By: Lucy Hatcher
November 20 2019

Estimating time for project managers during web development

The web application market continues to grow. And it is not surprising that small and medium-sized businesses do not want to lag behind this race, but rather seek to reach out to potential customers in every possible way. Today, the application is the most effective way to do this.

Phone, papers. pens, laptop and mouse kept on a table

A well-designed web solution really helps the business grow. This is a worthwhile investment that, with a reasonable approach, will pay off, but here the company is faced with a number of issues. It is not surprising that potential customers want to immediately know what the real cost of developing an application is, and how long it will take. 

And by the way, here are some interesting statistics - less than one-third of all projects are completed on time and fit into the initially calculated budget. The reasons why this figure is so small may vary depending on the project, but it is obvious that the initially incorrect assessment of time and financial resources are one of them. In this article, we tell how to get closer to the most correct figure when it comes to time for web development of the project.

Steps for Estimating Development Time

1. Immersion in the customer’s business

A comprehensive immersion in the specifics of the customer’s business is what the team will build on throughout the entire development process. In practice, this stage takes several days, since it is necessary to conduct several meetings with the customer, ask him to provide the relevant documents and deeply understand his pressing problem.

2. Determining the place of the created web solution in the business strategy

It is categorically wrong to create an application on the principle of “let's do the same for him as we recently did for his competitors”. In this case, it is, of course, realistic to voice the most accurate time frame. But it is necessary to understand what tasks the application will perform, and what long-term goals can be achieved using a web solution. It is necessary to help customers integrate the application into the business strategy in the most efficient way. In practice, it is possible to dive into the business and determine a place in the business strategy even in parallel.

3. Discussion of the basic functionality

At this stage, it is necessary to determine the tasks for which the application is being created, and help to determine the set of features that it makes sense to implement in MVP. After checking the response of the target audience, it is necessary to move on to developing a full-fledged application with a full range of functions. In the case when the client immediately announces the upper limit of his development budget, it is necessary not to go beyond this amount, but to realize the maximum of useful functionality, plus correctly assess the time frame even when squeezed into the budget.

4. Technology Consulting

The selected technology will also leave its mark on the amount of time required for the development. Plus, there is a likelihood that it will be possible to get some of the solutions out of the box and customize them a bit. But in the opposite case, the estimated time must be multiplied by two.

5. Communication with technical specialists

After the decision on the technologies used is made, the project manager can ask direct questions to technical specialists and ask them to approximately evaluate each stage of their work in hourly terms.

6. Identification of possible difficulties or bottlenecks.

This last stage is needed in order to immediately provide an additional margin of time for solving possible problems.

The Practical Side of the Issue

Above, we have listed only the initial stages of estimating time costs. Further, everything will depend on the complexity of the task. Basically, creating a web project involves the following steps:

1. Creation of technical specifications for the development of the site

As a rule, after passing through the initial stages, the skeleton of the technical task is ready. It is only necessary to give it a clear form.

2. Prototyping, Layout, Programming

This stage will take the largest amount of time, which will be calculated in weeks. Plus, most likely, the greatest number of corrections and improvements will be at this stage, so leave an additional margin of time.

3. Filling with content

If the content is already ready, then adding it to the site will not take much time. If the content is in the process of being written, add the time it takes for the copywriter to deal with the text.

4. Localization

If the technical task provided for several language versions, then the time for their creation will be determined as the time required to create one of the versions multiplied by their number. Plus, it is necessary to add a few days to localize and translate content, although using The Word Point, it can be done quite quickly.

5. Testing

The time to test and fix bugs is directly proportional to the number of errors you made. The ideal option is a thorough check to make sure everything is working correctly, eliminating error correction. But it is rather from the realm of fiction.

6. Market launch

Connecting a domain and hosting is a very quick procedure, it takes about several hours.

7. Support

This is a category that cannot be measured in time since it is a constant process that is necessary for a business throughout its existence.

Important! A separate stage changes, when the client suddenly decides to add something else, and this should also be taken into account. This probability must be foreseen, do not even hope that you will be able to avoid this - no one has succeeded. What does it mean? That's right, we need to add some more spare days to our schedule.


It is not always possible to make an accurate estimate without analyzing a whole range of factors that determine the cost and time. These factors include the specifics of the business, the functionality of the future application, the technologies with which it will be created, and the development budget. In any case, it is much more reasonable to establish preliminary deadlines with the caveat that they can change both up and down, but the quality of the created product should not be affected.