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Building a website is a pivotal step toward harnessing the vast potential of the digital world, whether you want to establish an online presence for your business, showcase your portfolio, or connect with a specific community.

However, one of the most common questions anyone embarking on this venture asks is, “How long does it take to build a website?” 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain the phases of building a website and discuss key factors that can affect the timeline. We’ll also provide you with actionable tips on how to expedite the process.

Website building: The basics

Building a website involves multiple steps. These include planning, research, competitive analysis, domain registration, web hosting, design, content creation, development, testing and launch.

Here’s an in-depth look at each of these steps.

The main steps of building a website.

1. Planning

The website-building process begins with the planning phase.

Before any code hits the editor, there’s a lot of groundwork to be laid in the planning stage. Here, the focus is on nailing down what you want your website to achieve and who it’s for.  

This stage involves gathering all the brains involved—marketers, designers, developers, and stakeholders—to hash out the nitty-gritty: what features your site needs, who your audience is, and the resources you have at your disposal. It’s about getting everyone on the same page, so the rest of the process runs smoothly. 

This is where you lay the foundation for your website by answering a few questions:

  • Purpose: Why are you building the website? Do you plan to sell products, showcase your portfolio, share information or something else?
  • Target audience: Who do you hope to attract to your website? What are these people’s interests or needs?
  • Functionality: What functions will your website perform? In other words, what exactly will visitors be able to do on your website?
  • Design and development: Who will design, build and maintain the website? Will it be an in-house project, or will you hire a web developer?
  • Tools and technology: What equipment or tools will you use to build your website? Will it be website builders like Squarespace or Wix or a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress? Or will your website be coded from scratch?
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on building the website?

2. Research and competitive analysis

The research and competitive analysis phase is essential for gaining insights into the trends, strengths, opportunities and threats prevalent in your niche.

Here’s how to analyze your competitors:

  • Compile a list of websites similar to yours in terms of content, audience and purpose.
  • Examine their design elements, such as layout, color schemes, typography and branding.
  • Note down consistent patterns.
  • Scrutinize their content strategy to gain insight into what appeals to your target audience.
  • Critically evaluate any noticeable weaknesses you can improve upon on your website.
  • Consider what unique features or elements you can include to make your website stand out.

Remember, the goal is not to emulate successful websites in your niche but to surpass them.

3. Domain registration and hosting subscription

Choose and register a domain name. This will be your website’s unique address on the internet. Your domain name should be memorable, relevant to your brand and easy to spell.

Once you’ve secured your domain name, it’s time to choose a web hosting plan. Hosting simply means renting space on a server to store your website’s files and data.

Choose a reputable host like Bluehost that offers excellent uptime, fast loading speeds, and strict security measures to mitigate cyberattacks.

wordpress hosting plans

4. Design

The design phase is where your website starts to take shape visually. This stage involves making critical decisions on various design elements that will define your website’s appearance and user experience.

Begin by creating wireframes. These are basic blueprints that map out the structure of each page, including the placement of key elements such as menus, content areas and call-to-action (CTA) buttons.

Next, decide on the color scheme, typography and branding. Choose web design elements that align with your brand and appeal to your target audience.

Finally, create mockups. These are detailed representations of what the final product will look like. Mockups incorporate all the relevant design elements like color, typography and graphics. Tools like Adobe Illustrator and Canva can help with this task.

The design phase is a creative and meticulous process that sets the stage for what users will eventually interact with. 

5. Content creation

Start creating the content that will be featured on your website. This includes the copy that will go on your site’s main pages (such as the Home, About and Contact pages).

Popular website content formats include:

  • Blog posts.
  • Videos.
  • Images.
  • Podcasts.
  • Other downloadables.

Preparing your website content ahead of time ensures a smoother and more efficient launch. It ensures your website is fully operational, engaging visitors from the moment it goes live.

Conduct research to determine the most optimal content strategy for your website. For example, a 2022 Wistia survey reveals that people spend twice as much time on a webpage that has videos than one that doesn’t.

So, consider incorporating video content to boost engagement and amplify your SEO efforts.

6. Development

The development phase is where your website transforms from a conceptual design into a tangible, functioning entity. In this phase, you (or your developer) build your website based on the mockups created earlier.

In the past, the development phase entailed coding your webpages from scratch. Thankfully, coding is no longer mandatory, thanks to website builders and CMSes like WordPress. Manual coding or custom development is still an option, however.

