How long does it take you?

Dear Envato Community,

Some of the agencies customizing themes offer fixed-price packages starting from 700€ (mostly using free or standard themes with little customization such as slapping on a logo and making some changes to the theme colors) while others, like myself, go the extra mile by purchasing premium themes on theme-forest and customizing them to the hearts content of my clients.

Even without touching a line of code, obviously there is a world of difference (in terms of time invested and the asking price) between slapping on a standard theme with little or no effort and customizing a theme to your clients desire.

I noticed that many Webdevelopers/Designers frown upon the practice of using “ready-made” themes to create websites for businesses but in my, and my clients opinion, the results are great. Depending on how much effort you put into customization it can take many many hours to complete a great Premium-Theme website for your client.


Including client consultation, here is a breakdown on how long it takes me to create a fully customized website for my average clients:

 * Intake: Comprehensive Project-assessment, consulting and theme

decision: 2-5 hrs. (depending on project size)
* WordPress Installation and theme setup with demo content: 1-2 hrs.
(depending on theme)
* Configuring theme plugins and settings 1-2 hrs.
* Assessing available material (images, videos, contents etc.) 1 hr.
* Learning the ins and outs of the specific theme-framework I will be
using 2-3 hrs.
* Creating a unique layout for the main page and sub pages by combining
elements from the demo and own creations 10-20 hrs. (I find this to
be the “creative” aspect of designing websites using Premium-Themes,
depending on the level of detail required and the number of pages
required the time required can vary greatly)
* Editing images (re-sizing, adapting to sliders etc.) 2 hrs.
* Formating and inserting contents (text, images) 5 hrs. ( avrg. 8-10
* Presenting layout to client and discussing changes 2-3 hrs.
(throughout the entire process)
* Comitting changes and final touch-up 3-4 hrs.
* Transfering site to client host and final check 1-2 hrs.

In total it takes me about 40 hours to create a Premium-Theme based website for my average client. I always track my time to see how long it takes me to complete a project and afterwards I am often surprised about how long it took. it seems to me that the creative process is taking up most of the time and by that I mean coming up with a nice layout, arranging the elements accordingly, integrating new elements, making sure all the pictures are edited and fit the site, text formating etc.

I would be really interested to hear about how long it takes takes you on average to make an awesome Premium-Theme based website for your clients. Which part takes up most of the time in your projects? Do you agree with the breakdown?

Anyone? :smiley: