What is a reasonable amount of time to create a functional prototype website coming from no experience?

What is a reasonable amount of time to create a functional prototype website coming from no experience?


I feel that I have a good idea for an eCommerce website. I have been steadily learning programming since the beginning of 2019. I went through HTML and CSS on codeacademy, I am just now finishing up basic javascript on freecodecamp. I decided to use this website as I felt it was a lot easier to understand and had a lot better quality/flow to the lessons.

I’m pretty serious about this website. I’m already enrolled in college for software engineering (freshman year) and this is more of a side thing. I just want to know what I’m getting myself into. I’ve bought the domain name, I’ve set up a content management system, I’ve even been creating some logos and other general designs for the website.

Anyways what do you guys think. Am i being unreasonable thinking I can do this by myself? I was hoping to have the main features done by the end of this year.


Giving yourself a year is a good thing. You can get something with basic functionality up quickly but getting a good design, all the features you want, security, will take time.

It may take longer. As long as you keep working at it you can get there.


Having it done in a year really matters on 2 things.

  1. Complexity - depending on if your site is more a static portfolio, or a dynamic marketplace app, you will have todo a lot more or a lot less.
  2. How much time you have to devote to the project, and do devote to it.

So something simple, like a portfolio website, and having decent amounts of time, you should be fine. But something more complex, and limited amount of time to devote to the project is a lot harder to accomplish.

Without knowing more details its hard to gauge the amount of work. I won’t consider how much experience you have, since I believe you can learn anything, and a year is a good timeline to learn almost anything. But even a skilled engineer needs ample amount of time to build anything complex, so being an experienced one just means you need to factor in learning the concepts.

So assuming your building a portfolio/design based website Id say a year is fine. I will provide a warning though, you can easily try to make this site “perfect”. Don’t burn to much of your free time doing such, there’s always more to learn and work on :slight_smile:

Goodluck and keep building :smiley: