Are you wondering how to build a business website for your health and wellness practice?
Are you considering creating a website using Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or WordPress?
Do you already have a business website and you’d like it to help you get more clients?
Some business owners think of their website as simply being an online brochure. These websites typically don’t generate any new clients for their business.
Other business owners recognize that their website is the online headquarters for their business. These websites are usually the main source of new clients for their businesses.
Even if most of your patients are coming to your clinic through a referral, every potential new patient will still visit your website at least once during their decision-making process.
According to research company, BIA/Kelsey, 97% of people use online media, such as websites, when researching new products and services in their local area.
To make a website to grow your business, we wrote this article to help you learn how to build a business website, including:
Does web design matter?
According to a recent study, researchers found that 94% of all feedback for losing trust in online health websites was related to poor interface design and site navigation.
What is a website?
- A collection of web pages that you can view using a web browser.
- Stored and made publicly available on powerful computers called website hosting servers.
- Your business’ online headquarters where clients can book appointments or call your clinic to learn more.
What are the benefits of having a business website?
Websites benefit your business by:
- Making your health practice easily found online for potential new patients.
- Growing your practice through online appointment bookings.
- Promoting what makes your practice unique from your competitors.
- Educating your clients on your health services while demonstrating your expertise.
How does a website work?
To access a website, you need:
- A website containing web pages and digital content.
- A server (powerful computers) to store the website and make it publicly available.
- A domain that acts as the server’s address.
What are your options for building a business website?
Your options for how to build a website are:
- Custom-built websites that are fully customizable, require technical expertise to create, and can be expensive to build and maintain.
- Do-it-yourself website builders, such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, which are inexpensive, easy to use, but lack functionality and performance features.
- Content management systems, such as WordPress, that are balanced between functionality, ease of use, and affordability.
To help you choose your best option, we’ll also examine the pros and cons of every option and provide our recommendations on how we build a business website.
Does web design matter?
Many people will evaluate the quality of your health products and services based on the quality of your website design, navigation, and overall user experience.
In fact, according to a study conducted by Northumbria University, the participants reported that poor web design and navigation resulted in losing trust in online health websites.
When analyzing the results, the researchers found that 94% of all feedback for losing trust in online health websites was related to design:
The look and feel of the website was clearly important to the participants. Visual appeal, plus design issues relevant to site navigation appear to exert a strong influence on people’s first impressions of the site. Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website.
Your potential new patients don’t know how to evaluate the quality of your health and wellness treatments. Since your health clinic is one of hundreds or thousands of potential options, they try to evaluate the quality of your practice based on what they can see and experience before their first appointment: your website.
According to the research agency, Nielsen Norman Group, on average, people will evaluate your website in less than 10 seconds. In other words, you have 10 seconds to capture their attention and encourage them to explore the rest of your website.
If your potential clients have any difficulties in finding your website online, or have a challenging user experience, they will click to go back on their browser, which hurts your search engine rankings in Google.
To learn more about how to get on the first page of Google, download our free guide: Google Business Guide.
Now that we have a good understanding of the importance of website design, navigation, and user experience for your potential new patients, how do you actually build a new business website?
First, let’s review the basics:
What is a website?
A website is a collection of web pages, which are documents that you can view using a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Apple Safari. These web pages display digital media content (e.g. text, images, videos) that are stored in a database.
But, these website databases aren’t stored on your computer or device. The website files in a database are stored on powerful computers (called website hosting servers) that make them publically accessible to people through the Internet.
A website can be used to educate, entertain, inform, etc. For most businesses, a website is used as the online headquarters to represent their business.
The goal of most digital and online marketing is to get the attention of your prospective clients and to encourage them to visit your website so they can book an appointment or call your clinic to learn more information.
What are the benefits of having a business website?
The primary benefit of having a business website for your health and wellness practice is that it helps you grow your business with new clients.
According to the marketing data and analytics company, Comscore, 31.6 million Canadians can be reached online through desktop and mobile devices.
Up to 97% of these Canadians are also using websites and online media to research local health and wellness providers (BIA/Kelsey, 2010).
Some of the main benefits of having a business website include:
- Visibility: if your potential patients have a difficult time in finding your website online, they’ll have a hard time in knowing that your practice exists. If your website is easily found online, it will attract many new patients to your practice.
- Growth: many people are going online not only to find a new health and wellness provider, but to book an appointment directly on their website. According to bookedIN, 47% of appointment bookings are done online by clients themselves.
- Differentiation: websites make it easy to differentiate your practice from a homogenous sea of other health and wellness businesses that look very similar to your potential patients. By being clear on your unique value, your message will resonate with your audience.
- Expertise: your website can educate your clients and potential clients to demonstrate your expertise as a healthcare professional, and to earn their trust. According to Forbes, clients want to learn and be informed before making a buying decision. They want to know how your health products and services will help them before they’re ready to book an appointment.
How does a website work?
In order to view or access a website, you need three components:
- Website: a website is like a book that contains pages to view. Instead of printed text, web pages contain digital media files, such as text, images, videos, etc.
- Server: a website hosting server is like a library that stores many books (websites) and makes them publicly available. You can subscribe to a website hosting service that will store and protect your website for you.
- Domain: a domain is the address of the library (server) where you can find the website (books). An example of a domain is: www.facebook.com. You can buy a domain through a domain registrar, which may be the same company as your website hosting server, or two separate companies.
Most domain registrars and website hosting providers that you can easily find online (e.g. GoDaddy) are located in the U.S. Choosing a website hosting provider in Canada will keep your website safe and secure from privacy laws, and it will improve your website’s search engine rankings in Google.
What are your options for building a business website?
Next, we’ll review your top 3 options for how to build a business website, including:
- Custom-built websites
- Do-it-yourself website builders (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly)
- Content management systems (WordPress)
In the past, most websites were completely custom designed and developed.
In other words, a team of web developers and computer programmers would build the entire back-end technological infrastructure. Then, a team of web designers and content writers would create the front-end content (e.g. text, images, videos).
It can be an extremely time-consuming and expensive process to build a custom website, with a complete custom-built back-end platform.
- Streamlined: custom created website coding allows you to avoid unnecessary functionality that comes with most website builders, which slows down your site.
- Customized: since the back-end infrastructure is custom created, every aspect of the website can be modified and customized, including databases and functions.
- Unique: your custom website is completely unique, as everything was created from scratch for you.
- Technical: custom building a back-end platform for a website requires technical knowledge of computer programming and coding.
- Cost: most basic business websites that are completely custom-built in Alberta start at about $20,000.
- Maintenance: every time you want to make a change to any aspect of your website, you have to contact your web developer and ask them to make the change for you.
Do-it-yourself website builders (Wix, Squarespace, Weebly)
In the past 15 years, software companies have developed website builders, which are online tools with a back-end infrastructure or platform already built. The only thing missing are the front-end designs and content. Most website builders even offer pre-designed templates to help you get started.
This allows anyone to create a website without any technical knowledge. Building a website today is easy, but using that website to accomplish business goals, such as growing your practice with new patients, is more challenging.
Furthermore, most website builders use additional programming code that slows down the speed of your website, which hurts your search engine rankings. This mostly occurs when integrating third-party tools, such as apps, into the website to add more functionality.
The most popular website builders available today are:
Wix was founded in 2006 and is located in Tel Aviv, Israel. They created one of the first cloud-based website building platforms using drag and drop tools.
People can add additional functionality, such as social media, e-commerce, contact forms, and user forums using a combination of software programs developed by Wix and other third-party developers. However, having too many options can be overwhelming and make your website building process time-consuming.
- Customization: although the back-end platform is already created, you can fully customize the front-end designs with drag and drop tools.
