How Long Does It Take To Build a WordPress Website?
How long does it take to build a WordPress website?
If you are building a website for the first time, this is probably the first question you ask yourself.
The truth is, there’s no good or bad answer to that question. In reality, the time required to build a site depends on a myriad of factors. The dimensions of the site, your and your team’s coding skills, and the complexity of the platform – all of these will play an important role in determining the actual time needed to build the site and hammer out the projects.
As such, professional WordPress development by a dedicated team will take much less than having a hobby developer get the job done.
For starters, if somebody would like to get a site up and running, a solid WordPress platform can be built in less than a day. However, if you go through the entire process hastily and in a hurry, you are running the risk of ending up with a site that might be sub-par quality.
Still, time is of the essence. And truth be told, WordPress can be a great platform when you are looking for something reliable that can be built fast.
As a matter of fact, WordPress is among the most popular web solutions, with some sources quoting that WordPress powers a whopping 43% of all websites online.
WordPress also powers 14.7% of the leading websites on the web. The platform has over 55,000 plugins and is the definitive leader of the CMS market with a share of 60.8%. Lastly, every day, around 500 new WordPress sites are created.
With such a track record, why not choose WordPress? Still, the question remains: how long does it take to build such a platform? This blog will try to answer this question by examining different aspects of site-building and the options you might choose.
WordPress Development Factors
Before getting started with the actual development, future site owners need to determine a few key factors that will also be able to change the actual time required to finish the project.
Here are a few basic things site owners should already know before starting the development process:
- The number of pages: This is pretty much self-explanatory. The more pages your site has, the more it will take to develop and design them with their specified requirements and functionality.
- The type of site you are creating: Depending on whether you will be building a shop, a directory, a shop, a business website, a personal site, or a non-profit platform, the time required to get it done will vary.
- Functionality: The features your website offers can also prolong the development time. Calculators, cart features, appointment scheduling tools, reminders, and other engaging features will all take a bit more to properly configure with the project.
- Theme type: Among the most important factors, the type of theme you choose will also have a huge impact on overall development time. When choosing an already built (either premium or free) theme, you can finish the project in a matter of days. In the case of a custom theme, the project may take months but is well worth the time.
Without getting into the details, here are the five basic steps that will determine the entire development process:
- Planning: As mentioned above, you should choose a structure for your site. Choose one that helps you achieve your goal and speaks to your target audience. If your aim is blogging, then you should focus on that. If you want an online shop, you will need to create a site accordingly. Brainstorming can take anywhere from an hour up to ten hours or even longer.
- Hosting and Domain names: Pick a domain name that will catch the eye of your audience and that does justice for your brand. Also, choose a hosting service that suits your needs the most. The environment setup can last anywhere up to one or two hours.
- Set up Your Site and Theme: Setting up your site can be a fairly quick process. Getting the right theme may take a while (see above and below) as this is one of the most important decisions throughout the entire development cycle. When you already have your eyes set on a pre-built theme, configuring it can take around an hour or two.
- Adding all the Necessary Plugins: Apart from the features and functionality you need, there are a few must-have plugins that will help your site flourish in the digital sphere. Security, SEO, Image optimization, and backup plugins are all necessary for success. Not to mention, if you want an online shop, you will need WooCommerce too. Adding all the plugins you need will also take around an hour. After that, publishing content and setting up everything can be a bit longer.
- Creating the necessary content for the site can take around two to 20 hours.
- Submitting the website and sitemap for indexing can last around 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Traffic monitoring plugins setup: around half around
- Certify your site: Buy the necessary SSL certificate to protect your site from cybercrime.
- Publish and Test: Check your site’s speed, and check for bugs. When everything checks out, hit “Publish” and get started. Testing speed and SEO sensitivity can take up to two hours.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
Installing on Your Desktop vs. External Environment
You can also choose to install WordPress on your computer as well. However, most experts wouldn’t recommend that for beginners.
For the most part, installing WordPress in a local server environment makes sense only if you are looking to build different plugins and themes to test everything out. If your sole purpose is to run a blog, then using a local server environment for that might not be the best idea, as you will be the only person who will see your site.
