How long will it take to build an e-commerce website?


eCommerce is the way to go in today’s fast-paced environment. It is a crucial aspect of digital fortitude as renowned brands already have enlisted their products and services on eCommerce bigwigs.

You can choose to do it by yourself or take help from a digital agency. There are several themes and templates available to help with the eCommerce website design.

That being said, there is no conclusive answer to this question, but there are some insights that you can use to get by. The only plausible explanation is – it depends.

The Phases

Whatever format the eCommerce website takes, each goes through the four primary phases of Content Generation, Design, Build and Post-Build. But before delving into these phases, have a clear and crisp approach and proposal (visual) for the final output.

All four steps will go through some back-and-forth with multiple drafts, planning and replanning, and reworking. Think of the build and post-build phases as the final movie and post-production, if you may.

The last phase shall be the remaining pieces of the puzzle, including setting up a payment gateway and sorting out the order packaging, shipping and storage.

We know it is easier said than done, but each phase takes its own pace.  Much depends on the brand, its product, and more so, the personality the brand intends to impart.

Each website has its peculiarity

When looking for a particular product for purchase, one would search on and compare at least a few competing websites. You will see that every website has a different interface, navigation mechanism, colour theme and design. And why shouldn’t this be?

As a business owner, you would want bespoke features that help you stand out from the chaos and crowd, so take your time in perfecting it. Reworking the website will cost you time and money, but that’s nothing compared to lost interest.

Size and complexity

The size includes the number of web pages, and complexity caters to the number of categories. Custom-designed eCommerce sites are deemed most complex to design. It is the balance of the two that shall determine the timeframe to build the website.


Given the array of themes and plugins available on sites such as ThemeForest, we recommend that you do not get lazy. Doing so will hurt your engagement in the long run.

Take the theme as a base and work on it to make it your own. Add the brand personality and image to stand out explicitly. The features are all about creating functionalities that add convenience and seamlessness to your customer’s journey. It can also include events calendars or discussion forums.

Get the content right

The usual suspects of what you do, who do you do it for and what makes you different should be decided from the get-go. Also, factor in the SEO for keywords and phrases while you are at it. Getting the SEO right will increase the chances for visibility pushing your products and services much ahead of the competition.

Now, most businesses often underestimate the timeline for finalizing the content. So, take it seriously and do not hesitate.

Once done with the content and information, proceed to the design phase. It is the content and information that should determine the design and not the other way around. The reason is that the design breaks when the content does not fit into it.

However, if you have the content beforehand, designing becomes much more convenient. A design that aligns with the content is like a match made in heaven.

Quite a few businesses have pursued the other way by shoehorning the content into the design. In such cases, filler text (lorem ipsum) is used, making the bounce rate much higher than expected.

The timelines for website design

The disclaimer – it depends – still stands.

Nonetheless, there are general timeframes that companies can use as a reference for getting the planning right. The breakdown of the phases should factor in everything we’ve mentioned above for your site.

Websites can go for one of the three aesthetics:

  • Small – simple and minimalistic
  • Medium or semi-complex
  • Large – complex and custom-made

Small websites

A website with around five or six web pages and simple and easy features is simple. The content management system or CMS will be easy and shall entail a basic and standard structure. Also, the site can have blogs and forms for additional information and customer engagement.

The timelines:

  • Content – Two Weeks
  • Design – Two Weeks
  • Build – Two Weeks
  • Post-Build – One Week

Medium websites

Medium websites can have anywhere between ten to twenty web pages, including individual product and category pages. The eCommerce site will have an integrated CMS, blogs and forums as well. The timeline depends on whether the designer uses a template or theme. Doing so will help save time but land you up in a sea of similar-looking brands.

The timelines:

  • Content – 3 Weeks
  • Design – 3 Weeks
  • Build – 3 Weeks
  • Post-Build – 2 Weeks

Large websites

With over 25 web pages, these are complex in structure. There is likely to be more innovation through a custom-made design. Other telling features of large websites are CMS, a blog section, forms, shopping carts and calendars.

The timelines:

  • Content – 4 Weeks
  • Design – 4 Weeks
  • Build – 4 Weeks
  • Post-Build – 3 WeeksParting Words

eCommerce is the way of the day! This click-to-cart trend is here to stay.

Given how setting up a new eCommerce marketplace is discussed every minute around the world, getting your digital real estate up and ready in time is of the utmost importance.

Now, there is no specific duration that can be promised as it all depends on your vision and brand personality. Once you’re clear and crisp about how you want to be perceived, the rest will follow suit.


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