Your designer’s clock is not the only one to watch during the site development phase. I won’t kid you, sometimes long site development time is the fault of the designer. He or she could just be a slow worker, perhaps over-booked their work, gotten sick or (sigh …) doesn’t have good business, timing or customer service skills. The possibilities are endless with some reasons being totally warranted and understandable while other reasons not.
Can the Client be Blamed for Slow Development?
Actually … yes. Much depends on the client as well. One thing designers can’t stress enough is that in order to have your site completed in the shortest possible time frame, have your content ready before contacting a designer.
Once the initial layout is approved, and the content is received, in most cases things can move along rather quickly. Other than the usual steps to completion which at times can be delayed for one reason or another, one of the most common issues web designers run into is not receiving the site content in a timely fashion. Your content is your most important asset and site development can come to a screeching halt without it. Your accountant can’t do your taxes without your documents, your website designer can’t complete your web site without your content.
Another common problem is not receiving prompt responses from the client when we contact you with questions or needs. You may have hired us to create your website, but we can’t do it alone. Your timely cooperation is without a doubt, one of a web designers most essential tools to success!
How Can it be My Fault?
Keep in mind, this is your site being developed. If it isn’t going up fast enough to suit you, definitely and politely inquire of your designer, but before you do, consider the entire picture. Your designer isn’t doing this site totally on their own. We need you, your input and your consistent cooperation! With good client cooperation a rough estimate to live date averages 8-12 weeks depending on the site. The time frame to completion is dependent upon the size of the site, what features you’ve requested, how involved it may be and any number of other factors including circumstances the designer has absolutely no control over.
This time frame most often includes the proposal and contract preparation phase, client review (which sometimes involves consulting with committees) and signatures. This is another area that we run into difficulties with. Many people are understandably, in a big hurry to get started. Why when we send them their contract, does it take several weeks or even months to get it back, signed and ready to go? I honestly have no idea. Giving us what we need to do your job in a timely fashion will absolutely speed up the process. The timing in which your designer receives your signed contract and when he or she can begin your site is in most cases, directly related to the workload the designer has at the time of receipt. Many designers schedule projects on a “first come first served” basis. At the time of your initial contact your designer may not be as busy as they are when they receive your contract or vice-versa.
Most web designers want to complete your site just as quickly (if not faster) as you! Some of us juggle several sites at one time. Since no two sites are alike this is not an easy task sometimes. Different coding, different scripts, different needs all can potentially work against us and the clock can be our worst enemy. It’s absolutely helpful if your cooperation allows us to move through your site work in a way that we don’t have to stop your work because we can’t go any further and jump in and out of another client’s work like a yo-yo.
We are serious about our work and about pleasing you. We do realize you’re paying us your hard earned money, which by the way we appreciate more than we can ever tell you! The last thing we want is to disappoint you. For more information on how you can help move your site work along efficiently, please read Preparing for Your Website and The Client’s Learning Curve.