The Truth About Websites!
Believe it or not, it’s very important to have a website, and it better be a good one! What makes for a good website? Well, there are several aspects to consider. First, you need to make sure you have a domain that reflects what you do! And, it’s important that you add new information to the site, changing and adding information frequently. A good website is rich in features. In it, write about the services you provide, have downloadable initial forms, create a blog within, and make certain you have your accessibility written on nearly every page, and that it’s visible! Last, you want to be sure you are pointing all social media to your site! The more hits you receive, the higher your search ranking goes! There are other features to consider, such as placing a short video and/or head shot of you somewhere! The sky is the limit!
What’s the most effective way to do a website. There are many options in terms of how to create a good helping profession website. I have saved you the trouble of searching numerous ways and sites to host your own site and broken development and hosting down into three main categories:
Category 1: “Do It Yourself” – Creating your own website on WordPress, Wix, or Square Space, for example can be a good option if you are on a very low budget, and have lot’s of free time. Wix and Square Space offer free hosting, but they come with advertisements and it seriously reduces the professional look and feel of your site. So, you’d need to upgrade and pay a little more. The main thing to remember about this category, is you will probably spend a lot of time working independently, learning HTML code, and it might cut into clinical time, or other administrative duties.
Category 2: “Hire a Webmaster” – Hiring a professional webmaster, who creates, manages, and hosts your site can be an excellent choice if you have the funds set aside. A trusted webmaster can be an individual or a company and will work with you typically using either an hourly rate, a flat package rate, or a combination. The overall cost may be high financially. You can expect to pay about $1,000 per year on average with higher amounts upfront for design and build.
Category 3: “Sites Designed for Helping Professions” – In this category, design and hosting is paid through a recurring flat monthly fee. This is usually a reasonable fee that is a bit more than the first category, but significantly less that the costs mentioned in category 2. This a very good way to get your site on the web as it has all the nuts and bolts of what professional helpers need, with ways to customize your site and make it unique to you. Good companies who provide this service understand the online needs of therapists, and have found innovative ways of packaging design, hosting, and technical assistance at very reasonable targeted rates.
Regardless which category you pick, it’s very important to get your professional services online via your own website. Just having a listing on Psychology Today, or another therapist finder list isn’t going to bring you enough referrals. You must diversify your web presence!