Building a private practice from scratch takes an investment of both time and money. I remember when my wife first started out. She didn’t have much money to invest in marketing while building her client base, but without marketing it would be hard for her to build her practice. Sound familiar?
Every dollar counted back then, and if you’re just starting out, every dollar counts for you right now.
So, in this article, we’ll compare the costs of building a private practice website to help you prepare your budget and figure out your options.
There are two paths you can take on the journey to your own slice of internet real estate: hiring a professional to build your website or building it yourself. Each option has it’s own set of costs and challenges that we’ll cover below.
The Cost of Hiring Someone to Create Your Private Practice Website
Hiring a professional web designer or developer to build your website is a great option for therapists who have zero technical know-how AND zero desire to learn that know-how.
If you don’t plan on doing much web marketing or making constant updates to your website, then you may want to hire someone to put it all together. You give them the money, they give you the website.
Each design company or freelancer is different in both how they work and what they’ll give you. So going this route requires a lot of research and gathering quotes from potential designers.
Make sure you understand exactly what the end product will be. Will they be writing the copy for you and creating all the landing pages? Or will they just be setting up a WordPress website, installing a theme and handing it off to you to create the content?
All these things should be discussed with the potential developer according to what your needs are.
So, How Much Will it Cost to Have Someone Create My Therapy Website?
Well, that depends.
Knowing exactly what you need, as mentioned above, will help you determine the cost much quicker. If you truly need someone to do EVERYTHING, that’s gonna take more hours and, of course, more money.
On average, most of my clients want a website that contains about 5-10 pages of information about their private practice and includes a blog, contact form and maybe an email opt in. For this type of basic website, I’d say $2500 to $4000 would be the typical investment.
That’s just one example, and that’s why getting quotes is so important. A decent range to assume would be about $800 – $5000 for a website, depending on your needs. Unless you want some really complex site that has a lot more (eCommerce or online scheduling for example) than a blog and basic info about your private practice, I wouldn’t spend more than $4000.
So, let’s break it down completely for a website built with the WordPress platform:
- Cost to have someone design and develop your website = $800 – $4000
- Cost for hosting account and domain name: $3.99 a month – $14.95 a month
So that’s a minimum investment of about $804.
It’s possible to find someone who could build your site cheaper. But remember, you get what you pay for so just make sure whoever you go with, it’s up to you to check out their past work, read reviews from past clients and make sure they will do a great job.
Where to Find a Website Designer or Developer
Ok, so you want to hire someone to take care of all this techy stuff and just get your private practice up on the web for the world to see. Where can you go to hire someone?
Here are some suggestions:
Formerly E-lance, Upwork is a place that connects freelancers all around the world with projects, big or small. It is a great way to get a large range of estimates and sample freelance designers very quickly.
You create a job post (remember to be very clear about what you want and need) and set some parameters about who you’d like to work with. Once posted, freelancers will send you a cover letter and a link to their Upwork profile where you can see their experience, browse past projects in their portfolio, read client feedback and also check out their language and communication skills. You can get all that within minutes.
You can pay freelancers per hour or per project. And Upwork has protection in place to make sure you pay only for work you approved and even takes snapshots of the freelancer’s screen as they work.
Some Other Options
I’ve used Upwork myself and it was a very smooth and rewarding experience. But there are many ways to find designers to build your private practice website. Here’s a few others:
- Search on Craigslist for a web designer ( make sure the person or company looks reputable and they have a website where you can clearly see their past work and read reviews)
- Google local design and marketing businesses that you can call to get an estimate from
- Post on a local college job board ( could be a great way to get a cheaper price, but be prepared for some headaches that may come with working with someone with little experience )
- Ask for recommendations in the number of Facebook communities for therapists: Abundance Practice Builders, Selling the Couch, or the CMTW Facebook Community
I’d love to Chat
If you think that hiring an experienced designer to bring your website to life is the way to go, then let’s talk. Check out my Custom Websites page to learn more about my process and schedule a free consultation.
The Cost of Building Your Own Private Practice Website (DIY)
Your second option for creating a website for your private practice would be to build it yourself.
Today more than ever, services exist that allow you to easily create your own website, start to finish, in an affordable matter.
Let’s talk about a few of the most popular options for a do-it-yourself website.
WordPress is a free blogging framework that gives you all the structure and features needed to create content and publish it to a website.
Note: Here I’m referring to WordPress.org, where you can download all the files for WordPress and host them on your own website. WordPress.com is a website that lets you create a website for free using a basic, stripped-down version of the WordPress platform. You can then pay for certain upgrades, like your own domain name.
WordPress is currently one of the most popular platforms for building websites. According to this article, “WordPress powers 24.8% of all websites – or roughly 75 million sites total by some counts.”
Because WordPress is so popular, it can be pretty easy to find help with creating your own website on the platform. You could post questions on the official forum or just ask any WordPress question of Google and you’ll be almost guaranteed to find the answer.
Just like we discussed above, building your site with WordPress requires you to purchase your own hosting account and domain name. This will be the place where you can install and host the files associated with WordPress.
So, how much will it cost to create a website with WordPress?
The factors affecting the price of building your website with WordPress have to do with what company you use for your hosting account and what WordPress theme you’d like to use for your site.
Themes are a set of files that you can purchase or download to give your website a new look and new functionality. WordPress is like the framework or foundation of a house. WordPress themes are like the cosmetic stuff and curb appeal.
I recommend purchasing a premium theme for your website, as these often come with documentation on how to fully customize your website. They also give you access to the theme creators, often through forums, so you can ask them questions if you get stuck. Some also come with video tutorials. All this will help you save time when putting your website together.
