What you need to know before you get yourself a website.


You might be asking yourself “Do I really need a website?”

The answer I’d give you is,Well, Yes – eventually.

And then I’d ask you …“Can you afford it at the moment?”

Private practice Ninja helper  What does a website cost?

It’s ridiculously easy to spend the equivalent of a black-market kidney down payment on a website build. This certainly isn’t necessary, especially when you are starting out. I have met with clients who have a gorgeous £15K website who are struggling to make it earn its keep, and in contrast, other clients who’ve had a great website built for £2.5K, which performs fantastically for them.

Whilst a massive website re-build may indeed be more expensive, (let’s face it more pages equals more work, right?), you certainly don’t have to drop a bomb to get a site of good quality that’s going to serve you well.

Let’s suppose you have aspirations of owning a website, but need to do a bit more grafting and earn a few more pennies first of all…

Well, it’s actually very possible to get your face out there on the internet without a website.

Why not start out with a Clinician review and search service such as Doctify (www.doctify.co.uk) For a very reasonable sum each month, they will help increase the internet draw to you, whether you’re a Surgeon, Doctor, Physio, Osteo or Acupuncturist. Think of this as being a mixture of patient reviews but also some wonderful search engine optimisation. It’s a great way of getting started out there, on that there tin-ter-net.

Okay, so you have scraped behind the back of your sofa and you have got yourself a merry jungle of dosh (plus an old biro and an elderly Nice biscuit), with which you want to build yourself a site.

What do you want to be aware of before you jump in?

Private practice Ninja helper  A website needs to serve a purpose, and it needs a strategy. 

Many people start out thinking, “I really need to get a website”, but they are fairly clueless as to what the website should do for them.

You need to spend as much time as needed on getting really clear on this. How else are the visitors going to know what on earth you want them to do when they arrive on your site, and also how they are going to find the website in the first place?

You are going to need to spend some time on…

What are your areas of expertise?

How best can you help people in terms of clinical problems?

How are patients going to book in and actually get to see you?

Private practice Ninja helper  Domain names.

Obviously, before you can have a website, it needs to have a name. This means you need to go domain name shopping.

A word of caution:

You will see advertised on the telly and the internet and opportunities to throw up an inexpensive website through a company such as wix.com. Whilst they are meant to be cheap and cheerful self-build machines, there is a potential fly in the ointment. These sites will give you an internet address called a subdomain (and the domain name address might be something like www.awsomephysio.wix.com).

The problem is, if you then choose to move your website to another home (when you get a professional site build), it’s not portable. You won’t be able to lift it off the peg as www.awesomephysio.com; that would involve purchasing the domain name www.awesomephysio.com, and doing a completely new build from scratch.

You are far better off starting out with a domain name all of your own, and not a subdomain.

A domain name costs approximately ten to fifteen pounds a year (depending on how flash the name is). You will also need to purchase a little bit of ‘Who is’ privacy, otherwise any old Tom, Dick or Harry will be able to look up your personal details.


When it comes to naming companies and websites it pays not to be too clever.

You may be better off having your own name as the domain name, unless of course, your name happens to be John Lewis. If you are lucky, you might be able to find a domain name that spells out what you do and the geography that you do it in, which really helps when it comes to internet searches.www.sportdoclondon.co.uk is an example of this, but don’t try to force a phrase, if it’s not available.

Above all, avoid obtaining a domain name which is complicated and instantly forgettable, such as www.thelondonorganisationforpainfulfootandanklecomplaints.com.

The best place to go search engine shopping is with a domain name register such as 123reg.co, although companies that also provide website hosting such as Godaddy.com will also have this facility. Just to be clear, purchasing a domain name does not also buy the ‘hosting’ of that website. It also pays to shop around. Just because you buy a domain name from an organisation such as GoDaddy, it doesn’t mean you have to host your website with them.

Whilst you are at it, consider getting a proper paid for email address that matches that domain name. It’s not really acceptable to use a Gmail address as a clinician because:

A. It doesn’t look professional.

B. The encryption around it is not going to satisfy GDPR going forwards.

Private practice Ninja helper  Website hosting.

If you are going to build a website, sometimes a website designer will have a hosting services that they preferentially use. Ideally you want to look for a service that is affordable and maybe offers services such as website upkeep, security and even website recovery in case of a disastrous event such as site hacking occurs. There are many hosting services such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, WPengine. If you want belts and braces service, I can recommend www.heartinternet.uk

So, you have got your domain name, you have even got some hosting figured out…what next?

Private practice Ninja helper  User experience.

It’s very important to have a feel for what the journey through your website is going to be like for your patient.

When a patient or referrer lands on your website (e.g. the home page), is there a strong key message conveyed, or is it a little bit confusing? Every page of your website should have one single objective.

For example: It could be that on your home page you want to instantly get across…

What you treat.

Where your clinic locations are.

How they can get to see you.

There is nothing more frustrating for a patient than landing on your website and having to spend ages flicking through the pages until they find some Google map buried on a drop down. A good web designer will help you ensure that user experience is as optimal as it can be.

Potential patients will also want to see social proof that you’re as fab as you say you are, so consider asking your designer to help with linking in reviews from external sites.

Private practice Ninja helper  Website content.

Don’t let this be an afterthought. It mustn’t be some random blurb you ‘fill out’ your planned pages with.

Your content is the most crucial part of the website – obviously – and it deserves your full attention.

One of the most visited pages on your website is the about page and this is where people often get it wrong. Whilst it is important to spend a moment or two talking about your skills and background, it’s far more important to write this page in the manner of explaining how you can help certain kinds of patients with certain kinds of problems. It shouldn’t be an endless list of all the publications you have produced. (If you need help with website copy, by all means, get in touch at dojo@privatepracticeninja.co.uk).


Private practice Ninja helper  Design.

Websites do need to look great. This doesn’t mean flashy transitions, whizz-bang effects, or over the top, and achingly cool. We all know a bad website when we see one, because it is aesthetically displeasing. This is why it’s really, really important to have a website designer who has strengths in design skills, as well as build skills. Just because your Sister, your Mum’s best mate, or that person you knew at Uni has built a couple of websites, it doesn’t mean to say that they necessarily understand design or what constitutes excellent design.

When it comes to logos for websites I think it is best to work with a website designer who has got the capabilities to design a logo as well as giving you a good build.

Private practice Ninja helper  Website speed.

Have you ever clicked on a domain name or link on Google and found it takes five seconds for the website to load?

There is no excuse for a slow website and sometimes the problem may be really simple such as high-resolution pictures, which are clogging up the system. There are many freely available website testing tools which you can use to get a grasp of what your website loading speed is like, such as www.tools.pingdom.com.

Private practice Ninja helper  Your time scale.

Finally, one of the biggest things you need to consider is how long it is going to take for you to go through this process?

You are going to need to think of domain names, content and bringing it all together.

As clinicians, we are short on time and energy. There is nothing more likely to stall the process than a continued back and forth game of email tennis, whereby you and your designer are pinging ideas and responses to each other.

It’s entirely possible to get things prepped up and get a website built in a day. In fact, I would always go for this option if at all possible. I can highly recommend www.website-in-a-day.co.uk – a service such as this means you can sit down with a designer and literally go through your website build together and make changes in real time together. It does mean you need to be well prepared and quite decisive, but it also means that you can get your website up and running without those annoying niggles you didn’t quite like.

If you need help in bringing together content for a website build feel free to,

Get in touch!

I can help to get you to get to your ideal website.

We are waiting to help you gain more patients and boost your referrals, like a Private Practice Ninja.



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