The development phase culminates in a fully operational website, ready to be populated with the content prepared earlier.

7. Testing

This phase involves testing for bugs. Before your website goes live, ensure it functions properly on different browsers and devices. This includes double-checking all links and functionalities to confirm that visitors can navigate through the website without technical problems.

A 2023 survey by Zippia reveals that 88% of internet users are not likely to return to a website after a bad experience. So, it’s important to test your website before it goes live.

8. Launch

If testing reveals everything is okay, your website is ready for launch. This phase involves configuring your domain to point to your hosting server. After launching your website, conduct another round of testing to ensure everything works as expected.

You can request feedback from beta testers based on your website’s usability, functionality and speed. Or you could use security testing tools to identify new threats and weaknesses. Then, take corrective steps to enhance your website’s overall user experience.

9. Post-launch activities

Launching your website is a key milestone, but it’s not the end of the story. You need to perform some post-launch activities to create brand awareness and maintain high performance.

These activities include:

  • Search engine optimization: Optimize your new website to rank higher on search engines and enhance its visibility.
  • Promotion: Promote your website on social media and other online channels to generate targeted traffic.
  • Analytics: Set up website analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics) to track user behavior and make data-driven decisions based on the insights you gain into your audience.
  • Content updates: Consistently provide fresh content to your audience to keep them engaged and interested.
  • Performance and security monitoring: Continuously monitor your website’s performance and security, and make updates as needed.

How long does it take to build a website?

Building a website can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks or months. The time frame depends on several factors, including website-building technique (i.e., whether you use AI to do it yourself or hire a web developer), complexity, and content requirements.

Here’s how each factor affects the timeline.

Factors that affect how long it takes to build a website.

There are several approaches you can take to build a website. Let’s look at each.

1: Using a website builder

Estimated time to build a website: 1 week – 3 months.

Website builders offer user-friendly tools and templates, allowing you to create a basic website within hours, even if you’re a beginner.

The main drawback is that you’re limited creatively. For example, while you can customize the available templates, you’re still confined to what these templates offer.

Website builders are ideal for individuals and small businesses looking to establish an online presence quickly through a basic website.

2: Using WordPress

The estimated time to build a website is 1 -2 weeks.

Another technique is to build a WordPress website using a host like Bluehost. There are currently 1.13 billion websites in the world, 45.8% of which are built on WordPress. Considering these stats, WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS.

45.8% of all global websites are built on WordPress.

Building a WordPress website offers a balance between customizability, user-friendliness and affordability. WordPress gives you access to pre-made themes, plugins and templates for website design.

This option requires more setup effort than website builders, but you’ll have a more creative playroom than with a website builder.

The amount of time it takes to build a fully functional WordPress site can vary from a few days for a one-page website, to a few weeks or months for a more complex, feature-rich website.

3: Using Bluehost AI and WordPress

The estimated time to build a website is only 5 minutes!

Imagine the speed of a website builder and the expertise of a web developer combined — that’s the power of an AI-powered site builder.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables users to launch functional websites incredibly quickly. These tools automate the design and setup process, allowing you to have a basic site ready in minutes to hours, and a more customized one in just a few days. 

Overall, AI site builders make web development faster and more accessible, providing a quick path to establishing an online presence while still allowing room for customization to make your site stand out. 

How the AI Site Builder Stands Out 

The AI Site Builder is revolutionizing the way WordPress websites are created, making it a swift and seamless process accessible to anyone, regardless of their technical expertise. Here’s a deeper look into the benefits of using an AI-powered site builder: 

  • Speed: One of the standout features of the AI Site Builder is its ability to streamline the website creation process. Users can see their site go live within minutes, as the AI swiftly takes care of the initial design and setup. This rapid deployment is especially beneficial for those who need to establish an online presence without delay. 
  • Ease of Use: This tool is designed to be incredibly user-friendly, eliminating the need for any coding or advanced design skills. The interface provides simple prompts and choices that guide users through the creation process step by step. This accessibility opens up website building to a broader audience, including those who may have been intimidated by the technical demands of traditional web design methods. 
  • Cost-Effective: AI Site Builder offers a budget-friendly alternative to the traditional costs associated with building a website. There’s no need to hire web design professionals or buy expensive themes and design elements. By automating design and setup, the tool reduces overhead costs, making it an economical choice for individuals, small businesses, or startups looking to minimize expenses. 
  • Customizable: Despite its automated nature, the AI Site Builder doesn’t lock users into a one-size-fits-all design. While it provides a solid foundation based on the latest web design trends and best practices, users have the flexibility to make custom tweaks. This customization capability ensures that the final website not only functions well but also aligns with the user’s specific aesthetic preferences and business needs. 

Bluehost’s AI Site Creation tool can help you build a WordPress website instantly. Just provide basic information like the purpose of your site and your preferences, and the AI handles the rest. However, it’s always wise to take some time to tweak and personalize the AI-generated designs to ensure they align with your specific needs and brand identity.  

Whether you’re a small business owner, a blogger, or just starting out, this tool simplifies your web creation process, integrates essential features like SEO and eCommerce capabilities, and does it all in a way that’s both time-saving and cost-effective. Perfect for getting online fast and with minimum fuss! 

4: Working with a web design agency,

The estimated time to build a website is 2 – 6 months.

Choosing to work with an agency is similar to hiring a professional designer but usually involves a larger team. Working with a web design agency is ideal for larger businesses needing a full-service approach, covering everything from design and search engine optimization (SEO) to content creation and ongoing maintenance.  

Unlike hiring just one developer, an agency brings a diverse team of specialists together, which can streamline the entire process. However, coordinating between various experts and stakeholders might extend the timeline a bit. 

You can expect a simple website to be ready in about 2 to 3 months. More complex sites with custom features and integrations might take anywhere from 4 to 6 months, and highly intricate websites could take up to a year to perfect. 

Agencies are known for their thoroughness, particularly when it comes to testing and quality assurance. Before launching, your website will undergo extensive checks to ensure everything functions seamlessly across all devices and platforms. This rigorous preparation helps ensure a smooth launch and a stable, efficient website from the start. 

5: Hiring a Professional Website Developer 

The estimated time to build a website is 4 weeks – 6 months

When you hire a professional website developer, you’re signing up for a custom-made website perfectly tailored to your needs. The process kicks off with a thorough consultation, where you outline your vision and requirements. Next, the design phase begins, where your ideas start taking on a visual form. This might involve a few rounds of revisions to get everything just right. 

Once the design is set, developers bring it to life in the development phase, integrating all necessary functionalities, from eCommerce systems to custom features. Before launching, the website undergoes extensive testing to ensure everything works seamlessly across various devices and browsers. This step is crucial for a smooth user experience. 

The timeline for your website depends on how complex you need it to be. Simple sites might take 4 to 6 weeks, while more involved sites could take 8 to 12 weeks, or even up to 5 to 6 months for highly complex sites with advanced features. This process, although time-consuming, ensures your website is effective, attractive, and fully functional

Consider the complexity and scale of the website

If you’re looking to create a basic website with a few pages, this can be done quickly. For example, creating a small business website or a personal blog takes anywhere from a few hours to a week.

For a multi-page website with intricate design elements or advanced functionalities such as eCommerce capabilities and interactive features, the development process will naturally be longer. These types of websites can take several weeks to several months to complete.

Content requirements

The amount and type of content that needs to be created or integrated into the website can influence the timeline. Developing high-quality, engaging copy for various pages, taking photos, creating graphics and shooting videos all take time.

Design requirements

Choosing between custom designs and pre-made templates significantly impacts the web development timeline. Custom designs are tailored to your brand. So, they demand more time for conceptualization, creation and implementation.

Pre-made templates, although less unique, offer a faster route to website launch, making them suitable for time-sensitive projects or those with fewer design requirements.

Development team size and expertise

Another factor that can affect how long it takes to build a website is the number of people working on the project and their level of expertise.

Naturally, if you’re handling everything yourself, it will take longer, especially if you’re new to web development. On the other hand, a larger team with diverse expertise can work on multiple aspects of the website simultaneously, potentially reducing the development time.

Should you hire a developer?

One of the key decisions you’ll have to make when building a website is whether to hire a developer or do it yourself. The decision can impact the quality, timeline and functionality of your website.

Here are vital considerations to help you make an informed choice:

Complexity of the website

You can create simple websites like blogs or small business pages using website builders with drag-and-drop functionalities. These tools are user-friendly and require minimal technical knowledge.

