Skip to main content Skip to footer


Planning for Ecommerce Website Development

Developing an ecommerce website is a significant investment, requiring careful planning and a deep understanding of the process, which includes creating a timeline, understanding the duration of the site build, and learning about the development process and the applicable methodologies. Let's explore each factor in-depth.

Ecommerce Website Development Timeline

When developing an ecommerce website, it is essential to create a clear and specific timeline. This will typically include various steps in the development process, from research to deployment. Here's a sample timeline, noting that this is highly dependent on the complexities of your specific project:

  1. Research and Planning (2-4 weeks): Identify your target audience, understand your competition, decide on your selling and delivery structure and process. If you haven’t sold online before, this will be a significantly longer process than replacing an existing ecommerce site.

  2. Website & Creative Design (4-6 weeks): Create visuals, wireframes, design templates, and user interface elements. You might consider getting user/customer input on your designs at this stage.

  3. Website Development & Integration (3-4 months): Develop the website and integrate with essential services like payment gateways, databases, and API integrations. It is also crucial to have comprehensive, well-structured product data as part of the development process, meaning that building the website is not solely the responsibility of the web development team.

  4. Quality Assurance & Testing (2-4 weeks): Ensure the website works correctly on all devices and browsers. Fix any glitches and bugs. Again, user and/or customer input at this stage can really help improve a website prior to launch. For larger projects, we recommend User Testing which is where we recruit members of the public from within the site’s target demographics and ask them to carry out tasks such as finding a product, ordering a product etc. and record these sessions for review by the team to see if there are any roadblocks.
  5. Deployment & Optimisation (5-7 days): Launch your website and perform on-going optimisation for the best performance.

These timelines are rough estimates based on our experience and may vary based on the project's complexity, team size, and resources.

How Long to Build an Ecommerce Site?

Developing an ecommerce website usually takes between 2-6 months, depending on the website's complexity and size. For instance, a small store with limited products may only take 2-3 months. However, for larger websites with customised designs, sophisticated functionality, and hundreds or thousands of product listings, the development process can extend up to 6 months or more.

You can minimise the time it takes to launch a site by ensuring that your product data is thorough and well-structured, including uniformly-sized good quality images, as product data anomalies can often cause bugs and break designs that are otherwise OK.

Ecommerce Website Development Checklist

A development checklist comes in handy for streamlining tasks and ensuring no crucial step gets overlooked. It’s also useful to go through when writing a brief for web developers to work from. Here are some key items to include:

  1. Functionality: User registration, search functionality, shopping cart, and easy checkout process.

  2. Security: SSL certificates, secure payment gateways, GDPR compliance, and privacy policies.

  3. Design: Responsive design, easy navigation, quality images, and branding consistency.

  4. SEO: URL structuring, meta tags usage, optimised product descriptions, structured data and image alt texts.

  5. Performance: Speed optimisation, mobile optimisation, and multi-browser compatibility.

Ecommerce Website Development Methodology

Different methodologies yield distinct advantages for the development process. The popular methodologies for ecommerce website development are:

  1. Agile: Promotes iterative development and encourages flexibility and customer satisfaction with rapid, continuous delivery of useful software.
  2. Waterfall: A linear approach where progress flows sequentially from one phase to another, making it ideal for projects with clear objectives and stable requirements.
  3. Scrum: An agile framework for managing knowledge work, with an emphasis on software development, promoting iterative progress and flexibility.

Different approaches work best in specific circumstances, and your choice might depend on your project's size, budget, requirements, and deadline.

We normally adopt a collaborative approach and will always meet with you at least once per week throughout the development process.

Planning for ecommerce website development is a multifaceted process that involves careful consideration of various elements such as the timeline, process, checklist, and methodology. Having a clear understanding of these facets and undertaking thorough preparation will help ensure a smoother development process, resulting in a powerful, security-focused, and customer-centric ecommerce website.

Ecommerce Sites From Wired In

How we use cookies

Learn more about how we use cookies to improve your experience.