|Once you have made the decision to have an acupuncture website, now what? Trying to understand what you need and how much it costs can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to graduate or open your acupuncture practice.|
I am going to simplify the process for you and try to give you an idea of what you need and a breakdown of the costs. Do not make the mistake of handing the project of your acupuncture clinic website over to someone else without understanding some of the basics.
The steps you take to get your clinic website on the web really depend on how much time, energy, and money you want to put into it. I can recommend good quality acupuncture websites for about $25 per month or $300 per year. Some will have one time set-up fees of anywhere between $100 and $300. Think about your budget and how involved you want to be in your website. Also realize that your acupuncture website can be the most powerful marketing tool you have. Learning how to maximize its potential should be a priority.
If you are a non-techy and prefer a web designer, or just want a hands-off approach, hire a one of Sitesell Service's Certified Webmasters. They are a reputable company with excellent customer service and support. You will definitely get a quality website that is search engine optimized and easily found by your customers. Although I will offer another possibility for having someone else create a website for you, Sitesell Service's will create an acupuncture website for you that is also a marketing and monetization tool. No company understand e-commerce and building a business on the web like SiteSell
Read my Squidoo article, "How to Build a Great Business Website in One Easy Step".
If you want to build your own acupuncture website, then I have found a couple different strategies and tools you can utilize as you see fit. No matter which approach you implement, plan on developing your acupuncture website to use as a marketing tool.
Acupuncturists are unfortunately slow to understand that a website is by far the best, most cost-effective, and most powerful marketing and passive income generating system they will have. Even if you do not use it initially for marketing or earning additional income, you still want to make certain it contains appropriate features and codes to allow you to do so in the future.
Please do NOT put your website in the sole control of another person. Even if it is a friend, spouse, or hired web designer. You should retain oversight and ownership. A trap that many acupuncturists fall into is "doing a trade" for their business website. I have heard too many horror stories and strongly discourage you from trading acupuncture services for web design services. It's okay to arrive at an arrangement, but pay each each other based on a predetermined contract which delineates time and end result.
One last note before we begin going through the ways to get started on your very own acupuncture clinic website, whether you are hands-on or hands-off you must write your own original content. This means you not only have to write your own bio including educational background, experience, professional organizations, and any other life endeavors that makes you unique, but you have to write about your own perspective of and experience with acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Your website is an opportunity to share who you are and must be in your own voice.
Having said that, I am going to recommend a website company that does 90% of the content writing for you. This is for those rare cases where you are absolutely unable to write all your own content. The good news is, this excellent acupuncture website building company allows you to change the content to "make it your own" when you are ready.
In my new ebook called, "Complementary & Alternative Marketing: How to Attract New Patients, Market Your Practice, and Earn Passive Income With Your Acupuncture Website", I go over in detail how you can use your website for marketing.
If you find advertising and marketing difficult or feel introverted and don't want to do talks to promote yourself and your clinic, this ebook holds the answers for you.
CLICK HERE to read more about "Complementary & Alternative Marketing" and why I wrote it just for you.
After considerable research, I can confidently say that the following acupuncture website packages offer the most value, functionality, ease-of-use, and versatility to acupuncturists.
Please look through each package to determine which one will meet your specific needs and goals.
I am also including the PEOPLE behind the acupuncture website packages, because I want you to know that you are working with people with incredible integrity and specific knowledge about acupuncturists and marketing.
**UPDATE!!**In 2012 I released a new video that describes the "8 Terrible Mistakes 99% of Acupuncturists Are Making Right Now". I also teamed up wit Jeffrey Grossman from Acupuncture Media Works to collaborate with him about putting together a special website that had ALL of the important design elements that make a website a powerful marketing tool. I'm happy to say he and his team of designers & programmers over-delivered!
Even if you already have a website, go ahead and do these two important things right now:
Other website companies that deliver excellent sites for acupuncturists that are worth looking into are:
Finding the right website for you is just the FIRST step. The next, perhaps most important step is to learn how to use your website effectively.
There are only 5 things you need to DO to have a website that works as an automatic marketing tool. I tell you exactly what these 5 actions are in this free video, "8 Terrible Mistakes 99% of Acupuncturists Are Making Right Now" (and I show you how to get free coaching with me!) 😉
It's no secret that my first choice for a business website is a do-it-yourself program called Sitesell's SiteBuildIt! aka, SBI! 2.0 but I also know it is not for everyone. (Which is why I researched the other website packages listed above.)
There is no question that SiteBuildIt! has the best price, but there are other factor you need to consider.
The way I see it, to build your own website you have two choices:
For an all-in-one integrated do-it-yourself package, I highly recommend Site Build It. (Here is their homepage which goes through all they offer in great detail. It provides a good reference point when you are researching web design tools and programs.) I did not know a single thing about building a website when I started this one in March 2007. I just followed the step-by-step Action Guide and voila! Site Build It is a great price at about $25 per month ($299 / year) without any set-up fees. This includes your domain name, hosting, Newsletter capabilities, auto-responders, RSS, mini-blogging, and more tools than I know what to do with. Read my very biased review of Site Build it in "The Best DIY Acupuncture Website Software".
If you want to collect tools to build your acupuncture website, you are probably familiar with HTML and have skills in web design. Below I have listed some resources to consider. I recommend comparing the "sum of the parts" with what is included in the Site Build It package, which allows you to download your own HTML as well as use their step-by-step Block-Builder.
Purchasing what appear to be inexpensive parts (such as domain name, hosting, web design tools, templates, blogging capabilities, RSS, shopping cart, et cetera, et cetera) can add up to a lot more than purchasing a comprehensive all-in-one- package. So do your homework, and compare.
Having said that, here are some great resources that may suit your needs. Don't be afraid to shop around to get the best deals:
GoDaddy: Domain Names, Hosting, Web Design templates, software, and tools, shopping cart, and lots of ecommerce tools, but very little web design support. I do not have anything bad to say about GoDaddy. They provided us (meaning my husband because I was too intimidated with "uploading ftp" and all the HTML coding to be involved) with great hosting for a few years. Whenever we had trouble uploading our site from Microsoft Publisher, they provided great technical support. I still have our clinic website domain name with GoDaddy, but it redirects to our Site Build It clinic website.
HostGator: Good Hosting with various levels to choose from. Their hosting plans range from the "Hatchling", "Baby", and "Swamp" and you can choose based on your needs. They are reasonably priced and reliable.
WordPress: A powerful software package used to Blog. Many people have turned their Blog into an effective business website. I do not recommend having a Blog only, but it can be a valuable addition to your acupuncture website. Most agree that a Blog is a versatile way to get an immediate presence on the web. Note: Make sure you utilize WordPress.org instead of the WordPress.com version. If you do decide to go with WordPress, I highly recommend these video tutorials. They saved me!
Search It!: is another very powerful tool for checking everything from keyword search volume, competition in your niche, monetization models, domain names, and a bunch. Some of the features only work if you are a Site Build It owner. Full use of Search It is included on the Site Build It computer building package.
1ShoppingCart: When you are ready to add ecommerce to your website look at 1ShoppingCart's affordable, powerful and secure online shopping system.
AWeber: An extremely powerful auto-responder and newsletter tool to help you consistently and professionally stay in touch with your patients. This is a fantastic and easy way to market your practice. They offer a free trial period so you can take it for a test drive before purchasing. It is really amazing and will have you thinking about Chinese Medicine auto-responder e-courses in no time!
This is by no means a complete list of every tool that will help you build, create, design, and market your acupuncture website, but it is a good start. As with everything listed on this website, do your research to make certain that the product or service is right for you before purchasing.