Why do websites take so long?

I had two meetings with clients yesterday about websites, and a discussion point in both meetings was how much longer it had taken to build their new website than they initially expected.
When I look back over my 8 years in this business and at websites I was involved with in previous roles, I would say the vast majority if not all projects have run into this issue. Many of the web designers I talk to tell me they regularly experience the same thing with their clients.
Very often the reason the timescales get extended is that creating content takes much longer than planned – the initial thinking and design usually goes quite smoothly, but then the day arrives when the client (usually) is asked to start work on creating all the pages and providing images, case studies, testimonials etc. and despite everyone’s best intentions, this is when it seems to all slow down.
I think a big part of the problem is that we let it become too big a task. An item on the ‘to do list’ that says “write 35 pages of web text” is going to be pretty off-putting to most people, and we can easily let ourselves start making excuses for delaying e.g. “I really need to find a full day to work on this”.
In my experience, the only way to eliminate, or reduce the delays is to follow Ghandi’s advice about eating the elephant – take it “one bite at a time”. Breaking the task into a series of manageable chunks makes it easier to get started and achieve steady progress.
Strategies you might want to consider include:
Sketch out the key messages for each page rather than trying to write all the words
Identify the SEO keywords and phrases you want to include in each page
Break the site into sections and prioritise them
Delegate pages or sections to other people in the business and then edit what they create
Write one page each day or every two days and don’t “let yourself off the hook”
You will probably also find that once you get started, it’s really not as difficult as you thought it would be, and you can also make this approach work with other marketing content e.g. writing the words for a brochure.

If you’re stuck with getting your website off the ground, why not give us a call?