Time is just flying by this year. We are getting lots of calls about people that already have websites or that want to start a website from scratch. Some people want to know how what we do is different then everyone else. This is a great question!
In case you want a little summary about what to consider when picking a person to do your website, here are some tips:
Free consultations: We offer them and so should they. It can give you a sense of the person you might hire and you will understand better what they are capable of.
Do they get you? We are therapists, so we understand therapists. We know how to write for therapists and their potential clients. Some web designers will write content solely on key words for your SEO but then it doesn't quite translate into the relatable copy that you want to attract clients.
Check references! Just like you would check the reference of a building contractor, you want to see the work of your web person and maybe talk to a few people that have worked with them.
What are your options? If the web developers leave you with limited options on design packages, SEO, social media, etc. it can get REALLY frustrating. We want to empower people to add content to their site when they want. That is why we offer training with all of our packages and we do custom packages as well.
How dependent do you want to be? Do you want to pay someone everytime you need a change to your site, even if it is minor? Do you want to be paying monthly fees, but can't prove that the SEO or management of your website is working? You need to find out what happens once the website is built. Find out the terms for updates and changes. OR you can learn to make these changes yourself so you don't have to keep paying people to fix things for you.
Know thy budget and stick to it! This is the hard part. So often I find people that are unhappy with their website and they either paid a ton of money up front or were paying a huge monthly fee for years. Either way, they ended up with a website that wasn't working for them. That is a big bummer. Throwing money isn't going to solve the problem. BUT websites do cost money. Shop around and understand what you are getting for the price. Just because someone is dirt cheap, remember you might get what you pay for.
Know why you want a website. Websites are part of your marketing plan. This is great! But what are you hoping to accomplish with it? Sell product? Build a newsletter? Become an expert? If you figure this part out, you can tell the person you are considering hiring and see if they can create a website that fits your goals, not just a bookmark for the internet.
It ain't about pretty. I love beautiful sites, but they have to function. This is important. You may know a graphic designer and have a matching website, business card, brochure, yadayada...but at the end of the day, is the content meaningful. Make sure your web person doesn't just wow you with the beauty of their sites, but go a bit deeper to find out what they do to make them important.
Hope this gives you some ideas on what to look for in a web designer. We will be at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in Washington DC next month. Stop by the YourTango.com booth and say Hi! We would love to meet you. Until next time - Kelly