Tag Archive for: WordPress

I began Create My Therapist Website in 2015 with one main goal: to help therapists get more clients by giving them the necessary resources to create a private practice website that they’re not embarrassed to show potential clients – one that’s beautiful, modern, and functional.

This all came out of our own story, when my wife began her private practice here in Atlanta.

Building a practice was HARD.

She was working toward her license and needed the right amount of client hours to get there.

But because she was just starting out, it was difficult to get those first clients on her caseload.

Which meant a lot of waiting… and hoping… and praying for those clients to come.

So I used my web design, online marketing and WordPress expertise to built her a website for her private practice.

And pretty soon, we began to see something amazing happen.

She began getting calls from potential clients who decided they wanted to work with her BECAUSE her website looked better than the other therapists.

Within about 9 months, she was seeing 12 – 15 clients a week.

Not long after that, she had grown to about 30 clients a week.

But chances are you are not married to a professional web designer like my wife is.

And at this stage of your business, maybe paying thousands of dollars for a designer to build your website is just not an option.

So you’re left having to DIY your private practice website, like so many that have gone before you.

And just like so many, you soon realize that technology can be a real pain in the gosh-darn tushy.

There. I said it.

You end up spending hours trying to get an image uploaded to your website or Googling for the answers to what seems like simple questions.

Instead of taking hours to create a website, it ends up taking weeks and even months.

All the while you’re missing out on those potential clients you KNOW you could help.

No one should have to go through that.

After seeing the impact a modern and strategically-designed website had on my wife’s private practice and our life, it’s become my MISSION to help others achieve the same.

So I launched my business and soon after created my first training program: the Create My Therapist Website Toolbox.

The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox is my start to finish website building program, designed to make the website-building process as easy, organized and as straightforward as possible.

I’ve Completely Rebuilt This Training, From The Ground Up

The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox is my start to finish website building program, designed to make the website-building process as easy, organized and as straightforward as possible.

Last year I spent a boat load of time doing research into my customers’ biggest pain points when it comes to building a website.

Overall, my students were getting great results.

Check out what Beth had to say:

“I finally have a website that feels more like me and introduces me and my practice to my ideal potential clients in a way that authentically connects with them. It helps develop a relationship with clients even before we’ve had a chance to talk.

It’s worked so well I’ve recently had to shut down my ‘Schedule An Appointment’ button on the website because so many new clients are scheduling with me that I’m running out of room for my current clients!”

But there were still a few places in the website-building process that were tripping my students up.

When I asked them about this, the feedback was unanimous:

They wanted even more specifics about using a theme and designing web pages.

With so many WordPress themes out there, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options.

It’s also easy to choose a theme you think will serve you well, only to find it’s confusing to actually edit and build web pages.

So I began to treat this course more like a true class with even more show and tell.

I’ve used my own design process and how I work with clients to not only create websites that attract and convert their ideal clients but to make the process as streamlined and headache free as possible.

In order to provide the best hands on support to my students, I’ve decided to focus the course on using just one flexible and intuitive WordPress theme: Divi.

Now I’m able to show them EXACTLY what they will create and take them step-by-step through the process, building the most important pages on your private practice website.

And since I know Divi inside and out, I’m able to answer the specific questions that come up along the way.

A Sneak Peak At The New CMTW Toolbox Online Course

Did you skip to the end of this post, looking for the good stuff?

I like that.

Check out the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at the new and improved course.

I’m EXTREMELY excited to share this with you.

If you’ve been embarrassed to give your URL to potential clients, this course will help you finally create that modern, beautiful website that will help you get the clients you deserve… even while you sleep.

Enrollment will be open soon, so stay tuned.

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.

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.

private practice diy website

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.)

Related: The Cost Of Building A Private Practice Website

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.

private practice website design hire

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.

One of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing a client’s website come to life. It’s thrilling to me to take an empty canvas and turn it into a space that reflects my client, communicates what they do and helps to grow their business.

What was once a parked domain is suddenly a way for my client to be found and reach the people she feels called to serve.

Today, we’re showcasing the internet’s newest addition, Allison Davis Maxon.

allison maxon therapy website home 1

Allison has dedicated her more than 25 years of clinical work as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist to expert programs and practices in children’s mental health, attachment family systems, adoption and trauma.

Not only is she a therapist, but she’s an educator, speaker and consultant dedicated to helping children, families and organizations connect, heal and thrive.

Why She Needed a Website

When Allison and I first met, she didn’t have a website.

An impressive feat, given the scope of work you’ll find in her resume and list of experience!

As Allison’s vision for her business grew to reach more audiences through speaking, consulting and writing, she knew that a website was needed to showcase her past experience and build authority for the future.

She was also in the process of writing a book and knew that a professional website would be key to a successful launch in the future.

Allison’s vision for the future of her business relied on having a website now in order to get where she needs to be.

If she wanted to attract more speaking opportunities, get more clients and share her passion and expertise with the world, (Allison is an expert in the fields of child welfare, adoption and children’s mental health) she needed a website.

The Website Design Process & Our Work Together

As with all of my clients, Allison and I started with a conversation about where she was at in her business, where she wanted to go and how a website could help her get there.