Still, if you choose to install WordPress on your computer, you should consider using WAMP, which includes a bundle of PHP, Apache web server, and MySQL.
At this point, we have a site, but it’s still more of a shell than a fully-fledged web app that has the functionality and the visual appeal to keep audiences interested.
Manual Installation in an External Environment (in Depth)
Here’s a short guide to manual WP installation. Please note this is not an in-depth guide, more just a list of steps that will help you better understand the tasks you’ll have to perform to get your site up and running.
Download the official package from https://wordpress.org/download/ and unzip the folder on your desktop.
Upload WordPress to Your Hosting Account
After unzipping the downloaded folder, you will need to upload the contents to your hosting account.
There are three ways to go about this:
- Use FTP to upload
- Use File Manager
- Use SSH
Create Your User and MySQL Database
You will need to create a database to let WordPress store its information. To do this, you will need to log in cPanel, look for the Databases option and click on the MySQL Database Wizard.
Here you will create a database, database users, give said user privileges, and complete the task when you are done.
This file has all the database info and helps WordPress identify the path to the database where it should pull the necessary data.
This file is usually in the File Manager folder, and after you log into cPanel, locate the necessary file and configure it so your databases and WordPress site will work correctly.
Open a new browser window and put it in your domain to install the script. Depending on where you managed to install the script, you will be redirected to two different URLs.
Complete the Installation
After accessing the correct URL, complete the setup. Choose the preferred language, set your title, username, password, email, search engine visibility, etc.
Then, click on the Install WordPress option, and wait for the process to complete. Once done, log into your Admin area and get started with installing a theme and building your site.
The local installation has its clear benefits when you want to learn more about the mechanics of WordPress and would like to tinker more with different themes, tweaking, plugin testing, and the like. However, if you want your site to become live as soon as possible, choosing an external environment would be the better option.
Choosing a Theme
Next up, you should focus on the visual aspects of your WordPress website. How your website looks is influenced by the themes you choose.
These are professionally crafted templates that you can install on your site. By default, your platform will come with the basic theme, but chances are, that won’t turn any visitor’s head. Fortunately, there are thousands of theme options.
Most often, you can divide these themes into two different categories:
These themes are readily available and can be configured within minutes in the hands of an experienced WP developer. Usually, you will see two different pre-built theme types:
- Free themes
- Premium themes
Free WordPress Themes
There are thousands of great entirely free themes on the internet, and you can find the best on WordPress.org’s themes directory.
While they can be an excellent option for adding functionality to your WP-powered platform, most experts will point out that site owners have to be careful when deciding which free them to use.
Free themes from professional developers are certainly a blessing from the sky. Still, with free themes, you’re also running the risk of choosing something that was put together incorrectly by someone whose skills simply aren’t good enough.
The problem is that themes can affect the performance of your website, SEO, user experience, extensibility, and more. As such, you will want a theme that adheres to the highest standards. Otherwise, you are doing a disservice to your site. When picking the first theme that’s for free, you are running the risk of hurting your online presence and reputation. We’re not saying that free themes can’t be good. We’re just trying to say that site owners need to choose free solutions carefully from a reputable and reliable developer.
Free themes can be more or less installed instantly if you are looking for something and want it fast. However, these options can often be limiting, with limited customizability options, and come with little functionality or features you can’t tweak to meet your needs. Still, in terms of time, a free theme can get your site up and running in about a day or two.
Premium WordPress Themes
These are high-quality themes that come from reliable companies. In most cases, they aren’t free, meaning that their prices will generally range from $50 to $100 for a site license. Some first-time website owners might think that these themes cost a lot. However, they also offer several benefits, such as:
- The themes are already optimized for SEO
- Have high-quality code
- Optimized for performance
- Have flexible customization options,
- Come with the latest standards regarding web design/accessibility
- Offer full developer support
If you have no experience in website ownership and development, your safest bet will probably be to opt for a premium theme. Not saying that free options are bad; poorly designed and written themes can drag down site performance and even hurt your SEO efforts.