You can also find free themes out there, but I’ve found that they are more of a headache because you don’t get the above documentation, often leaving you stuck wondering how to make changes on your site without any answers.
Do some research on hosting services to see which one you’d like to go with. I like to use iPage for web hosting and ThemeForest for purchasing great themes, so the prices below will be based on those services. Other hosting services, such as Bluehost, are very similar in pricing though.
Let’s break down the cost.
- Cost for hosting account and domain name: $1.99 a month – $11.95 a month
- Cost of a WordPress theme – $0 – $64
So that’s a minimum investment of about $24. (one year of hosting plus a free WordPress theme)
Some hosting requires purchasing a two-year service. So let’s say you do that, plus a $59 premium WordPress theme.
That still only puts you at $107. Not bad to get your private practice on the web!
Wix claims to have all the features and apps that any small business would need to function online – “email marketing tools, SEO analytics, online booking systems & more.” Wix prides themselves on providing powerful technology that makes it simple for anyone to get online without any knowledge of coding. They provide beautiful templates and you do the rest.
Starting with a free option, Wix can be a fast way to get online without spending a lot.
The costs come in when you start to upgrade your service. If you want to connect your own domain, you’ll spend about $4 a month to link that up to your Wix account. This means you’ll pay for a domain name on top of your $4 a month Wix account. This option also displays Wix ads on your site.
Plans then increase from there, based on things like storage space, use of premium apps and the removal of certain ads your website.
Below is a sample of their price structure, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
So, a minimum investment into Wix, to get your therapy website online could potentially be $0. But keep in mind that would come with many limitations and cost you in the future, should you want to upgrade to avoid those limitations.
“Squarespace’s mission is to provide creative tools that help anyone give a voice to their ideas. From the designers and engineers who are creating the next generation of web and mobile experiences, to anyone putting a website together for the first time, Squarespace provides elegant solutions that set new standards for online publishing.”
Squarespace is another great all-in-one website building service, giving you the essential tools to help you build your website without having to know any HTML coding.
Like Wix, you can choose from a growing number of professionally designed templates to suite your style and needs. Clicking on a template on Squarespace.com will show you examples of their customers using that template, giving you an idea of the possibilities.
After the free trial period, their cost structure is pretty straightforward:
- $8 a month when billed annually (or $12 a month if billed monthly) for a 20 page website and a free domain
- $18 a month when billed annually (or $26 a month if billed monthly) for a website with unlimited pages
So, if we continue with our analysis of initial investment, Squarespace would set you back $96 for a year’s worth of service. Or $12 if month-to-month is your thing (costing you $144 for a year).
Our final DIY website building service that we’ll cover is Weebly. As you can see from their homepage above, Weebly claims to be “the easiest way to make a website”. With a “100% happiness guarantee”, they provide simple tools to make creating your website as easy as possible for you.
Like Wix, Weebly does offer a free version of their services, but it comes with limitations, such as not providing you with a domain name and limiting your storage to 500mb. Here’s a snapshot of their pricing structure, which you can view here.
One difference between Squarespace & Weebly is that Weebly’s $8 tier does include an unlimited amount of pages on your website, which may come in handy should you really want to grow the content on your site in the future.
So, a minimum investment to get your private practice online using Weebly’s tools could potentially be $0. Like Wix, that free version comes with many limitations which you can see in their pricing structure above.
So Which Option Is Right For You?
First of all, thanks for reading this far (you’re a true champ!).
So, how do you determine which is the right option for your private practice – to hire someone to create your website, build it yourself using WordPress or use a DIY service like Squarespace?
Well, only you can really answer that question.
Let me explain.
Many factors come into play when deciding to invest in a website for your private practice.
You may have JUST started your practice and finances are really tight and you just want the cheapest option available so you have something on the internet for your business, so perhaps you’d be ok with some ads on your site in exchange for the free Weebly option.
You may have an established practice and ZERO desire to learn about what goes into building a website, so hiring someone may be the ideal option for you.
Or perhaps you want to roll up your sleeves, take full control and build your site from the ground up using WordPress.
You have to think about where you are now and where you want to go with your practice. Think about what makes sense to YOU and the goals you have to grow your business and which option will help you achieve those goals.
In An Ideal World, I Recommend Using WordPress
Let me give it to you straight.
If you want my honest opinion as a web designer/developer, I would recommend building your own private practice website using WordPress, hosted on your own hosting account.
Doing so will give you the greatest amount of freedom and flexibility to grow your website along with your private practice. Because WordPress allows you to add plugins, change themes and create web pages and blog posts as much/often as you like, you’ll be able to make changes for free as needed.
Another plus is that WordPress can be the cheapest in the long run. It can be cheaper than the DIY sites out there and FAR less expensive than hiring someone to build it.
For example, hosting providers such as iPage often offer hosting as low as $1.99 a month and include a free domain with purchase. That’s only $23.88 for a year! If you purchase a professional WordPress theme at $59 (a one time fee), you’ll have everything you need when it comes to a website and have paid $82.88 for the first year. With that, you can then add photos, embed videos, plug in Google Analytics and other extras as you wish. These options will cost you when using services like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly.
And I do recommend having your own domain name as part of your online marketing. It looks professional and helps people remember where to find you.
This means that the cheapest DIY option that includes a domain would be Wix at $4.08 a month BUT this plan includes ads on your website (something I’d advise against) and many other limitations.
All these services and costs need to be weighed and thought about before you decide what’s right for you. In my experience, WordPress has always been the way to go and has given me the most flexibility for least investment.
FYI, a few of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I only recommend these products and services because I use them myself and find them helpful, not to make a commission should you choose to purchase something. Please only purchase them if you truly feel that they will help you achieve your goals.