The REAL Cost of a DIY Therapist Website
The changes ushered in by the pandemic have transformed how health professionals care for their clients. Digital options have become necessary. Online treatments are key. People are searching for therapists on the net. So, if you don’t have a website yet, or your current site doesn’t serve you, it’s time to up the ante. Because — to put it bluntly — continuing without a substantial cyber presence will harm your practice (if it isn’t already).
This brings us to choice. What option should you take? Many of our clients tell us that they’d been quoted astronomical rates before working with Brighter Vision. We know numerous website creation companies that charge thousands of dollars… And there’s no guarantee the site will work for you. They aim for beauty and basic function. But there’s no point in having a gorgeous site if it’s not designed to build your presence and help grow your practice. It’s a scary (expensive) thought.
This often brings therapists to the second option: To self-build a website because, in theory, it sounds cheaper. So, how much does it actually cost to build your own site? Let’s break it down into its necessary parts.
A domain is the www. address you type in the search bar. It is, as the name suggests, your site’s location. It is the digital equivalent to your office address. A website cannot exist without a domain.
There are a multitude of domain providers, so ensure you choose a reputable company. An initial domain purchase depends on the name and type you choose. If available to purchase, it will cost around $20 per year for a dot com domain. If it’s already taken, you can offer to purchase it from it’s current owner. However, domains can attract a premium of thousands of dollars for the initial purchase, then ongoing yearly fees. We don’t believe this to be necessary.
Don’t want to deal with the hassle of buying a domain?
Let us take care of it for you! Domains are included free with all Brighter Vision websites. Contact us today.
If the domain is the address, hosting is the building. Without it, your website cannot work. Think of hosting like paying rent.
When considering the cost of building your own website, free hosting can feel tempting. We get it. But because hosting is an expensive business, companies who offer free plans need to add limitations and endeavor to recoup costs. Your traffic capacity (i.e. the number of visitors your website can accept) may be limited. They may require you to display their logo and link on your website (which looks unprofessional). They’ll aim to upsell you into other products to improve your site’s functionality. The uptime and security advantages that often come with paid plans matter.
Sadly, we have talked to people who have admitted to paying over $100 per month in hosting fees. For your average private practice website, this is NOT necessary.
The sensible option
Paid hosting results in a better experience for you and your visitors. But forking out money without due cause is unwise. Because professional hosting is crucial, it’s included with every Brighter Vision website package.
Theme and Design
This is where the big investment usually comes in. Web designers regularly charge many thousands of dollars to build a site. This makes DIY enticing! But what is the real cost of going it alone? Let’s take a look…
Learning and implementing a theme and design is a skill. It requires in-depth knowledge and the capacity to problem-solve. When you have not built a site before, there is much to learn. Many mistakes will be made. It will take a ridiculous number of hours. Even for experienced experts, it’s a timely process.
Plus, while you may not pull out your purse, you might need pain relief. Headaches — both metaphorical and physiological — will result from copious amounts of wasted time; time that would be better spent seeing clients and contributing to your bottom line.
It is essential that your website is engaging, professional, and functions seamlessly. If not, you won’t attract clients, build trust and help your practice flourish. When you choose the DIY route, it is highly unlikely you’ll end with a functional, attractive site. Unless you are a web expert, plugins will fail, uptime may tank, bugs will strike. And you’ll have only yourself as your repair person.
Tip: At Brighter Vision, we’ve been creating sites for therapists for years. We intimately know what your website needs to connect with potential clients and increase conversion rates.
The result? A beautiful site that functions, converts, and allows you to be proud of your digital address. The cost in terms of time for you? Around 60 – 90 minutes… Our professional design team takes care of the details and work. To learn more about our design intake process, click here.
What do you do when something goes wrong with your website?
If you’ve opted for DIY you must either work it out yourself or pay an outsourcer… who may be untrustworthy, expensive, or worse – both! It quickly becomes a nightmare.
