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You’ll see a quote estimate of how long a project “probably will take” listed in the upper right part of the Hire™ product’s . We'll call this the "Estimated Duration" for the rest of this post. This is to give you insight into approximately how long your project will take to accomplish.

If you try to get your site more quickly than this, you should be prepared for a rush fee. If you’re unable to commit to finishing the project with your freelancer within this amount of time, you just won’t get as high of quality work out of your freelancer. I’ll explain more about what I mean by saying “commit” later.

Why is having a flexible or longer deadline bad?

The fewer things a human focuses on at once, the better they tend to do at each thing. To make a living, freelancers often will work on multiple sites at a time. For Squarespace, often no more than two or three sites are worked on at a time.

Since building a website is a collaborative process between the freelancer and client, freelancers only have so much control over how many sites they take on at once. If their client is consistently a week late on getting them feedback or site materials, then the freelancer will inevitably have to fill their time somehow. This is how they end up working on more websites at once than they’d like.

When I said “commit” before, I mean you, as the client, committing to your freelancer to get them the website materials and feedback they need to push the project forward. So if you’re in the situation where you don’t need your site live soon, just pay your freelancer the initial deposit to reserve their time and start the project when it will be most efficient for the both of you.

Dissecting the Estimated Duration

The theory behind this number is that if one of two scenarios I described above happens, quality will suffer on your project. You won’t get as much value for your money. Again, those two scenarios are:

  • Needing the project complete too soon
  • Dragging the project out too long

How to use the Estimated Duration

Simply put, if you need your project done sooner, think about how important it is to be done sooner. Is it worth a rush fee? If you can push the deadline out slightly, start the conversation off with freelancers saying that.

If your deadline is much later, then your best bet is to reach out to freelancers to plan the project now, and to plan yourself to commit helping your freelancer hit the deadline they set for the project.

These numbers are estimates. Once you speak with freelancers, plan around how long they say the project will take, and when would be best to start it.\

Why we show you an Estimated Duration

The reason we show clients this is because helping manage your expectations before you reach out to freelancers for initial consultations saves you both time. Here are two scenarios to illustrate how:

Scenario 1 - Urgent Timeline

If you want a massive site built that typically takes a month, but you need it in a week, we want to let you know it’s likely not possible. Prepare yourself to either shave the scope down or find a way to push back your deadline. That way you and freelancers aren’t all wasting hours having this conversation over a phone call.

If you needed this project done in two weeks though, there may be some freelancers who take it on with a rush fee. In this case, we want to prepare you more for that.

Scenario 2 - Not Urgent Timeline

Say your project only needs a week of time to finish, but you don’t need it done for two months. We want you to know you can probably shift your deadline forward before you have to speak with anyone.