Then, I gathered a whole bunch of information from Allison, via a questionnaire I send my new clients, that gives me an idea of their design style.

I ask things like:

  • How do you want visitors to feel when they come to your website?
  • What type of fonts and colors are you drawn to?
  • What websites inspire you?

Allison had no problems telling me that she had looked at hundreds of websites to find inspiration and disliked just about all of them.

“I honestly can’t stand the cookie-cutter looking sites that are out there,” she said.

As the designer, I loved this type of honesty because it helps me know what my target is.

So my challenge was to take Allison’s impressive work and organize and showcase it with a website that was original, unique, easy to use and looked great on all devices.

Game on!

I got to work on her homepage and about page. These two pages would set the tone and design style for the rest of her website.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous when it was time to get Allison’s first round of feedback on the work I’ve done.

But it turned out she loved where I was taking her website and felt it truly captured her personality and preferences for her website.

allison maxon therapy website about 1

allison maxon therapy website about 2 1

allison maxon therapy website services 1

After the Launch: Marketing her Private Practice & Business

Now that Allison has a place her business can call home, she’s got a platform from which to market her vast experience and services.

I use the Divi WordPress theme for my custom therapy websites, which gives my clients the power to easily make updates in the future.

Allison has jumped right into content marketing and is now posting her own articles on her website and sharing those articles on her social media channels.

And since she now has a website, any other place she contributes content can be linked back to her website.

She’s got full control over how she drives traffic to attract new clients and opportunities.

allison maxon therapy website articles 1

“Daniel was professional, responsive and engaged throughout the process. I appreciated his feedback and input; as it allowed us to co-create a website that I think was better than what I had envisioned. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Daniel to others.”
Allison Davis Maxon

Does Your Website Match Your Vision for Your Private Practice?

It was so much fun to see Allison’s website come to life and I’m honored to play a small part in getting her closer to her vision for her business.

Your website is one of your most important marketing tools and I take pride in creating these tools for my clients.

If you think your current website (or lack of website) is hurting the growth of your private practice, I’d love to talk.

Click here to learn more about how we can work together and to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Using a self-hosted version of WordPress for your private practice website means that you are in complete control over all the files, plugins and themes. It also means that you’re responsible to make sure things are up to date and running smoothly and securely. Not performing regular updates to your WordPress files is one of the main ways hackers can gain control of your website and leave you empty handed.

In this post we’ll talk about the importance of keeping your WordPress up to date and go over how to do it.

Using a self-hosted version of WordPress for your private practice website means that you are in complete control over all the files, plugins and themes. It also means that you’re responsible to make sure things are up to date and running smoothly and securely. Not performing regular updates to your WordPress files is one of the main ways hackers can gain control of your website and leave you empty handed. In this post we’ll talk about the importance of keeping your WordPress up to date and go over how to do it.

The First Time My Website Got Hacked

Kinda like remembering the first time you saw The Lord of The Rings (geek alert!) or your first kiss… some of us (the unfortunate ones) remember the first time we were hacked.

For me it was my very first WordPress site that I built; one for my church.

It was almost 10 years ago and I knew nothing. But they were kind enough to let me practice using the church website as my guinea pig.

I remember waking up and getting an email from the secretary saying something was wrong with the website.

I opened my laptop and pulled it up to find that links to porn sites (yes, porn sites… on the church website!) were appearing throughout the website.

The worst part was, I couldn’t log in to fix it.

I eventually did some crazy MacGyver moves and was able to make changes to the database and regain access. It took me all day.

Want to avoid a similar situation? Keep your WordPress up to date!

The Importance of Updating WordPress

The good folks at WordPress work hard to keep their software secure, fix bugs and also provide the best experience for their users.

They release the new updated code in the form of updates that you can apply to your website.

Here’s why it’s so important to perform these updates:

1: Updates Apply Security Patches

Hackers gonna hack, yo. That’s what they do.

They look for vulnerabilities in code and try to find a way in to gain control of websites.

Each time a new version of WordPress is released, it comes with a nice list of all the vulnerabilities that they fixed in the code.

Hackers wait for that info, then search for websites that have not been updated so they can attack.

So, if you keep your website updated, you patch those holes and limit the ways hackers can attack you.

Applying updates quickly, when they are released, will cut down on the amount of time you’re open to these malicious attacks.

2: Updates Can Fix Bugs

Sometimes when updates are released for a theme, plugin or WordPress itself, bugs can arise.

With any software, when the creators make changes, it can affect other aspects of the software they were not anticipating.

So more updates are released and on goes the train of progress.

Having the latest releases for your themes, plugins and WordPress means that you’ll have the most stable version that works and takes into account any bugs that come up along the way.

This is also a great reason to make sure that you’re using plugins that get updated recently.

3: Updates Add New Features & Functionality

So much has changed since WordPress was first released back in 2003.

Back then, it was a platform primarily created for bloggers.

Now, according to Manage WP, WordPress powers 26% of the internet!

With each update comes more functionality to make operating your website a better experience while giving you more options to make your content shine.

The same goes for plugins and themes.