Premium themes, on the other hand, offer a wide variety of features that enable you to tweak your site’s functionality and looks. Also, these options offer full support. This means that when you run into a problem, the developers behind the theme will help you sort out the issue.
Premium themes can be installed rather quickly, enabling you to get started with adding content to your site and going live rather quickly.
On the downside, these options aren’t fully catering to every site owner’s needs. Often, they have several lines of unnecessary code and functionality features that might be useless for the site project at hand.
Sorting everything out and cleaning everything up might take some time, often prolonging the entire development cycle.
Custom WordPress Themes
Custom themes are the best options when you are looking for something unique and individual.
These solutions are specifically developed for a website, meaning that everything can be implemented on the site within the client’s budget and the given technological barriers.
To only possible drawback of these options is the cost. Professional custom WordPress themes can range from $500 to $3000 depending on the features and the skill of the team behind design and development.
While these themes are the most costly, they are the best option for those site owners who want to be taken seriously in the online realm. A fully-custom tailor-made theme highlights professionalism, expertise, and prestige, and enables you to create an entire user-friendly and fast-loading site that will not only catch eyes but will leave visitors wanting more.
Often, to get the feel of a custom site, experts recommend customizing a premium theme. Several great premium solutions have great customization features, and you can always contact the development team behind the theme to help you with customizing.
Opting for the best custom WordPress theme service comes with massive benefits. First, custom themes are built to your preferences and your needs. This means that the entire theme will be built from scratch. This can be a timely process since you will be spending some time with your development team to discuss your requirements and ideas. You might also want custom plugins and fully customized functionality which will also require more time. While some custom projects can be finished within weeks, some experts agree that a fully customized solution may even take two to three months to finish.
WordPress differentiates two types of content, pages, and posts. The latter is a part of the site’s blog functionality, while the first focuses on one-off content, like contact pages, about pages, main pages, and so on.
When starting, your blog posts will be on your front page, but you can also create a separate page for your blog section and create the main page instead of it. You can also opt to get rid of the blog section altogether.
Start the process by adding pages to your site. Just go to “Pages” and click on the “Add New” in the Admin dashboard. Once you’re done, you will see the page editor screen where you will need to give your page a title. Then, you will be able to add content in the text editor below, which also supports videos, audio, images, links, and more. When done, just click “Publish,” and it will go live on your site. Publishing a blog post follows a similar format.
Adding content to your site is a constant “battle,” meaning that if you’re running a blog section, you will pretty much have to update it regularly with valuable content to harness its power for improving traffic and building trust. On the other hand, you will find that you’ll want to reoptimize your page content from time to time to target better keywords, but that’s another story.
Plugins and Tweaking
After you’ve added some content, it’s time to put said content in a shape that’s presentable to your users.
You will want to start by setting up a static front page, changing the site title and the site tagline, setting up your preferred comment settings, creating navigation menus, and more.
Also, if you want to add plugins, now would be the perfect time to do it. Plugins for WordPress pretty much function like applications that enrich the functionality of your platform. You can simply install them from your admin dashboard.
There are many plugins available for WP-powered sites, and getting those that your site needs can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you work together with an experienced development team, they will help you create a list of the necessary plugins that will help you with things like overall functionality, security, SEO, and more. For instance, you have the popular WooCommerce plugin that turns your site into an eCommerce store.
Mastering the Platform
WordPress is relatively easy to use, but it also allows site owners to push the limits of simple content management.
As time goes by, you might find yourself that you want a bit more from your website. New features, functions, better optimization, and so on. WordPress will probably be able to support your online needs as there are great open-source and premium resources and experts who are pushing the limits of the platform each day.
When it comes to the time required to get a WordPress website up and running, you can see that the answer will mostly depend on the route you take and the themes you choose. Pre-built themes, depending on complexity and coding skill, can take anywhere from a week to 60 days. Custom themes can take a bit longer.
On average, a fully tailor-made option will take at least 30 days, but can also take longer than 90 in the case of a complex project. If you are a novice, who wants to create a site on your own, developing a fully-fledged website can take some time. However, if you let experts help you, the process will be a lot faster.