When you tell your colleagues you’re entering private practice, they recommend you start a website to advertise your new therapy services.
Because when your potential clients Google you, do you want them to land on a faceless Healthgrade profile? Does that give potential clients a sense of how you work or who you are?
In private practice, you are selling yourself. Clients WILL Google you – so you need a website that gives you instant authority.
All of the tech feels overwhelming. Where do you even begin?
In this guide, I will walk you through an easy way to start your therapist website in 10 minutes or less!
We’ll go through:
- What you need to know about starting a therapist website
- How to get the domain and hosting
- How to install WordPress
- How to navigate your WordPress dashboard
What you need to know about starting a therapist website
Starting a therapist website is essential for your growth as a career. It’s also a tool you can use to distinguish yourself from other therapists, and help educate clients about if you are a good fit.
How can you achieve that?
- Narrow your specialty. A part about putting time towards starting a therapist website forces you to be clear about the clientele you want to work with, and your style. But this step alone can help distinguish you amongst the rest, while attracting clients you can serve best.
- Write down what brought you to where you are. One of the most powerful ways to stand out apart from the rest is through your STORY. What lifestyle transformations helped you get to where you are today? People want to work with therapists who understand what they are going through. Have you been in your clients’ shoes before?
- Be intentional with your brand & messaging. How do you want clients to FEEL when they land on your website? Are you edgy? Feminine? Rebellious? Professional? Choose photos, colors, and fonts that communicate that.
Still interested? Let’s start building your therapist website.
Get a domain and hosting
Starting your self-hosted blog requires two things: a domain, and hosting for that domain. I recommend Bluehost if you are looking for a host with great uptime, and 24/7 customer service.
Benefits of Using Bluehost
- Bluehost offers helpful, fast 24/7 customer service
- They install WordPress for you for free in one click!
- If you already have a website, they offer free website setup and transfer
- Industry leading in terms of uptime
- You get a FREE domain with purchase!
Is your domain available for purchase?
Bluehost offers three options for hosting plans. Their discount only applies to the number of months you pay for upfront, so I recommend paying for as many months in advance as possible.
After you select your plan, you can either claim your free new domain, or use a domain you already own.
After you either purchase or transfer your new domain, all you have to do is take a few minutes to fill out your information.
It’s incredible – the cost of starting a website is only $2.95/mo! It’s one small sacrifice (like skipping a coffee) every month in order to start a website that works FOR you.
How to install WordPress
Immediately after you set up your domain and hosting, you can set up WordPress!
Take advantage of Bluehost’s easy, one-click WordPress installation right after you purchase your plan.
And, if you ever run into any trouble, Bluehost has help, quick 24/7 customer service who are more than prepared to answer any questions you may have (trust me, I’ve taken advantage of this, too!).
I’ve worked with other hosts who charge MORE than Bluehost does – hosts who don’t offer 24/7 customer service … and when you finally do get in touch with them, you get in touch with snarky agents who make you feel like you’re burdening them.
Once you install WordPress, you can access your WordPress Dashboard by typing in:
How to navigate your WordPress Dashboard
If you’re new to WordPress you might be overwhelmed by its Dashboard. Don’t worry, once you learn all the terms, you’ll realize how simple it can be. Let me walk you through the WordPress dashboard options on the sidebar.
The “Posts” option helps you organize your posts, including your post categories and tags. You can view “All Posts” including drafts and edit your posts from here.
When you add a new post, you can also manage its categories and tags.
Please, please make sure “Uncategorized” is unchecked. Give each post the love and recognition it deserves. Assign it to a category.
Categories are your blog’s overarching concepts. Like, for example, my categories are lifestyle, travel and blogging.
As for tags, you can think of them like subcategories or hashtags. If you link your blog to Bloglovin, your tags will show up whenever you post a new post!
The “Media” section showcases files you upload, including images. You can see what you’ve already opened by clicking Library. To add a new photo, click “Add New”. You can also add to your media library when you are editing a post.
You can title your images, edit their sizes, and update the Alt Text. Make sure you update the Alt Text on every image. This will contribute to your website’s search engine optimization and will help your articles rank higher on search engines.
Different than posts, Pages do not show up on your blog’s feed. You can get creative with the type of pages you make, but essential pages to write are an About Me page and a Contact page.
This section is where you can manage the comments on all your posts. You can approve comments, mark them as spam, and even reply to them!
The appearance section of your Dashboard is where you can select or upload your theme, and customize the look of your blog.
Believe me, I really like the idea of being frugal. So, I tried finding a free theme. But, the customization that paid themes allow is tenfold. You are more likely to find the theme you want if you spend $20-50 on a theme. My marketplace for fonts is Creative Market.
This blog’s theme was put together using the Elementor Pro plugin. There is both a free and paid version of this plugin, and I wholeheartedly recommend this drag-and-drop plugin!
Plugins are an additional way you can customize your blog. Think of them like apps that help you make your blog do what you want! Plugins are what make WordPress.org software so much better than free hosted blogs.
Some of my favorite plugins are:
- Elementor Pro: Elementor Pro is an intuitive drag-and-drop pagebuilder plugin for WordPress.
- Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is one of the easiest tools to add to a website! It allows you to customize how links from your website show up on Google and social media.
- W3 Total Cache: This plugin helps speed up your website! I recommend a caching plugin for every WordPress website.
You’re all set!
You can start getting your therapist website ready for launch, or consult a designer to do it for you – so you can focus on growing your practice while someone else takes care of the rest of the tech details.