Many private practice therapists invest a lot of time and money into website tools that are a poor fit.
Choosing an “easy” DIY website builder may be appealing. The marketing for these builders often promise that it’s so easy and so quick.
“Anyone can make a professional website in minutes!” they say, “drag and drop your way to an online presence” they say.
But then, to get the website to look decent, these therapists start to invest a lot of their time in figuring out how to use this website builder. How can I change the font of my template? How do I resize my image for my about page? How do I set up the blog?
And it’s not even just these small extra things, the tweaks, that these therapists are learning, it’s time spent fixing all of the things that aren’t going quite as expected.
Halfway through a setting up a website is not a great time to realize that the site-builder does not have blogging functionality, is not optimized for search engines (SEO), or has no way to elegantly incorporate a digital download for their newsletter optin.
Even if a website builder seems ok for your practice now, there are so many many limitations that it will stunt growth in the future.
Not only are they pouring time and energy into creating a suboptimal website in terms of design and performance, they are also creating a suboptimal website in terms of scalability.
Most private practice therapists are in private practice for the long haul. Rarely does a practitioner simply want to be in private practice for a year or two so they can then go back to working in that agency or hospital or clinic or in order to build up some other therapist’s practice.
If you envision yourself being in private practice for the rest of your career, then why are you setting up your website with a website builder application?
The amount of time you spend learning that application is time you could have invested in a smarter solution. A basic WordPress setup doesn’t take that much more time and costs the same amount of money, or cheaper.
So what it truly comes down to is the cost of your time, now and in the future.
If you knew that in 1-3 years from now, you would need to take your online marketing to the next level and have a WordPress driven website, would you spend 30 hours learning how to work with a website builder application? Would you spend 20 hours? What about 10?
Or is it more worthwhile to invest those same hours working with something that has your future in mind? That can grow as you do?
The best option for psychotherapists who would like to build a website, at any stage of building their practice, is WordPress.
WordPress has the ability to be used very simply. You don’t have to have a blog. You don’t have to have a newsletter. You don’t have to have contact forms. You don’t have to have multiple page designs. You don’t have to have social sharing buttons. You don’t have to have a digital downloads store for your ebooks. You don’t have to have audio players for your podcast.
But if you want those things in the future, guess what, you’ll be able to grow your website to have these things.
To have all the things.
There are no limitations with what you can do with WordPress.
Whenever a therapist asks me for advice on starting a website, I tell them to get a domain and website hosting and WordPress self hosted or if they don’t want to deal with the tech part, go with Empathysites which is a robust, WordPress-based platform where you get the tech and design done for you but still have the opportunity to learn and scale.
So whether it’s custom design or solution with ongoing support, the investment in time and energy learning and working with the software will serve them both now and in the future.
So, should you use a DIY website builder to build your own website? The answer is no.