One of the many stressors, or sometimes lack of stress when there SHOULD be stress, is how exactly does a baby boomer generation therapist or educator know how to manuever on the internet. And how do they get a sense of how their website should look? It’s such a gut thing. Most people under 40 have a better gut.
Not trying to offend a lot of you, but the Therapy Site templates (all 4, with each offering 3 colors), Godaddy, Homestead, Yahoo, and another therapy template service that I’m blanking on the name, they are all pretty bad. Best case they are extremely bland, to the point of being like a “sample brochure” for people who don’t want to spend the money designing their own site. (I’m guilty of this for business cards and was for a brochure until I hired a designer.) The problem, especially for Therapy Sites, is 1) you only have four choices which means your website is going to look identical to many others – bad for branding! and 2) they require a link back to their site, so anyone can harrass you simply by doing a special search to find everyone with that template. The third problem is they try to sell you on the glories of search engine optimization but sadly all the “content” they provide free is DUPLICATED content which means Google ignores it completely. And, all that content sends people away from you back to THEM, which just helps THEM sell ads. Godaddy sites LOOK like Godaddy sites. You don’t want someone to immediately know who is hosting your website – it shouldn’t be that distracting!
Worst case, not being bland, but they either have ads on them (eegads!) or they literally look like a spam website. If you have ever gone to a website you thought was the right place, but found it was a pretend website, with “related searches”, you know what I mean. This is an example, though poor one, of what I’m talking about http://weddding.com. It’s wedding with 3 d’s. It looks like a real website but it isn’t. Everything you can click is just another fake website for ads. This is how some websites look and feel.
The other way they can feel is just like an extremely corporate, bland website. No zip, no energy, no grabbing the visual eye of the people (and generation) you’re trying to serve. The stock photos are very stereotypical (running water, rocks, bamboo) and there is just no personality.
As you can tell, I’m not a fan of template services! But I have finally come around to their necessary evil. If you have a webmaster make 2-3 changes, it can take upwards of an hour and at $50/hour, you’ve just paid for an entire month with most template services. AND you then get 24/7 access to making your own edits. No waiting for your webmaster to reply. No waiting to see what it looks like, only to find a typo or that you don’t like the spacing on the website.
Enter, a new exciting solution! You can get the best of both worlds – either hire a designer and STILL make 24/7 edits yourself, or sign up for this template service (with 108 current templates fully customizable) and get FOUR HOURS of personalized help…help on ANYTHING, from handing over your Word documents, to figuring out what to say, to having professional copywriters and adsmiths work on your website. Plus the most amazing things – free contact management system – no more Constant Contact fees to manage nice emails and newsletters. And an amazing e-commerce system that I literally tried to DESTROY in testing and can’t. You can set up all the weird taxes on anything, you can have a catalog. That’s all free. There is a $10 fee (I pay a crazy $50) to accept credit cards, which you can do recurring (I pay another $10/month for that feature). Then the typical fees apply to the credit card, normally 15 cents per transaction and 2-3%.
I’m very tempted to move over myself and that is saying a LOT because I have the program to make my own edits and the knowledge to do it all myself. But the fees I pay for Constant Contact and credit cards pays for itself. And then I get the added security of never being hacked, of never going down, of having a 3am backup in case I thoroughly destroy something, and 24/7 free tech support.
So contact me if you want to learn more! Through me you can save $200. thomasconsultation [at] gmail.com is the email. I am also looking at maybe having my website set up as a template option on that service. We paid $1,100 for the design to look and feel like a calm, professional, trustworthy therapy site. www.thomasconsultation.com is one example, robscuka.com, michaelmetzphd.com, and drbilldoherty.org are all various examples of the website “in use.” If you wanted that template, it’s just $99 and you can find someone to do the web editing for you. Or, I can find someone who can work with you to make your own edits using a low cost software. The only downside there is you couldn’t customize the pages.