However, if your website requires complex features or specialized functionality such as advanced eCommerce capabilities or custom user interfaces, you may need to hire a professional developer.

Technical skills and resources

If you have a good grasp of web development or have team members who do, you might be able to handle the task of building even a complex website internally. Conversely, if you lack the necessary skills or resources, hiring a developer might be the best move.


Hiring a developer is typically more expensive than DIY-ing. However, consider the return on investment a professionally designed website could bring. Using a pro can result in better functionality and enhance the overall user experience.

Also, a DIY website, if not properly constructed, might require professional reworking later, increasing costs in the long run.

Quality and professionalism

A pro developer ensures a higher level of quality and professionalism in the website design. If you’re in a less competitive niche, a basic website created through a website builder might suffice. However, if you’re in a more competitive niche, a developer’s expertise can help you stand out.

To summarize, here are the pros and cons of working with a developer.


  • Developers bring specialized knowledge to the table, ensuring professionalism and credibility.
  • Developers can build a custom website tailored to specific needs.
  • Hiring a developer leaves you free to focus on core business activities.
  • Developers can provide valuable advice, including design choices or special features that will enhance your website’s appeal and functionality.


  • Hiring a developer is more expensive than building a website yourself.
  • It can be challenging to find a qualified developer who fully understands your needs.
  • Achieving your desired outcome might require several rounds of revisions.

How to speed up the website-building process

How to speed up the website-building process.

Website creation shouldn’t take more time than necessary. Here are some ways to reduce how long it takes to build a website.

  • Start with a clear plan or roadmap: Outline your goals, target audience, website structure, features and content strategy from the start. A well-defined plan keeps the project focused, minimizing delays.
  • Use pre-made templates: Opt for pre-designed templates if customization needs are minimal. Website builders expedite the process with user-friendly interfaces and templates.
  • Simplify design elements: Overly complex designs can lengthen development time. Go for clean, simple designs that take less time to create and implement. Follow the latest graphic design trends to ensure simplicity.
  • Maintain regular communication: Stay in touch with the web development team. Quick feedback cycles can prevent delays and ensure the project stays on track.
  • Avoid scope creep: Stick to the original plan. Making major changes during website development can drastically extend the timeline. If new ideas arise, consider implementing them in future updates rather than disrupting the current development process.

Final thoughts: How long does it take to build a website?

How long it takes to build a website varies based on its size and complexity, its design and content requirements and your web development technique.

However, as this guide has shown, you can speed up the process by having a clear plan from the outset, using pre-made templates and simplifying design elements.

Bluehost streamlines the website development process. For example, every WordPress hosting plan from Bluehost includes WonderSuite, an AI-enhanced suite of web-building tools designed to help you get your website off the ground.

WonderSuite comes with unique products like WonderStart, which gathers important user information early on to accelerate the web design process​​. You’ll also gain access to WonderBlocks, which offers a vast library of customizable block patterns and templates.

Sign up for a Bluehost WordPress hosting plan to bring your digital vision to life.

FAQs: How long does it take to build a website?

How much does it cost to build a website?

The cost of building a website depends on its complexity, design and technique. A simple DIY website created using a web builder can cost anywhere from $50 to $500, while a complex website created by a professional web design firm can cost up to $150,000.

Are there free website builders?

Yes. Many website builders offer free versions. However, free versions only provide basic functionalities. You’ll have to upgrade to a premium plan to unlock advanced features and customization options.

Alternatively, you can build your website with WordPress, whose core software is free. Plus, it offers tons of high-quality themes and plugins to enhance your website’s look and functionality.

Can I build a website with no experience?

Absolutely. Even without coding experience, you can build a fully functional website using website builders. They’re designed with beginners in mind, offering user-friendly interfaces and drop-down functionalities that allow you to create a website quickly. They also provide numerous tutorials and resources to guide you through the process.

How long does it take to build an eCommerce website?

Building an eCommerce website will likely take longer than a regular website due to additional functionalities like product pages, payment gateways and shopping carts. Depending on the number of products and the level of customization your online store needs, the web development process can take anywhere from 4 to 16 weeks.

How many pages are needed to build a website?

There’s no set number, as it largely depends on the website’s purpose. A basic website might only need the Home, About, Contact, Services/Product and Blog pages. More complex websites, like those for large businesses, could have dozens of pages to cover all content and functionalities adequately.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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