ll bet that once again I’m being overly optimistic.
Say you’re going to use WordPress like me and the majority of website owners do these days. It could take you days just to select the right theme. In my case, that part of the process was about three or four days.
If you don’t know what a theme is, refer back to my point two paragraphs ago. There’s a lot of lingo to learn, and once you know what you’re talking about, you still have to figure out how it applies to your project.
Once you select your theme, you’ll need time to customize it, and how long that will take depends on how much planning you’ve done and how much customization the theme allows.
But I’ll tell you, a lot of people are surprised by how in-depth the options are.
For example, most themes allow you to choose the font style, color, size and special effects for your titles, for about 5 to 7 heading types, and for your headers, footers and sidebars.
You get to choose what your links will look when they’re embedded in your text and the color around your social media boxes and other areas.
Once you customize your theme, there’s also a long list of WordPress settings to customize. These include things like how your social media share buttons look and where they’re located. It includes how your date and time stamps appear, how big your thumbnails are, and how your comments section operate.
And you still haven’t done things like add plug-ins and widgets, which may also have settings.
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Some web-building services have drop-and-drop design features. That means you basically have a blank page and you can drag elements, such as the “Title” box, to the spot on the page where you want the title to be. Elegant Themes has one of these called the Divi Builder that’s popular.
Even with that, it’s not realistic to expect that you as a beginner will have your site up and running in hours.
By the time, you go from the initial planning stage to the final touches, you will probably have spent close to a month working on your website, says the Elegant Themes article.
The time largely depends on how prepared you are and what you want your website to do. But obviously, I second that estimate because that was my experience.
So, at best, if you’re an inexperienced to moderately experienced person and you want something basic, you should probably expect that to take you a minimum of a couple of weeks. For modest to somewhat complex sites, plan for it to take you a month or more.