When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you.
In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.
The Importance of Having A Great Private Practice Website
A website is one of the best investments you can make for growing your private practice.
And I’m not just saying that as a web designer.
A website helps you reach your potential clients by giving them the information they require in order to trust you with their challenges.
It also gives you total freedom to connect with clients, to share your personality through photography, videos or blog posts, creating a bond before the first session even begins.
A great-looking website can also give your practice a professional edge, helping you to stand out as an expert in your field, fully qualified to lead your clients through the transformation they seek.
One study showed that 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. (Source: Tyton Media)
So yeah, having a good website is extremely important!
But what’s the best route to take in order to get a great website?
Well, let’s talk about two options: building your own therapy website and hiring out.
When To DIY Your Private Practice Website
If you’re thinking about building your website yourself, I think there are certain criteria that my make this the best option for you:
1: Your Budget Is Small
If you’re in a place where you don’t have the extra funds to devote to your website investment, the DIY option may be right for you.
The rise of many website building platforms (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) have made creating your own website much more user-friendly, but also much more affordable.
WordPress (the most popular website platform) is open-source, meaning you’re free to use the software for your own website, you just pay for your hosting (which is often cheaper than the monthly fee for other website-builders.)
2: You Enjoy Technology (At Least A Little)
Frustration and fear when it comes to technology is one of the most common hang-ups I hear from my blog readers.
To many, trying to create a website is like learning a whole new language.
But if you enjoy the puzzle and trying to get all your tech pieces to fit together, then DIY may be a good fit.
Because there will be those times when technology makes you want to throw your computer out the window and wish for simpler times centered on candle-light and snail mail.
So if you don’t at least enjoy it a little bit, it’s going to be a long road.
I’ve heard many a war-story from people who tried to DIY their website but just hit so many challenges with the tech stuff, it ended up taking over 6 months to create.
They can’t get that time back. Time that could have been used on other high-impact marketing efforts they enjoy if instead they hired a professional to take care of the website.
3: You Have the Time to Build Your Website Yourself
Creating a website is no small project.
Doing it all yourself means you’ll be spending a lot of time to bring it all together.
You’ve got content to write, platforms to learn, questions to Google to get it all figured out.
So, before embarking on a DIY private practice website, you’ll want to assess what’s going on in your life and business and decide if you’ve got the time to devote to the project.
How much time it takes will depend entirely on how complex your website is and your ability to set chunks of time aside each week to work on the website.
I’m a big fan of creating momentum in projects by focusing my time on one project before moving on to the next.
A website is no different.
If you don’t put ample time on your calendar each week during your DIY website project, you’ll likely lose momentum and the whole thing will take you 6 months to even launch.
So, if you’ve got some good chunks of time in your week which could be used for website-building, DIY may be your jam.
When To Hire A Web Designer to Create Your Private Practice Website
There are times in your private practice where I think it makes the most sense to hire someone to create your private practice website for you.
Here are some ways to determine if this is the right direction for you.
1: You’re Ready to Take Your Practice to the Next Level
When you’re first starting out in private practice, there is a lot to do get your business off the ground.
Your time and money is often spent on those early marketing efforts of just getting your name out there.
But once you’ve established yourself and have a steady stream of clients and referrals flowing in, it often frees up both time and money to focus on new marketing efforts to grow your income even more.
This is where a professionally designed website could be a beneficial investment.
You know your time is better spent on other activities, like writing, networking and speaking, rather than trying to get a photo to crop the correct way in Squarespace or learning HTML.
Adding a website that looks great, helps with your SEO and gives you a home-base to share your expertise can be the perfect addition to your marketing efforts, helping you attract more of the clients you love, get the rate you deserve and grow your business.
2: You Prefer to Leave Website Strategy to The Professionals
Anyone can make a website.
But it takes a professional to create something that actually solves your business problems.
A good web designer can help you identify the current challenges in your private practice and present you with a solution.
This is a HUGE asset to the future of your business.
If your online marketing efforts are not yielding the results you desire, it may be time to bring in a professional to help you determine how a new website fits in with your marketing strategy.
3: You Know Which Activities In Your Business Are Worth Your Time
In the short term, a DIY website is certainly cheaper than hiring a web designer.
But when you add up all the hours you’ll spend creating content, setting up your hosting, building web pages and a number of other tasks, it may actually be costing you more.
If you think about your hourly rate for a therapy session and apply that to the time you spend working on your website, that’s basically what you’re paying to have it created.
Instead of paying a designer, you’re paying yourself.
So if you’re hourly rate is $125 and you spend a total of 28 hours working on your website, that’s 28 hours you could have been with a client.
Or you could have paid someone $3500 to take care of the website while you focus your time on other marketing efforts and seeing clients.
In that time, maybe you could have brought in 4 new clients.
And if you see those clients 7 times then it’s fully paid for the website while also giving you more freedom to focus on the business activities you know are worth your time and result in more clients.
Then, when your new website is launched you’re set up for even more success.
4: You Don’t Understand The Nuances of Good Web Design
A website not only has to be easy to use, but it also has to look great.
In a study on website usability and design, 38% of people said they will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)
People will judge you and your credibility as a therapist based on how your website looks and performs.
If not done well, visitors will bounce off your website before even having a chance to read your content or learn anything about you.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, our minds register whether a website is pleasing to the eye before deciding to engage with the content.
I can’t tell you how many restaurants I’ve passed up because the place had a crappy website.
If they treat their website so unprofessionally, how do they treat the food or the patrons?
I’ll take my business elsewhere.
Good design speaks of professionalism and helps potential clients take you seriously as the expert I know you are.
So if you’re not confident in your abilities to lay out your website in such a way that it looks good to clients while also communicating clearly what it is you do, you may consider hiring a web designer.
So, will you create your website yourself or hire a web designer for your private practice website?
I hope the thoughts above help you determine what’s right for you.
A website is a BIG project and a huge asset to your private practice.
So take your time with this decision and weigh all the costs before taking the plunge.
If you’ve decided that DIY is just not your jam and you’d like to learn more about what a custom-designed website can do for your business, let’s have a conversation.
I want to hear about your practice and your current marketing challenges and see if a website can help provide a solution.
Together, we’ll come up with a strategy that works for you and grows your private practice.
Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation here and learn more about how we can work together.