We are stoked to be reviewing BrighterVision Website Designer for Therapists
BrighterVision specializes in custom WordPress.org sites for Therapists. (Not sure what the difference is between Wordpress, Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org- check out the Website Dictionary for Therapists). We aren't super shy about it. We are pretty clear that most therapists are unprepared for managing their own WordPress.org site. We might even be quoted more than once saying "I hate Wordpress!" hehe So, why are we excited to talk about Wordpress today?
WordPress is sometimes the best solution for therapists. However, we recommend that therapists who need or want WordPress.org sites outsource that puppy to someone awesome. The trouble is, it can get expensive pretty quickly to work with a WordPress designer. Even more complex, there are only a few WordPress designers who specialize in working with therapists.
We are excited today to review a program that has made getting a custom designed and maintained WordPress site accessible for therapists with limited budgets.
BrighterVision for Therapist Websites
BrighterVision started out as a SEO company, helping therapists get their websites showing up on the first page of Google. This last year, after working with a lot of therapists, they decided to create a groovy all-in-one solution. The designers work with you to create a custom website for your private practice that includes all the nitty gritty technical things you need, a responsive mobile design that makes it easy for clients to call you, and takes care of your on-site SEO needs.
Is an All in One Solution Right for You?
Brighter Vision designs custom websites for just $59 a month, with a $100 set-up fee (the set-up fee is waived if you pay annually). The monthly fee includes hosting, domain name, SEO help, design tweaks, blog help, and unlimited technical support.
That means the first year it will cost you about $800, after that it will cost you around $700 a year. It is pretty darn near impossible to get a custom website designed for less than $1200, and that doesn't usually include ongoing support or hosting.
The unlimited technical support includes installing plugins. They can install any plugins, have several plugins that normally cost money that they can add to your site for free, take care of making things are backed up regularly, and more. I feel like the Brighter Vision program is truly a throw-back to the days when you have a "webmaster." Except that, in this case you have a web team, not just one guy sitting in his basement!
Isn't Wordpress Free?
WordPress.org is a piece of free software. However, there is technical knowledge and ongoing upkeep needed to make the software work securely and effectively. Some therapists easily flow into understanding and thriving with Wordpress- while others end up spending a lot of time and energy dealing with random bugs, messing with themes, and trying to find the right plugin to get their SEO to work. If you don't know WordPress and don't easily pick-up technical things- I'd strongly advise you to do your research before jumping in. Tamara Suttle isn't technical and has had next to no problems with WordPress-but having worked with hundreds of therapists- she is the exception (which makes sense- she is awesome!) I am actually quite technical and WordPress drives me batty!
What are Brighter Vision's Strengths?
While a low start-up fee is AWESOME- if you can't back it up with good service- it is just pointless. We reached out to several customers- including some of our bootcampers who have used them and they had nothing but positive things to say. Unlimited technical support that includes setting up your website with best practices to keep your site secure, automated back-ups, plugin updates, and working with you to get the right look and feel for your site is pretty fabulous.
I LOVE that you get to trust someone else to make sure your site just "works" and you don't have any hidden fees. If something wonky happens- a technical glitch in WordPress, need to update WordPress, bugs, glitches, etc. you don't have to pay anything extra. If you decide to add several pages to your site and tweak the formatting you don't pay anything extra.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is all about making sure that Google and other search engines understand what you do, that you are awesome, and see you as an expert they want to put on their front page. Because therapists aren't well versed in speaking robots- we sometimes miss little details that can make or break Google knowing what we do and putting us into the right category! I've seen therapist's websites where they never actually include important details like their name, the city they are located in, or what services they provide in a format that search engine bots can read.
BrighterVision started as an SEO company so they keep an eye on all of this when they build your site. However, the truly amazing service they provide? Helping with little details that can make a big difference. When interviewing Perry about the SEO services, he told me, "say you write a blog post and you want it optimized, just shoot us an email and we'll make sure the titles and descriptions are well-written for the search engines."
Do you know how awesome that is? Kelly and I would pay him $60 a month for that service alone! Not sure you want to blog? It is truly one of the most powerful ways to build your audience and reach your community. You can always send him over your video blog to embed and ask them to optimize those titles and descriptions as well!
What are the drawbacks?
One of the drawbacks I've seen with having a "webmaster" is that if the webmaster disappears you can lose access to updates for your site. Brighter Vision being a company, and not just one person makes that much less likely. I think a lot of therapists really aren't sure what they want or need in a website. It is quite possible that the website you design with BrighterVision (or any program for that matter) might be very different than what you want a year from now. I like the integration of tweaks to the look of the site and formatting to help your site stay current.
If you want more than a tweak, and want a complete overhaul or redesign of the look with a new theme- it is just $99. This is a steal. Seriously. Ask around.
I know a lot of people like WordPress because they like the idea that they can back-up and move their site anywhere and work with anyone. For example, if you work with a traditional Wordpress designer like CounselingWise.com you can easily back-up your site and the look is "yours" to take wherever you choose. However, that also does come with an initial price tag. BrighterVision is basically working on "spec" meaning they are investing a lot of time and energy for VERY little money initially for a longer term relationship with you.
The other piece that therapists need to be prepared for- no matter what Wordpress designer is chosen- is writing their content and determining their marketing focus. Some programs like CounselingWise have staff writers which can help get things moving. However, I'm always a sucker for therapists writing their own content. I think it is TOUGH to get someone who can "ghost writer" and make content sound like you. Your website needs to reflect and mirror what someone will experience when they come into therapy.
Recommendations for Wordpress Designers:
If you want a Wordpress site and want a low barrier of entry and ongoing, awesome support at an awesome price point- you should definitely give them a holler and interview them. You can always interview BrighterVision and CounselingWise and get a feel for what works best for you.
Who is BrighterVision a No-Brainer for?
If you currently have a template based system like TherapySites where you are already paying $59 a month-moving to BrighterVision might just be a no-brainer for you. You will be able to expand your site from there including integrating a blog (great for SEO), being able to easily expand the function of your site, and having a real person who takes care of all your changes for you! How awesome is that?