TLDR; the best website platform for therapists is Squarespace – and maybe Wix or WordPress.com. These platforms will be the easiest-to-use and adequately suit most therapist website needs.
For more detailed guidance on navigating which website platform might be best for your private practice website and why, read on:
The 4 Major Website Platforms Will Suit Most Therapist Website Needs
If you are anything like most private practice therapists out there, you are considering a website because you want a place on the internet that helps visitors get to know who you are and how you help.
Let me say that almost ANY website platform will be a good fit for that basic need.
And beyond that? The four major platforms, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress.com, and WordPress self-hosted, will all suit most therapist website needs.
Here are some of the needs and how they can be accomplished on the major platforms:
- Provide access to forms like consent, ROI, etc for incoming clients
- Major website platforms will allow you to link to documents or pdfs. If there isn’t a way to upload the file direct to the platform, you can upload it to a free solution like google drive, grab a link from there, and insert the link on your website.
- Allow prospective and/or current clients to schedule with you
- Major website platforms can help you connect with a scheduler. Note that websites typically don’t provide this functionality and you’ll want to look into combining your website with a scheduler that fits your digital security needs.
- Accept payments for sessions
- Payment processors (like PayPal, Stripe, Square) are separate services from the website platform. As such, all major website platforms will allow you to link to payment processors or usually also embed buttons or payment features.
- Promote therapy groups
- To promote therapy groups, you’ll just need a page on a website, no special functionality required. As such, all major website platforms will allow you to create pages and would be a good fit for this.
- Create landing pages for ads like FB ads, Google ads, or Instagram ads
- All major website platforms allow you to create pages. No special functionality required to create these pages.
- Rank at the top of Google
- All major website platforms allow you to optimize your website to show up in search (aka: search engine optimization or SEO)
- Sell tickets to events like online retreats
- All major website platforms allow you to link to a third party events/tickets service. Or it might be as simple as setting up a payment button and automated delivery of a “ticket” email. Most major website platforms will have options for these types of integrations.
- Link out to social media
- All major website platforms allow you to link to social media with icons or by creating menus.
- Promote my clinicians within my group practice
- All major website platforms allow you to create pages. To promote your therapists, you just need more pages.
- Grow an email list
- All major website platforms have the ability to create email list subscribe forms or embed code that’s provided by your email list software
- Sell courses
- All major website platforms can be used for the sales side of selling courses and link to a course platform for the payment collection and delivery of the course. This is best practice for selling courses when you are just starting out or run courses with low revenue (under consistent 5k/month gross).
- Sell physical products
- All major website platforms have e-commerce options and can also be combined with third party solution (E.g. Send Owl).
How To Choose: Be Clear On Who You Are
Sooooo if the major website platforms, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress.com, and WordPress self-hosted can all fit the needs of most private practice therapists, how is a therapist to select which one is right for them?
It’s actually more about you then it is about what the platforms can or can’t do. Here’s how to navigate it:
Who’s WordPress Self Hosted A Good Fit For?
If you are a nerd and you derive joy and fulfillment out of websitey stuff, then go for WordPress self-hosted. It will be more time consuming than using Wix or Squarespace in the research, setup, and maintenance. There is a steeper learning curve. But it’s also the (potentially) least expensive and by far the most powerful and extendable of the options.
That said, the benefit of using WordPress is only derived if you are doing it yourself. If you’re not a nerd or aspiring nerd: WordPress is hard to use, a lot to maintain, more difficult to get support with, and expensive to hire help for.
Choosing Between Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.com
Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.com are good fit platforms for everyone else who’s not in the passionately nerdy category. All of these platforms will cover most of your needs.
The best way to select between them is to explore them all, observe yourself, and discover what feels best for you.
- Watch free tutorial videos on youtube (“How to build a wix website” or “Squarespace in an hour tutorial”)
- Try them all out yourself! They have free trials or free levels.
- Use their knowledge bases to find an answer to something (could be anything like “how to add a new page” or “how to write a blog post”)
As we might provide ourselves the grace of observing ourselves during a meditation, take the seat of an observer of yourself in this exploration. Ask yourself which platform FEELS the most easeful for you? Which platform makes things effortless? What platform has styles of templates that feel like they reflect you the most?
This isn’t a highly technical thing. At this level – it’s really just intuitive.
Caveat: For Therapists Who Blog, Vlog, Or Podcast
If you blog on a regular basis or do any type of regular content marketing (video posts, podcast, etc). You will want to avoid Wix. And instead focus on determining if Squarespace, WordPress.com, or WordPress self-hosted are better fit solutions for you.
Blogging is something that Wix does particularly poorly. It’s great for a quick and easy website but more so for a calling card or brochure website and less for content marketing on a regular basis.
This is also compounded by the fact that Wix doesn’t allow you to export data in the same way that Squarespace, WordPress.com, or WordPress self-hosted do. Not being able to export data could mean a difficult or expensive migration process down the road should you need to do one.
Key: It’s Less About The Platform, More About What You Do With It To Get Yourself Out There
All of the major website platforms discussed in this article will have pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, things they make easier and things that are more challenging.
But it matters less what platform you’re on and more so what you do with it and what you do beyond.
As our data shows, a successful website requires marketing effort beyond the website itself.
In addition, my personal experience has shown me that the biggest challenges that most therapists face don’t have to do with website technology.
Or if technology is a struggle, it’s only one out of many things that are obstacles to creating a good therapist website. Most therapists can also struggle with writing their websites, gathering images, getting clear on the goals of their website, or how their website fits into a broader strategy. This means that a website platform alone doesn’t really solve all the problems.
So. What happens if you focus on ease and flow? What happens if you find what feels good for you? What happens if you focus on solving the known and now problems vs. trying to solve for future problems that you can’t even fathom yet or don’t yet have?
Find what works for you and see if it’s possible to find joy in the journey. Websites aren’t as important or complicated as most therapists think.