- Cost: for a small monthly fee, they will provide website hosting and their front-end website builder for you to use. Your cost is the amount of time that you spend doing it yourself.
- Usability: they provide templates to use to make your website building process faster, and offer additional tools in their App Market for more features.
- Time-consuming: complete customization of the front-end results in a time-consuming and tedious process of designing each web page, including a separate mobile version.
- Overwhelming: having full control of every option can feel overwhelming, as there are many features, elements, apps, and options to choose from.
- Rigid: once your website is online, you can’t switch your template, and changing one element in one area can have unintended consequences in other areas.
Squarespace was founded in 2003 and is located in New York City, U.S. Similar to Wix, they also provide an online website building platform using drag and drop tools.
They are known for their minimalist template designs, which are popular with creative professionals, such as photographers, videographers, and podcasters. Their focus seems to be more on design, as they lack advanced marketing features to help your website be easily found online.
- Design: their modern template designs are popular with creative professionals, as many are designed to showcase photography.
- Features: compared to other do-it-yourself website builders, they have better features, including blogging, podcasts, restaurant menus, donation systems, etc.
- Ecommerce: compared to other do-it-yourself website builders, they have better ecommerce functionality to display products, customize the checkout form, email receipts, etc.
- Usability: many beginners find using their website builder challenging and rigid. Unlike Wix, you can’t place anything anywhere, it has to be placed within their confined sections.
- Marketing: their search engine optimization (SEO) is relatively basic and lacks advanced features to help your website get easily found online in search engine rankings with Google.
- Integration: unlike Wix and Weebly, you can’t integrate third-party tools from other developers to add any additional functionality; all tools are developed by Squarespace.
Weebly was founded in 2006 and is located in San Francisco, US. In 2018, the company was acquired by the payment processing company, Square. Similar to Wix and Squarespace, Weebly provides an online website building platform with drag and drop tools.
Since their acquisition by Square, they have been focusing on developing their ecommerce functionality to specialize in online shopping. They also offer the easiest website builder for beginners, and offer additional functionality through third-party developer tools. Their usability may be overly simplistic, as there are many design limitations, and they don’t integrate with third-party email marketing tools.
- Easy: their website builder is straightforward, as you can drag and drop elements into place easier than Squarespace. They also don’t overwhelm you with too many options, like Wix.
- Integration: they offer an App Centre to add additional functionality to their basic tools, including forms, social media, memberships, etc.
- Ecommerce: their online shopping platform is comparable to Squarespace, as you can customize the product and email editors.
- Basic: their easy to use website builder is relatively basic in its design customization options and overall functionality, such as having limited options to customize buttons, forms, the navigation bar and footer.
- Performance: the basic tools offered are too simple for most business websites without integrating third-party developer apps, which slows down your page load speed and hurts your search engine rankings in Google.
- Rigid: unlike Wix, you can’t drag and drop elements anywhere, as they have to be placed within structured sections. Also, if you make a mistake, there’s no “undo” button. They also don’t integrate with email marketing tools, like MailChimp.
Content management systems (WordPress)
Do-it-yourself website builders (e.g. Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly) provide the services of a domain registrar, a website hosting server, and a website builder, all bundled into one company. This makes it easy to use, but has limitations in features.
In comparison, a content management system is simply a computer program or software application that creates and manages digital content. This content is managed on a database, which is stored on a website hosting server.
In other words, a content management system creates the back-end technological infrastructure of a website, but you have to create the content yourself on the front-end.
You also have to buy your domain on a separate domain registrar, then setup a website hosting account that allows you to download and install a content management system.
Although it requires a bit more technical knowledge to setup, it offers robust customization options for features, designs and functionality. The most popular content management systems today are: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
WordPress was founded in 2003 and is structured as a foundation. It is not a company that sells a website builder, like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. Instead, it is an open-source software that has been created, built, and maintained by a community of people over 15 years. It is free to download and install on most website hosting servers.