One of the reasons why I like the Divi WordPress theme so much, is that they are constantly improving it, giving you more features to create beautiful websites.

Using the latest versions will give you access to new features you can use to make your private practice website even better.

How To Perform Updates in WordPress

First, Create a Backup

Before you make any updates, make SURE you create a backup of your website first.

Sometimes updates can conflict with a plugin or theme and crash your website (scary stuff).

But having a backup means if your site crashes, after the initial freakout, you can get to work restoring your website to the working version.

Some hosting services offer daily backups of your files, but if not, you can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus to schedule automatic backups of your site.

Making Updates in The WordPress Dashboard

Once you have a backup of your website, head to the WordPress dashboard.

If you have updates that need to be performed, you’ll see an circle with a number in the top left, under the Dashboard menu:

updating wordpress private practice therapy

Click on “Updates” and it will take you to the WordPress Updates page where you can view the latest updates.

wordpress updates

On this page, you’ll see your updates broken down into three categories: WordPress, Plugins and Themes.

Start with your WordPress version and make sure that you’re always using the latest version.

If not, click on the update button. The latest version of WordPress automatically applies minor updates automatically, which is a great thing to have.

Moving onto Plugins.

Before updating plugins you’ll want to make sure that they are compatible with your version of WordPress.

Look for this sentence:

“Compatibility with WordPress 4.8.1: 100% (according to its author)”

If you see that, you know that you can safely apply the plugin’s update without causing any issues.

You can check off each plugin you want to update, then click the “Update Plugins” button.

Lastly, you’ll see your Themes.

Finally, the last thing that may be updated are any themes you have installed on your WordPress.

Like with plugins, you can select the ones you want to update and click the “Update Themes” button.

I recommend keeping all themes up to date, even the ones you’re not using, just to be safe.

How to Always Make Sure Your WordPress Files are Updated… Let Us Do It!

While keeping your website up to date is extremely important, all this WordPress maintenance can eat up a lot of your time.

You’ll want to spend time each week making sure your WordPress, plugins and themes are using the most current version in order to keep your private practice website secure and running smoothly.

If the thought of this constant maintenance doesn’t get you up in the morning, check out our monthly WordPress maintenance service.

We’ll offload all your maintenance tasks, such as daily backups, constant updates to WordPress, plugins and themes plus scans of your website to make sure you’re not open to any malicious hacking attacks.

Learn more about the WordPress maintenance and support packages here to get started.


Understanding your audience is critical to the success of your private practice. Web traffic stats give you a clear picture of who is visiting, where they’re coming from, how long they’re on your site, and so much more. And with Google Analytics, all of this information is free!

Getting Started With Google Analytics Pinterest. Understanding your audience is critical to the success of your private practice. Web traffic stats give you a clear picture of who is visiting, where they’re coming from, how long they’re on your site, and so much more. And with Google Analytics, all of this information is free!

Getting started with Google Analytics can be a bit daunting at first, but after a few simple clicks, and some basic knowledge of how to read reports, you’ll be ready to refine your content to reach your target audience – your future clients!

For example, is your traffic peaking at a specific time? Then that’s when you know to post new content!

Is it coming from a specific source, like Pinterest? Now you know where to focus your marketing efforts!

Here’s how you get started:


Step 1: Create a Google Account

This one is rather simple, especially if you already have a Google or Gmail account!

Just click on the Google Analytics Sign Up page and either register or login, if you already have an account.

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 9.06.15 AM

Step 2: Sign up for Google Analytics

Once you’ve logged in to your Google account, you’ll see this screen. Click on “Sign Up” to start your Google Analytics account.

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 9.07.34 AM

Step 3: Set up your website tracking

The following screen will prompt you to enter some information regarding your website. It gives you the option of entering information for a Website or a Mobile site.

VERY IMPORTANT – Choose “Website”! Then enter the information requested.

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 9.11.24 AM

Step 4: Get your tracking code

Once you’ve gone through the aforementioned steps, Google Analytics will provide you with your own unique tracking code.

Once that code is entered into your WordPress site, ideally through a plugin, data will bounce back and forth between the two tools, providing you with all the information you need about your audience!

The tracking code page looks a little something like this:


Not Using WordPress?

Click on the website platform you’re using to view instructions on where you’ll need to place your Google Analytics tracking code:

Useful Reports:

Now that Google Analytics is up and running efficiently, you’re going to want to monitor your reports.

The ones I find most useful are:

  • Audience Overview (bird’s eye view of what your audience is doing)
  • Audience Demographics (characteristics of your audience including age, interests, gender, etc)
  • Acquisition Overview (where your audience is coming from)
  • Acquisition Social (what social media platforms your audience is coming from)
  • Behavior Overview (what your audience is doing while on your site).

Here is the Audience Overview Dashboard:

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 12.24.55 PM

Here, you can see how many new visitors there are vs returning visitors, the total number of people visiting the site in a given time period (May 29-June 4), and on average how long they were on the site.

The metrics you monitor can be changed in the drop down menu under “Overview”.

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 12.28.24 PM

If you ever get stuck, Google Analytics has a built in tutor to walk you through reading reports in each section.

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 12.30.55 PM


The more you know, the better you can serve your prospective patients.

Using Google Analytics on your private practice website is an easy way to learn all you can about your audience in real time, make necessary changes, and draw even more traffic to your business.

Join the Free Facebook Community

I never get tired of seeing a new website come to life for my clients.

It brings me so much joy to take their ideas, their content, and their creative input and then turn that into a website that reflects both their personality as well as the vision they have for their private practice.

private practice website facelift pin

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Rebekka Ouer, LCSW from Dallas Rainbow Counseling.

At the time she reached out to me, she had such a clear vision for her practice; being a beacon of hope for the LGBT community in Dallas, TX.

But she didn’t feel like her website at the time was reflecting that vision and doing a great job to make her stand out the way she wanted to.

She was seeing great success in her practice, but her WordPress website needed a facelift.

She wanted a fresh, modern website that was more inviting to her ideal clients. She also wanted a website that was easy to update in the future.

You can see from this screenshot below what her homepage looked like before Rebekka and I worked together:

Dallas Rainbow Counseling

Her private practice website was simple, which I always love, but it lacked a little life and felt a little outdated.

The dark green was not giving the website that light, hopeful feeling that Rebekka wanted her new clients to feel when they landed on her homepage.

And her logo and homepage banner just needed a little love to make it feel more modern.

Giving Her Private Practice Website A Facelift

Because Rebekka had some great content, and the structure of her website worked well for her, we decided that the perfect way to breathe new life into her website was with one of the customizable Divi templates I’ve designed.

Rebekka chose the layout she liked the most from the three templates available.

Then, I got to work collecting all I need to know from Rebekka about her personal preferences for her website.

Through a questionnaire I give all my clients, I gathered info to help me customize the website to her tastes. Things like:

  • A color pallette she loved
  • The fonts she liked best for headers and body copy
  • What vibe did she want her website to give off to her potential clients (ie bold, calm, fun, natural)?
  • How did she want her header navigation laid out?
  • What websites inspired her?

Armed with the answers to the above and the great content she had currently on her private practice website, I went to work customizing her Divi WordPress template.

I was also able to bring over some of the functionality she had on her old WordPress website, such as scheduling options through vCita and a way to subscribe to her blog.

Rebekka also did a fantastic job finding some great photos to reflect both the Dallas area where she practices, as well as the community she serves.

I had a ton of fun updating her homepage image of the Dallas skyline to something a bit more modern, which you’ll see in the screenshot below.

The Final Product

After getting all her content, photos, colors and fonts in place, her new website came to life.

The colors and white space really gave the website that light and calming presence Rebekka wanted to share with her potential clients, who may be reaching out for her services in a time of pain, anxiety or trauma.

The image of the rainbow over the Dallas skyline became that beacon of hope to the community that Rebekka serves.

The Divi WordPress theme also added that modern touch to her website, making it both easy to use and look beautiful on all devices.

So, here’s the new Dallas Rainbow Counseling website:

LGBT Counseling Dallas Rainbow Counseling

There’s just something special about seeing a new website come to life, and I’m really happy with how Rebekka’s website turned out.

Here’s what Rebekka had to say about the project:

Daniel did great work for me, on time, (early actually) and with great communication throughout about what he needed and how to go about moving forward. My website looks amazing and I’m incredibly happy with his work. And his price was more than reasonable, which is a huge plus in this industry.

Does Your Private Practice Website Need a Facelift?

You may be in a similar boat as Rebekka was in before her project began.

Maybe your private practice website hasn’t had a design touch in years and you may want to breathe some new life into it to reflect who you are and where you’re taking your private practice.

I’d love to help you do just that and attract more clients with a brand spankin’ new website.

Please feel free to check out my website design packages here, and reach out for more information about what we can do together to create a new website for you and your practice.

WordPress can often feel like a whole new confusing world, especially when you’re first starting out. There are bound to be many terms you’re not familiar with, which can make using WordPress for your private practice website tedious and frustrating. And we don’t want that!

In this post, I’ve create a WordPress dictionary that you can use if you’re just starting out with WordPress for your therapy website.

WordPress can often feel like a whole new confusing world, especially when you’re first starting out. There are bound to be many terms you’re not familiar with, which can make using WordPress for your private practice website tedious and frustrating. And we don’t want that! In this post, I’ve create a WordPress dictionary that you can use if you’re just starting out with WordPress for your therapy website.


An alt tag is a text alternative for an image on a web page. The alt tag will be read by screenreaders and other site readers as an alternative to the image itself. If the image doesn’t load, it will display the text instead. It also helps to give search engines more context for the content of a web page.


A blog is a regularly updated collection of articles on a website, usually presented as a list in reverse chronological order. Blogs are typically organized using categories and tags.


A category is how WordPress sorts content. If you have a blog, and on that blog you want to write articles based on different topics, you can create categories (ie Marriage Tips, Anxiety, Boundaries, etc.). Then, if a user clicks on a category, they can see all the articles you wrote within that category.

You can create categories for your blog right within the blog post editing page:

therapy blog categories


Stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and is used to control the various styles applied to your website. Things like font sizes and colors or widths of columns or images. CSS allows you to make one small change (to what’s called a ‘stylesheet’) and have that change affect the entire site, rather than changing each individual element.


The WordPress dashboard (or Admin Area)  is your starting place when you log into the back end of WordPress. It’s from here that you’ll do everything else you need to do to edit your website.

When you log in, you’ll see your dashboard, which has a snapshot view of information pertaining to your website, such as comments, recent posts and information connected with certain plugins you may have installed.

Here’s what the WordPress dashboard looks like:

wordpress dashboard websites for therapists


A database is a collection of – you guessed it – data. In order for WordPress to function, information (data) is saved into organized tables on your hosting server so that WordPress can access it and display your website properly. When you do the one-click install of WordPress via your hosting provider, a database will automatically be created.


A domain name or URL is the address at which a website is accessed through your internet browser. Example: google.com


A company that offers email marketing services, like MailChimp. They allow you to collect email addresses, organize them into lists so you can send emails in bulk.


Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google Analytics is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.


HTML is a programming language, or code used to create websites. When websites were first developed, they were created by writing out lines of code by hand. Lucky for us, WordPress takes care of all the code on the backend, so you don’t need to know how to write HTML.


Keywords are words and phrases that people type into search engines, such as Google, to find websites that match what they are looking for. Focused keywords for each web page helps search engines show that content to the correct people who are searching for it.


Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code. They help to tell search engines what the page is about. They can include the page’s keywords and a short description, which is what will show on the results page of Google.


Pages is the name for any web page you create within WordPress. For example, an about page, home page, contact page, etc.

There is no limit to the amount of pages you can create in WordPress.

There are a few key differences between Pages and Posts (see below for Posts definition), and they are:

  • Pages can also hierarchical, meaning you can have “parent” pages with sub-pages underneath. You can’t do this with Posts
  • Pages contain static content on your website (you create them once) and Posts are tied more to a chronological order in which they are published
  • Pages can not get sorted into Tags and Categories like Posts can
  • Posts are displayed using RSS feeds and Pages are not


This is WordPress’ name for blog posts/articles. They appear on a WordPress website in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest) based on the date they were published.


Permalinks are what a user would put into their browser address bar to access your pages and blog posts. Within your WordPress settings you can change the structure of your permalinks, so that each blog post will be saved with the same link structure. Tip: just set it to “post name”.


Responsive Design is what allows a website to display correctly, or legibly, on any size device. Whether it’s a desktop computer, iPad or smartphone, programmers create code that will allow the site to adjust (rearrange or resize images, font sizes, etc.) to fit the screen correctly.


RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is used to format your blog posts into what’s called an XML file that is then used for syndication. What this means is that both WordPress and other outside feed readers can access that XML file and then display it in a way that’s readable.


Stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.


A slug is the user-friendly version of a URL. You can set these slugs for Pages, Posts, Categories and Tags.


Tags, similar to Categories, is another way that WordPress sorts content, usually blog posts. While Categories are often broad topics, Tags are usually much more specific and have more to do with the topics found within each blog post.

You can add tags right from within the Posts editing area:

WordPress Tags


This is a service that allows you make a website available to the world via the world wide web. Companies (like iPage) provide you with space on their servers to host all your files (WordPress files, images, documents, etc.) and then let you access those files via the your browser.


A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. You can set up widgets in WordPress under the “Appearance” section.


WordPress is a free content management system. It allows you to easily create web pages and blog posts and provides you with the structure of your website. It’s the most popular blogging system in use on the web, at more than 60 million websites. WordPress.org allows you to download the software for you to self-host it on your own website, whereas WordPress.com is a stripped down version of the platform that you can use without needing to host it yourself.


Plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to your site (or downloaded within WordPress) to to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site.


A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce the visible aspects of your website, with an underlying unifying design. These files are called template files. A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying WordPress software. You can use a website like ThemForest to search for and purchase a theme for your private practice website.


This stands for what you see is what you get. A WYSIWYG editor (like what WordPress uses to create text and content) enables you to see on the display screen exactly what will appear when the page or blog post is saved.

Here is what the WYSIWYG editor looks like in WordPress:

wysiwyg wordpress for counselors


Get Started With WordPress Today

If you've tried using WordPress to build your private practice website, then you know how scary and overwhelming it can be.

That's why I created A Little Course About Wordpress.

This short online course is an introductory guide to using WordPress, where I teach you exactly how to use it and break down each section of the WordPress dashboard and settings.

I'll help you take WordPress from a mysterious, scary and confusing beast to a friendly puppy, easy to navigate and use. Just click the banner to get started:

Having your private practice website hacked can be an extremely frustrating and violating experience. But there are many – often simple – ways you can secure your therapy website from various types of hacking attempts.

In this blog post we’ll discuss six simple steps you can take to keep your private practice website secure when using WordPress.

Having your private practice website hacked can be an extremely frustrating and violating experience. But there are many - often simple - ways you can secure your therapy website from various types of hacking attempts. In this blog post we’ll discuss six simple steps you can take to keep your private practice website secure when using WordPress.

1. Limit how many times someone can try and log in

One way that hackers try and get access to your website is by doing what’s called “brute force attacks”.

This is where a hacker will use some code to repeatedly try combinations of usernames and passwords in hopes to finally land on the correct one.

One way you can stop this is by limiting the amount of times anyone can try logging in with the incorrect credentials.

I like to use a plugin called Limit Login Attempts.

This plugin lets you set the amount of times someone can try to log in. I keep mine set to five times.

If someone tries using the wrong username and password 5 times in a row, they’re locked out from trying again:

wordpress security psychotherapists limit logins

Be warned though, make sure YOU have the right login info so you don’t lock yourself out!

2. Your WordPress username should never be “admin”

Don’t make it easy for the bad guys to guess your username.

Often when setting up WordPress, it will set the default username to “admin”.

Pretty easy to guess, right? And hackers know this.

If you’re doing the WordPress installation yourself, make sure to change that to something much harder to guess.

I like to use iPage’s WordPress hosting services (affiliate link).

During their super-simple WordPress set up, they automatically set your username to your email address, which is a much better option.

Whatever you use for your username, just make sure it’s not “admin”.

3. Use a strong password

This one is pretty straight-forward.

Just like not using “admin” as a username, you don’t want to make it easy for hackers to guess your password.

It’s often tempting to use a password you can easily remember, such as a birthday, but it’s best to use something even YOU can’t remember.

You can use a website like Secure Password Generator to create a very strong password for yourself.

Use it when you set up WordPress, or log in and change your old, simple password in the User settings.

Then write it down, or save it in Evernote or someplace safe.

4. Back up your website regularly

This one is kinda like having insurance for your website.

Having a backup of your WordPress files, content and database information is good practice.

You’ll be extremely thankful for this if your private practice website ever does get overtaken and you can’t access it.

I like to use a plugin called UpdraftPlus.

therapy website backup plugin updraftplus

What I like the most about this plugin is that I can sync it with my Dropbox account and set it to automatically backup my website files.

Every two weeks the plugin does it’s job and I have a new set of WordPress and database files in my Dropbox folder, which I can easily access.

5. Update WordPress regularly

Keeping your WordPress updated to the latest version ensures that you’ve got the latest security patches that their developers have released.

WordPress is updated regularly to fix bugs and to patch known holes in their code that hackers have tried to exploit.

Now, this can be scary, because sometimes plugins don’t play nice with new versions of WordPress. Nine out of ten times it’s usually fine, but sometimes it can cause conflicts and crash your website.

It happens.

This is where having a backup is important.

If this happens, don’t panic. Get your hosting provider on the phone and they should be able to reset your website to a prior date and time where it was working.

6. Use 2-factor authentication to log in

Want to add some extra protection to your WordPress login page?

You can use Google’s Authenticator to create a 2-step process for logging in.

Not only would the user need the correct username and password, but they’ll also need an extra set of randomly generated numbers to log in.

Check out the plugin Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication to set up this extra piece of protection.

Once installed, WordPress will ask for the Google Authentication code along with the username and password.

Then you’ll have to hop over to the Google Authentication app and grab your random code in order to enter the website.

google authenticator private practice website

The app will generate a new code every 15 seconds or so, which really limits the amount of time someone has to guess at it.

Having the extra step can be a little annoying if you’re in a hurry, but it’s worth having the peace of mind knowing that unauthorized users will be stopped for gaining control of your website.


I’ve had my own WordPress websites hacked before, so I can tell you, it stinks.

One time, the website I had built for my church got hacked and the deviants posted links to adult material. NOT COOL!

So, take the necessary precautions.

In the excitement of creating your private practice website, it’s easy to overlook the boring things like setting up backups and 2-step authentication.

But just by taking a few extra moments to get these plugins installed or take these extra measures can provide protection against many of the typical attacks.

Many of the suggestions outlined here you only have to set up once, and then you don’t have to do anything else.

Then you can rest-assured you’ve done what you can to keep your therapy website safe.

If you’ve been thinking about getting started on a website for your private practice, you’ve probably heard of WordPress by now. But WordPress has two options for creating websites – one is found at wordpress.com and one is found at wordpress.org. What gives?

In this article we’ll talk about the difference between wordpess.com and wordpress.org to help you understand which platform may be right for your therapy website.

In this article we’ll talk about the difference between wordpess.com and wordpress.org to help you understand which platform may be right for your therapy website.

What is WordPress?

Let’s start at the beginning… what the heck is WordPress anyway?

WordPress is what’s known as a “content management system”. It’s the framework on which a website can be built.

It’s all the code and functionality you would need to create web pages, upload images, write blog posts and other content and tie it all together into a website.

WordPress allows you to use various “themes” on top of this framework to make your website look a certain way to your viewers. Themes can change the colors, fonts and layouts of your website, while still using the same content-editing framework of WordPress underneath it all.

WordPress is both the most powerful and most popular blogging and website content management system. About 16 million websites are run on WordPress today. That’s a lot!! (source)

Related: If you want to learn more about how to use WordPress, check out my beginner’s course, A Little Course About WordPress here.

One Major Difference Between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

One of biggest differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org lies in who is hosting your website.

For wordpress.com, they host all the files for you. You can sign up for a free account and start building your website in a few minutes. All the hosting is handled with their servers, you just sign in and go.

With wordpress.org, you can download all the files necessary to run the WordPress software (for free), then you upload those files to your own hosting server (like iPage or Godaddy) to create your website.

The Pros & Cons of Using WordPress.com for Your Therapy Website

Let’s talk about the good and the bad of using WordPress.com to build a website for your private practice.

The Pros of Using WordPress.com

  • It’s free. Who doesn’t like free? With WordPress.com you get the functionality of a website and blog run on the WordPress software without having to pay for hosting.
  • All the maintenance is handled by WordPress. When updates to the WordPress software are released, they are automatically applied to your website and you don’t have to worry about updating.
  • There are multiple themes to choose from. You can choose from a set of WordPress themes to customize the way your website looks.
  • Set up is quick and easy. Just start an account, fill out some initial info about your website and choose a URL (i.e. yourwebsite.wordpress.com) where you want your website to appear and you’re on your way.

The Cons of Using WordPress.com

  • Your URL will contain “wordpress.com”. When you set up your WordPress.com website, you’re website’s URL will be something like “mytherapysite.wordpress.com”. To me, this looks unprofessional and may confuse your website viewers.
  • Paying for upgrades can become costly over time. The free starter plan has certain limitations, such as limited storage, WordPress ads on your website, limited amount of customization and the URL issue mentioned above. You can, however, remove these limitations by paying to upgrade your plan. If you want flexibility, you’ll have to pay for it.
  • Limited amount of themes, plugins and customization. WordPress.com is limited to only the themes that they offer. Within those themes, you’re also limited on the amount of customization you can do. If you have specific needs for your website, you may not be able to find a theme or plugin needed to do what you want.
  • Difficult to grow and adapt with your business. Similar to the previous point, WordPress.com is limited. You don’t have the freedom to expand your website with new functions and customization as your private practice grows. You may need a simple website to begin with, but down the line you may want to add e-commerce, a scheduling plugin that ties into Paypal, etc. WordPress.com is limited to only the functions they allow.

The Pros & Cons of Downloading WordPress from WordPress.org for Your Therapy Website

As mentioned earlier, the alternative to creating a website via the free version of the WordPress software at WordPress.com is to download the WordPress software and then install it on your own web hosting server.

Let’s talk about the good and the bad of going this route…

The Pros of Using a Self-hosted WordPress Website

  • It’s still free. Using the WordPress software is still free when hosting the files on your own server. You just have to pay for the hosting account.
  • Your own custom domain name. When you sign up for a hosting account, (I recommend iPage (affiliate link)), a free domain is usually included and part of the set up. This gives you the chance to brand your website with a professional-looking URL.
  • No Ads. There will be no ads on your website when you self-host a copy of the WordPress software.
  • Cost can be about the same or cheaper than paying for WordPress.com upgrades. When you add up all the WordPress.com upgrades needed to give you the full flexibility, storage and customization you may want for your therapy website, it’s often cheaper to host WordPress yourself.
  • Nearly unlimited amount of themes. WordPress is what’s called “open source”. Meaning anyone is free to create themes and plugins to work with the WordPress software. This means that there are thousands of options to choose from when picking a theme and adding new functionality to your website. For some great themes you can use with your private practice website, check out this post.
  • Freedom to grow with your business. Because there are so many themes and plugins that you can add to your website, you’re only limited by your imagination. If there’s something new you want your website to do, you have access to all the code behind the scenes, so you can always find a plugin or developer to make it work with your website.
  • Quick Installation. Because of the popularity of WordPress, most web hosting providers now offer “one-click installation”. This means installing WordPress on your hosting server is just as easy as signing up for the free account at WordPress.com. For a guided tutorial on setting up a hosting account and installing WordPress, check out this post.
  • You own everything. If you want to move your website to a different web host, or want to backup your database, you have the freedom and access to do what you want/need with your information.

The Cons of Using a Self-hosted WordPress Website

  • Extra responsibility. Because WordPress is hosted on your own server, you’re responsible for keeping the software, along with any themes and plugins, up to date. This is often as simple as clicking a button, but problems do arise when updates conflict with plugins and themes.
  • Steeper learning curve. Because you have full control and access to all the settings, there’s the potential to get overwhelmed by it all. More time will be required on the front end to understand the WordPress dashboard and how to edit your website.
  • Things can break. Because there are more moving parts, you can potentially break your website when making updates or changing the wrong settings. Creating backups of your website and having access to customer support via your hosting provider becomes more important.


WordPress remains the most powerful and most popular platform on which to build any website. It can especially be a great way to create a professional-looking, flexible private practice website and give you the ability to update your website yourself.

Because your therapy practice may evolve and grow as you refine your business, I recommend the freedom of creating a WordPress website using the self-hosted option found at WordPress.org.

If you’d like to get started with WordPress, check out this step-by-step tutorial I created. It will show you how to set up your hosting account, domain name and install WordPress.

Ready to REALLY dive into WordPress? Check out my training, A Little Course About WordPress.


Download your free Website Platform Comparison Guide

With so many platforms to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming to choose where to begin.

I created a free quick-guide PDF resource so you can easily see how each website-builder stacks up with the others.

