Technology advances at an alarming rate. New website software is released every day, and each one claims to be better than the last. With all these choices, it’s hard to know which is right for your business. Do you need the latest and greatest? Or will an older software suffice?
Developing custom software can be a lengthy and complicated process, but it is worth it in the end. You will have a product that is tailored specifically to your business needs, and that will save you time and money in the long run.
Between the initial planning and design stages, development, testing, and deployment, creating custom software can take anywhere from several months to a year or more. But the benefits of having a bespoke solution built to your specifications far outweigh the drawbacks.
When you develop custom software, you are in control of the entire process. You can decide what features and functionality you need, and you can be sure that the end result will meet your expectations.
So, how long does it really take to develop custom software? Let’s take a look at the entire process, from start to finish.
Building Website Software Is Like Constructing a House
Think about it this way: when you build a house, it doesn’t happen overnight. There is a lot of planning and design that goes into it before the first brick is even laid. The same is true for website software.
In the early stages, you will need to determine your requirements. What do you want the software to do? What features and functionality will it need to have? As with building a house, the more complex the project, the longer it will take.
Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, the next step is to start the design process.
Stages of Software Development
Every software development project is different, but there are generally four main stages:
- Planning and Design
- Testing and Deployment
- Maintenance and Updates
Let’s take a closer look at each of these stages.
#1. Planning and Design: As we mentioned, the more complex the project, the longer it will take. If you have a clear idea of what you want, the planning and design stage can be relatively quick. But if you’re not sure what you want, or you have a lot of ideas, but you’re not sure how to implement them, it can take longer.In the planning and design stage, you will need to create a blueprint for your project—a document that outlines your requirements and the steps you will take to achieve them. Although it might seem like a lot of work upfront, this document will be your roadmap and save you time in the long run.After the blueprint is complete, the next step is to start designing the user interface (UI). Even if you’re not a designer, it’s essential to have a clear vision of how you want the UI to look.The planning and design stage can take anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the size and complexity of the project.
#2. Development: During the development stage, the software is built. It is important to note that development is not a linear process. It often happens in iterations, with each iteration adding new features or functionality. Typically, the first iteration is focused on getting the basic functionality of the software up and running. In subsequent iterations, new features are added, and existing features are refined. The length of the development stage varies depending on the size of the project. For a small project, it can take two to three months. For a larger project, it can take six months or more.
#3. Testing and Development: Now that the software is built, it’s time to test it. Testing is critical to ensure the software is stable and free of bugs. It also allows you to catch any problems before the software is deployed. Even if you think your software is perfect, it’s always a good idea to test it. The last thing you want is for users to find bugs after the software is already live. The testing and deployment stage can take a few weeks.
#4. Maintenance and Updates: After the software is deployed, your work is not yet done. You will need regular maintenance and updates to keep the software running smoothly. As new technology emerges, you will also need to update the software to ensure it is compatible. And as users find new ways to use the software, you may need to add new features or make changes to existing ones. The maintenance and updates stage is an ongoing process that happens throughout the life of the software.
The Bottom Line
Custom software development is a complex process that takes time. But the end result is worth it—you will have software tailored to your specific needs and that will help you achieve your goals.
If you’re thinking about developing custom software, reach out to Crucian Point. We will be able to help you assess your needs and determine the best course of action to get your business going in the right direction