Tip: At Brighter Vision, we provide unlimited and completely free tech support. Because we built your site, we already know it intimately. We will identify and repair any issues promptly and we will always be here to help with any updates you request. You’ll never be alone.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Have you heard of SEO?
As its name suggests, websites need to be optimized so search engines can find them. If you get this wrong, you will struggle to attract visitors. Without eyeballs, your site won’t attract new clients.
There are numerous prongs to SEO, each with one aim: To get you listed in the search results when someone seeks a therapist. This makes SEO essential.
Answer this question: What is the lifetime value of one client to your practice?
To answer this, estimate how many appointments an average client will have. Multiply this by the cost of an ordinary consult. For example, if a usual patient consults you 12 times and your per-session fee is $100, their lifetime value is $1200. While consultation times and frequency necessarily vary, this is a perfect starting point.
Next, let’s look at where people click once their search results show. SearchEngineJournal reported that a staggering 28.5% click on the first result! Then 15.7% on the second, 11% on the third, and so on down. If you’re listed towards the bottom of the first or on the second page? People don’t see you!
Now, imagine there are 500 people each month searching for a local therapist with your expertise. A mere 1% convert into clients for those therapists sites listed at or near the top of the results page. That’s five clients, each with a lifetime value of $1200, who have no idea that your practice exists! What if this volume is weekly rather than monthly?
By skipping the crucial SEO step because you don’t know what to do or are not sufficiently competent, your DIY-ed site will easily cost you thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.
Because SEO is crucial, we also include it — for free! — with all of our Brighter Vision websites.
View all of your important marketing data in one place,
Learn more about who’s interacting with your business online; from your website itself, to how it’s performing with search engines, to your email marketing, to social media.
Sign up for a free 14-day trial of our easy-to-use dashboard, Brighter Insights today:
Professional Email Address
Do you use a gmail or yahoo account for your business?
If so, it’s time for an upgrade.
A free email account screams “cheap and unprofessional”. It places your perceived competence on the line; it can turn off potential clients. Think about how you react. Notice the immediate perceptions you draw when comparing firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. There’s a distinct and visceral difference in positioning, right?
An email that is in sync with your domain looks professional, competent, trustworthy.
Tip: All of our websites come with professional domain-specific emails. We also offer a HIPAA-secure option starting at only $9.99/month.
Content that builds connection and conversion
You’ve finally cobbled together your domain, hosting, design, and sprinkled in a superficial layer of search engine optimization. Now the work begins. What should you say? Which words will tell your story? How do you connect with visitors and compel confirmed consultations? How can you add value? In short, what should you write?
Copywriting — the specific kind of wordplay that works — is a specialized skill. It requires years of training, fine-tuning, and experience. And it can be the difference between a site that soars and a site that bombs. That’s why a single sales page can cost $10,000. Yes, just for the words!
Chances are, if you’re DIY-ing, you don’t have the time, skill, or will to get good at this. Poor word choice can trigger a site to crash and burn. Again, think back to your client’s lifetime value. If people land on your site and bounce, never to return, your do-it-yourself approach has cost you dearly.
Tip: Because words matter, all Brighter Vision websites come with access to our library of pre-written content created specifically for therapists.
We understand. The temptation to do-it-yourself can be high. In theory, it should save you a stack of cash. But in reality, and we see this again and again, the cost of a DIY-website is hefty in terms of lost revenue and time, not to mention unexpected financial outlay.
At Brighter Vision, we’ve spent years helping therapists to own a spanking new, gorgeous, perfectly structured website to be proud of! Starting at only $59 per month, we believe we’re one of the best marketing decisions you’ll make. Our customers tell us so:
Want the beautiful therapist website you deserve? Then you’re in the perfect place.
Brighter Vision is the ultimate marketing package for therapists, centered around the best therapist website you’ve ever had. Fill out the form below to learn more about our team of professionals who can’t wait to help your practice grow like never before 🙂