WordPress.org is the platform that powers over 33% of all websites on the Internet, including the Walt Disney Company, Sony Music and Microsoft News. It is the most popular website building tool on the Internet today.
In comparison, WordPress.com is a blogging platform owned by a company called Automattic that operates on a modified version of WordPress.org. This is similar to a do-it-yourself website builder, but not as popular as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly.
WordPress.org is a back-end website platform that has been created by developers. People can buy and build websites using themes, many of which come with a page builder included. These page builders function similarly to do-it-yourself website builders (Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly).
There are many free themes and paid themes, which provide the design and functionality framework for a website, including designing the front-end pages using drag and drop tools.
- Open: being a completely open-source platform, you can customize any aspect of your website similar to a custom-built website by having access to the programming code. This also makes it easy for you to move your website to a new website hosting server.
- Functionality: since it’s the most popular website building tool, there are over 50,000 plugins, which are third-party apps that add additional functionality to your website. You can integrate almost any other software program, such as ecommerce, email marketing, social media, online appointment booking, etc.
- Control: since your website is self-hosted with a website hosting server, you have complete control of your hosting options to improve your website speed, performance, search engine rankings (SEO), integration with other tools, etc.
- Technical: unlike do-it-yourself website builders, using WordPress requires basic understanding of buying a domain, setting up a website hosting service, and installing WordPress.
- Maintenance: do-it-yourself website builders maintain the website for you, including the security, backups, software updates, etc. With WordPress, you have to manage your website yourself, giving you more control over your options.
- Coding: in the past, one of the biggest obstacles to using WordPress was having to custom create programming code to design the front-end web pages. Today, there are many third-party tools and plug-ins that offer easy to use page builders, similar to Wix, Squarespace or Weebly.
Which website building tools do we use?
We don’t re-sell another company’s product, nor do we endorse any one website building tool as the best one to use. Every project is unique and we use different tools to help our clients realize their goals.
Sometimes a client may need a completely custom-built website, if their budgets allow. Other times a client may have a very limited budget and needs a very simple website using a do-it-yourself website builder.
However, most of the time our clients need a completely custom-designed website with comprehensive functionality, but easy to manage at an affordable cost. In this case, we use WordPress, as it’s a balanced option between complete custom-built websites, and the overly simplistic do-it-yourself website builders.
Your website is the online headquarters of your health and wellness practice. Your potential new patients will visit your website at least once during their decision-making process. If your website is difficult to find online, people won’t know that your practice exists. If your website has poor interface design, navigation or creates a challenging user experience, it may cause people to question the credibility of the information presented.
Having a well-designed website with a user-friendly navigation creates a sense of trust and credibility for your potential new patients. Furthermore, having a well-developed website that is easily found online through search engines will increase the visibility of your practice, attracting new patients to your clinic.
A website is a collection of web pages and digital content that is stored on a website hosting server and is found online using a domain address. You can host the website yourself, such as with a custom-built website or with a content management system. Or, you can buy managed hosting through a do-it-yourself website builder.
Custom-built websites require a back-end infrastructure to be programmed by developers, which makes them expensive and time-consuming to develop.
Do-it-yourself website builders have already created the back-end infrastructure and have packaged buying a domain, website hosting, and a website builder in one solution. This makes it easy to build a website, but has limitations in designs and functionality.
A content management system is a hybrid between both options. The back-end platform is already created and you have complete control over customizing every aspect of your website. This makes it the most popular option for most websites and businesses.
How we can help
We’ll design, write and build a website for your practice that is beautifully designed, easy to navigate, engages your audience, and encourages them to contact you to book an appointment. Our team of professional website designers, developers, and writers make it easy for your practice to stand out from the competition.
Once we build and launch your website, we also provide ongoing support including:
- Website hosting and management
- Technical support and security
- Content and software updates
To learn more about our website design services: