Finally! Your budget request has been approved and you have the green light to start the much needed website redesign. You’re ready to hit the ground running. Your first question to your website firm might be “When can we launch the new site?” We’re excited to give your website a beautiful transformation too, but first, let’s discuss a realistic timeline.

It’s not uncommon to hear a potential client say, “We need the new site up and running in 8 weeks.” While we understand the sense of urgency to launch a refreshed site ASAP, we also understand the important of doing it the right way the first time. Your last redesign may have been 4 years ago (or longer) so, of course, the evolution of the digital world in that time has left you eager to get up to speed.

Before you choose the Web Design firm that promises a successful launch such a short time frame, there are a few things you should consider beyond their experience in your industry, portfolio and “guarantees”.

When discussing your website project with a potential digital partner, you should feel reassured that you will have a dedicated Project Manager to assist you along the way from the initial collaboration through the several iterations of design concepts, website messaging and content recommendations. A Project Manager should be consistently communicating with you via phone calls, emails, status reports and meetings to ensure the project is staying on track.

Today’s web standards require a site that can be easily accessible on all devices. It’s no longer a question of “if” your new site should be responsive. Instead, it’s a necessity that your site must be responsive. Responsive design requires more than a checking a box on the backend. It’s a strategic approach to designing for the mobile user, appealing to how users interact with websites via mobile, and custom development and programming to ensure an intuitive experience. All of this, of course, requires time for quality assurance testing to ensure the successful launch that you were promised.

To have a truly successful website redesign, it requires the proper investment of resources, and ultimately time. This investment is crucial from your agency partner, and also from you, the client. As your agency delivers on their promised time, strategic approach, creativity, attention to detail, in turn, you will need to make time to for reviews, feedback, and approvals to complete the project.

Your website is one of the most (or in my opinion, the most) important part of your digital marketing strategy. It’s available to your audience 24/7, 365 days a year! Given the amount of time and resources you are investing, it only makes sense that your “face to world” is done right, the first time.

Realistically, how long should a website redesign project take? Each website project is different and based on several factors. Some are more complex than others, and you should always account for the unexpected. In general, plan on approximately 120 days; you (and your website visitors) will be glad you did!