How Long Does it Take to Build my Own DIY Website?
When you’re thinking of getting your business online it’s natural to ask “how long does it take to build a website?” but that’s like asking “how long until dinner is ready?”. It depends if you’re getting Uber Eats or slow roasting brisket.
Building your own website can be quick (we’re talking a couple of hours) or take time (we’re talking weeks) depending on the website building platform you use, how many services you offer, and whether you have content ready. Here’s where your time will be spent if you’re building a DIY site.
If you’re thinking about building your own website you want to know how long the process will take.
Is it days? Weeks? Months?
The point of taking matters in your own hands and creating a DIY site is to be in control of the project from start to finish, but if the finish line is a couple of months from now then the decision to handle the build can feel like a mistake.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be planning months ahead to have your DIY website online. It’s entirely possible to have a website live in as little as 2 hours, though there are a few variables that will speed up or slow down the process.
The time it takes to build your own DIY website will depend on a handful of important factors, including:
What website builder you choose
How many services you offer
How much content you want on your site
In this article we’ll cover the 3 major DIY website building options – Wix, Pedestal, WordPress – and explain how long each takes, plus what to expect using each platform.
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Building your website with Wix: 2 – 4 hours
Building a site with Wix is like putting together IKEA furniture. Everything is already there, all you need to do is put the pieces together.
As a simple drag-and-drop website builder (meaning you literally drag features of your site where you want them to go, like pictures or text) building a site with Wix can take as little as 2 to 4 hours.
Hundreds of ready-made layouts
There are hundreds of ready-made-layouts to choose from, so it’s only a matter of finding the right design for you. Keep in mind you’ll need to individually create extra pages for each service you offer, so the more services you have (or the more pages you want on your site) the longer it will take to build. You’ll also need to have your content prepared or expect to add a few extra hours writing about your business and choosing photos.
But once you’ve picked your industry theme (Wix offers specific themes for trades) and created your individual pages, you’ve got unlimited control over what you can move and where.
A TRUE drag and drop website builder
Wix is one of the only TRUE drag-and-drop website builders because of this feature. You can literally move anything anywhere.
This level of control can become a double-edged sword though if you move an important box of text to the wrong spot, or drag your contact phone number out of sight to the bottom of the page. But if you’re happy to spend some time playing around with your design, and you’ve got a few spare hours to fix up any accidental design mistakes, Wix is easy to use and creates simple sites in minimal time.
Pedestal offers the same drag-and-drop features as Wix, but is designed exclusively for trade businesses and service providers – with conversion goals in mind.
What does that mean? Well, every ready-made theme available in the Pedestal website builder has been created to increase the number of leads coming through to your inbox. This is done with features that build trust and likeability, like a ‘FREE REPORT’ download feature that’s built into your site.
Here’s how the ‘FREE REPORT’ feature works
You don’t have to spend time brainstorming topics (those are pre-built to suit your trade industry). Instead, choose from existing headlines that have been created to appeal to your site visitors.
There’s a form built into your site that site visitors can use to request your free report, which helps them see you as a local expert. And when it comes time to spend their money, you’re the logical choice.
Switch between high converting features
Pedestal allows you to change photos and switch colours at the click of a button, but you won’t have the same unlimited control to drag text and pictures anywhere like you can on a Wix site. This is because the position of text, buttons, and images has been created by conversion experts to increase enquiries and leads.
This isn’t helpful if you want to spend hours moving buttons all over the screen or you’ve got a plan to learn web design in your spare time. But if you want to save time and only want to choose between design options that boost your conversion rate, Pedestal will tick your boxes.
Pre-loaded service pages
You’re able to shave a few hours off the build time with popular service pages pre-loaded into every theme to match your niche. So if you’re a cleaner you don’t need to create individual pages like you would on other website building platforms. You’ll have pages for ‘end of lease cleaning’, ‘office cleaning’, ‘deceased estate cleaning’ already on your site.
All you have to do is add your content and pics. As with a Wix website, if you don’t yet have your content and pictures ready you should budget a few extra hours to get your website finished.
WordPress is the most popular website building platform in the world, but that’s because it’s used by millions of bloggers so the popularity isn’t necessarily a reflection of how valuable it is for tradies.
Unlike Wix and Pedestal, WordPress is a little more hands on at each stage of the build.
You’ll still be able to pick a theme, but the WordPress platform requires a much steeper learning curve to master. For example, adding pages may mean manually connecting each new page to your navigation menu (depending on the theme you’ve chosen).
More settings and options
There’s no site-wide drag-and-drop feature, so you’ll also have to figure out how to add your branding (colours, logos etc) which will require you to navigate to specific menus on your WordPress dashboard.
Between the huge number of settings and design options on your WordPress dashboard, and the language that’s unique to WordPress (posts vs pages, custom post types, widgets), you’ll need a few hours each day, and a few weeks in total, to get the hang of it.
If this sounds a little complex…well, it is.
Is WordPress the most complex choice? Absolutely.
But that doesn’t make it the wrong choice for you. WordPress websites come with a ton of SEO-friendly features so if you plan to run your own SEO campaigns down the line and spend your weekends optimising content and keeping up-to-date with the latest SEO trends, you’ll have plenty of ways to up your SEO game.
What to do next if you’re not sure which DIY website building platform is right for you
If you’re stuck on the fence and can’t pick a winner, set aside a few hours and play around with each site building platform.
This will give you a chance to see how each platform works and what feels right for you. We can outline the pros and cons of each option, but sometimes it’s best to get stuck in and get your hands dirty to see what feels right.
No matter which platform you pick, there will be a learning curve to take into account. Wix and Pedestal are quick and easy to learn, while WordPress will require weeks to fully master and get the most out of.
On the flipside, WordPress offers the most SEO-customisation, so if you plan on using SEO down the track and want to learn how to get on Google yourself, a WordPress site will give you more control than Wix or Pedestal.
Your industry should also help shape your decision. Pedestal has been purpose-built for tradespeople, contractors and service-providers with the design and website features picked to increase leads. While Wix and WordPress are better for selling physical products online.