In the PDF you’ll get an overview of the pros and cons of 6 top website builders - Wix, WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, Brighter Vision and TherapySites - as well as each platform’s pricing table so you can understand exactly what you get for the cost involved.

Just click on the image below to download The Website Platform Comparison Guide and start building your private practice website today.

free download therapist website platform comparison guide 1

I often get asked this question: “As I create my private practice website, how can I make sure people don’t see my incomplete website?” In today’s post, I’ll show you how to create a “coming soon” page within WordPress so potential clients can contact you while you work on your therapy website.

You don't want potential clients seeing your unfinished private practice website. In this post, I’ll show you how to create a “coming soon” page within WordPress so clients can contact you while you work on your therapy website.

Step One: Create a New Page

Let’s begin by creating a new page within WordPress.

Some WordPress themes allow you to import page templates or “dummy data” or “demo content”. Oftentimes, these templates include a Coming Soon page.

To see suggestions for therapist WordPress themes, check out this post here.

So if you’ve imported that data, check to see if that page already exists in the Pages section of WordPress. You can then use it as the basis for the more robust page we’ll create from the steps below.

If you’re starting from scratch, go ahead and navigate to the Pages section of your WordPress admin to add a new web page.

You do that by going to Pages > Add New.

Depending on your WordPress theme and how confident you are creating page templates, you can make this page as simple as you want.

Here’s an example of the coming soon page I had way back when I started this here website:

Example coming soon page for Create My Therapist Website

For this page, I used the page layout editor within the Enfold WordPress theme to add some elements to the page.

If you look at the page editor (screenshot below), in WordPress, you can see that I pieced the page together with a header block, followed by an image block, and then a centered text block.

Page layout editor for coming soon page

Now, I got a little fancy by adding some small columns on the side of the text box to keep it more compact in the center. That’s not entirely necessary. I’m just a geek. A simple box of text that’s centered on the page will do just fine.

The last thing I included on the page was an email opt in.

I recommend including a call to action – usually for potential clients to contact you – for your private practice website.

What to Include on Your Therapy Website Coming Soon Page

So what should you include in your coming soon page? Here are a few guidelines you can go by:

  • A Title: Create a simple title explaining the state of your website. “Coming Soon,” works just fine. Avoid making that title too large, because we want potential clients to be drawn more to you and your practice, not the state of your website.
  • Logo or Name: If you have a logo for your therapy practice, I’d place that at the top of your coming soon page. If you don’t have a logo, a simple, bold font displaying your name or the name of your practice will do just fine.
  • An Elevator Pitch: Include one to two sentences about who you serve and what you help them achieve.
  • Your Services: If you’d like to get a little more detailed, you can list some of your services.
  • Your Contact Info: Include a call to action such as, “Contact me for a free consultation,” and include your contact info. Everyone has a different level of comfort in contacting a therapist or counselor, so make sure to include both an email address and a phone number.
  • Your Location: Put your location on your coming soon page so potential clients know where they’d have to go to work with you.

If Possible, Turn Off Headers, Footers & Sidebars

If your WordPress theme allows it, it’s best to turn off headers and footers in order to keep people from navigating through your unfinished therapy website.

You can see an example of my settings within my coming soon page in the Enfold theme:

Turn of headers and footers on your therapy website's coming soon page

I’ve basically turned off every other element surrounding my Coming Soon page. I want nothing to appear except for the info in this page, so I’ve set it to hide everything else.

This way, no navigation will appear across the top and no links will be visible in a footer or sidebar.

If your theme doesn’t allow you to hide the header, footer and sidebar on individual pages, you can at least remove any links that appear in your main menu.

In WordPress, go to Appearance > Menus and select the menu you want to edit.

You can click on the triangle on the right side of each menu link to view the options and find the “Remove” link to remove it from the menu.

Save the menu and the link will no longer be there for people to click on.

Final Step: Set Your Front Page to Show Your Coming Soon Page

Once you like what you’ve created for your Coming Soon page, it’s time to make it the default front page for your website.

The “front page” is WordPress’ way of describing the default home page.

You can do this in one of two ways: through your WordPress theme settings or through the “reading” WordPress settings.

Some WordPress themes overwrite the general WordPress settings, so you’ll have to look through your theme settings to see if there’s a way to change which page appears as the front page.

In the Enfold theme, it looks like this:

Enfold WordPress Theme front page settings

Clicking on the dropdown list will display all the web pages I’ve created. So once I set it to my Coming Soon page and click save, my homepage will show that specific page.

If your WordPress theme doesn’t have this setting, don’t worry. You can change it within your WordPress settings itself.

Just go to Settings > Reading, and set the front page to display your Coming Soon page as a static page:

WordPress settings for front page


Creating your therapy website will take a little time. Setting up a Coming Soon page is great way to have some info for potential clients to see but keep them from viewing your unfinished content.

Once you’ve created the various pages of your private practice website and you’re ready to launch, just set those front page settings to the page you want for your homepage and share your URL far and wide!

To see an example of a private practice coming soon page, I created a template/checklist. You’ll see how this page can be layed out plus a checklist of what you should include. Just click the image below to download.