What Does A Custom Website Cost?

Laptop for looking at an awesome website

What does a custom website for a private practice therapist cost? This post will outline the necessary investments and a few related investments to help you budget.

Just like a cupcake bakery needs to invest in their shop: rent a space, purchase ovens and pans, hire movers and staff, and purchase ingredients, a private practice therapist also needs to invest in setting up their digital space. It needs to be friendly, usable, and, importantly, effective!

An effective website is a website that achieves your desired outcome. Grow your email list? More attendees at your workshops? More referrals? More social media shares?

In this post, I’m going to be talking generalities because, of course, I can’t know exactly what your website goals are. Here are the assumptions I’ll be making:

  • You are hiring a very small design agency or a solo designer who builds WordPress based websites
  • You care about the quality of the content and design that appears on your website
  • The website is within the standard solo private practitioner or small group practice needs in terms of functionality (Ex: website is not a membership site, not an e-commerce site, you are not trying to recreate the next Facebook)
  • Keeping your website up to date and running great is important to you

So, let’s dive right in. Here are 4 core investments you need to make to have a custom website and the estimated costs of these investments:

Investment 1
Website hosting and domain
Hosting $5 – $30/month
Domain $8 – $15/year

Website hosting and registering a domain are both necessary costs for every website solution out there. Typically an annual cost, you can get a better deal on the hosting if you pay for multiple years at once. The more expensive hosting is typically more feature rich meaning faster, more secure, and better customer service. I’ve rounded up my best recommendations for hosting, domain, and email if you’d like to check that out too.

Investment 2
Copywriting
$300 – $3,000

Copywriters help you write the written content, or copy, of your website. They can write entire pages for you or go over what you’ve written and edit. Many copywriters offer packages so that you can do a number of pages together. If you have strong writing ability, you may only need someone to edit website copy that you’ve written yourself, meaning a smaller investment for this service. At the higher end, you will do in-depth interviews, have your copy written, do revision cycles, and end up with amazing, SEO optimized copy for every page of your website including biography and services pages.

Investment 3
Website strategy, design, and build
$3,000 – $6,000

The website strategy is determining what the best design and functionality is for your website in order for it to effectively reach your marketing and business goals.

The website design is the strategic choice of visual layout, color, and elements that communicates your solutions to, and engages, your website visitors.

The website build are the codes and tools that bring the strategic website designs to life.

But there is hidden value in the website strategy, design, and build that is not the end product – it’s the services. Your website designer may do a fair amount of research, discovery, situational analysis, planning sessions, and offer training afterwards to empower you to manage your website on your own. There are quite a few perks to working with a designer that you might not know about so it’s wise to keep in mind the end product: a website, but also the journey: the support and services.

The exact cost is hard to estimate and depends heavily on what your unique website needs are. Strategy and consultancy, design revisions, features and functionality, are all things that can impact the final price.

Investment 4
Website Care
$0 – $200/month

Websites, like businesses, need care. You don’t just set up shop and walk away. These days, websites have databases and files that need to be updated and backed-up on a regular basis. Websites can get hacked, spam can get out of control, and website speed can slow down over time.

Some of the care tasks you may be able to do yourself and some can even be automated. But in some cases, or for certain tasks, you may want to hire someone to offer ongoing or occasional care for your website.

Website care can also mean content updates if you want someone else to do it for you, analytics analysis to measure the efficacy of your website marketing, ongoing search engine optimization (SEO), and strategy sessions to keep your website strategy on point.

Again, one size does not fit all, and in some cases, the care you need may be within your reach.

Related Investments

So the four investments listed above are the core investments for any custom website. However, there are a few related investments that you may already be interested in making for your practice. These are all good complements to a website build and are all valuable to your practice’s marketing beyond your website:

  • Marketing strategy. Websites work best as an extension of your greater online and offline marketing strategy. A marketing strategy or marketing consultancy may be a cost that you need to take into consideration if you haven’t already. A custom website that fits into clear marketing strategy will be more effective.
  • Photoshoot. A professional photo of yourself is not negotiable. You ought to have a professional photo of yourself for directory listings, social media profiles, and other marketing collateral like brochures or posters. And of course, a professional photo will come in very handy for use on your website.
  • Branding. Graphic designers and branding experts can help you develop a logo and particular, repetitive design concepts to identify and differentiate you in your field. Most solo practitioners are memorable enough through their name to not need a logo and branding, but for a small group practice, where there are several practitioners under one roof, this may be something to consider. Also, the need for branding depends on your online marketing strategy. If your strategy relies heavily on visuals, like infographics, pinterest images, instagram inspiration, or similar, then you may want to consider branding and graphic design.
  • SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of giving your website the best chance of being found by search engines possible. SEO services are not the domain of a website designer and developers handle technical SEO only. There are many gains to be made with technical SEO (the code that your website is built with needs to be optimal). But other aspects of SEO such as keyword research, competitive analysis, local SEO, content optimization, content writing, social media strategy, backlinking strategy, are all services that are best left to expert SEOs. In some cases, you may not need all of these services and a good, solid technical SEO and website strategy will lead to high visibility in relevant searches. Depending on your developer and online marketing strategy, this may be another investment to consider.

So, there you have it, the core investments to making a custom website. These initial and ongoing investments, when made wisely, will help you set up shop as a private practitioner and keep your online space in tip top shape.

There are a lot of things to think about but hopefully this gives you some ballpark estimates and considerations to take into account to get you on track.

Keeping your goals in mind is super important. Shiny object syndrome is real and it’s easy to want all the bells and whistles but clarity can help guide you to investing purposefully in your website.

Good luck. And as always ask me anything! I love hearing from you guys. You can contact me or tweet me anytime.

Kat Love

Hi, I'm Kat! Therapists helped me heal from childhood sexual abuse, so I helped them with websites and marketing for around 5 years. You can still write your therapist website in the easiest way possible with my easy, fast, and affordable solution called Empathycopy. Or stick around here on the Empathysites blog to get your fill of helpful website and digital marketing insights for therapists. Happy to help. Pronouns: they/them/their