Creating a Website
Do you need a website? Many therapists do not use one, and seem to get on okay without. So if this is a huge deal for you, don’t scare yourself with it at the first instance. Much can be done without one. Hold it as a possibility for the future, when other options have bedded in a bit for you.
My own personal view is that the internet is the place of first research for anyone under thirty, and probably under forty, and many over forty as well, so in the long term, it’s good to be in there.
If and when you decide to get a website, there are a number of approaches that you can take to getting a web site up and going. You can do it yourself, or you can employ the services of someone who does it professionally. Which route you choose will depend on:
- What sort of site you wish to have
- Your own technical ability and confidence
- How much you want to spend
- How much time you have to spare on the project
It’s worth spending a bit of time deciding what you want. Look at the sites of others in the field that you know and that you don’t know. What do you like, and what turns you off? Look at the images they use and ask yourself what your emotional response to them is. What message are you trying to convey with your site? What do you want your site to do? Is it going to inform people? What will they get from visiting your site? What do you want to say to them?
There are lots of sites that help you to create your own site, if you are minded to do so. Many of these will let you be up and running for little cost. For example, WordPress.com or Vistaprint both have low cost options for starter websites that you can create yourself, ranging from no cost to about €20 per month.
Another option is to have a web site set up for you. You can have a basic website set up for you at www.fiverr.com starting at $5 for a four page basic site with text and images. (Sounds too good to be true? You’ve nothing to lose except $5!) Nothing lasts forever, so no matter what you choose, it will need to be updated and refreshed as time goes on. One disadvantage of getting it done professionally, is that you may have to get even the slightest changes done for you, such as a change in telephone number, address or email address. Depending on the agreement you have, there may be a cost for making the changes.
Bear in mind that in order to attract traffic, there probably needs to be some dynamic (changing) content on the site, so it is worth learning your way around it. I use WordPress.com for this site, and found it easy to learn.
When we were setting up the practice, we got the basic website done for us, and over the next year or so, I learned how to make minor changes myself. It was rather daunting at first. However, it got easier. Our most recent website was also designed and created for us, but we can add content ourselves, making it the best of both worlds.
 If you’re interested, the story of my journey from complete website novice to slightly less complete novice is recorded at http://beckytucker50.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/internet-mania/