A Quick Guide For Starting Your Own Medical Website.
Let’s say you’re a medical professional who is just starting out and can’t afford the professional web services we provide. We totally understand financial hardship, so we’ve created this handy guide for anyone who wants to create a website from scratch.
Step 1. Get a Domain Name.
Let’s say your John Smith, and you’re a Dentist starting out in San Antonio. What’s your domain name going to be? ‘johnsmith.com’, ‘johnsmith.org’, ‘johnsmithchiropractor’, ‘sanantoniochiropractor’?
Registering the domain name is the easy part. You can go to any domain registrar, like Namecheap or GoDaddy, and enter the web address yourself. The regular price is usually between $9.99 and $14.99/year, but with the right godaddy promo code you can register a domain for just 99 cents for the first year.
Usually a domain name will then renew at the regular price, but if you use a renewal promo code, you can save about 30% off the regular price. There: we just saved you 80% off the regular price in our first section alone!
But which domain should you choose? There is no clear right choice for your company’s url. We have a team of experts in search engine knowledge that look at your particular region (in this case, San Antonio), and figure out which domain name will help you become the most visible in Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yellowpages.com
2. Choose the Right Web Hosting.
This is the most costly aspect of getting your website up and running. Your domain name is just the ‘address’ of your website. You still need a plot of land for your website, and that’s what web hosting is.
99% of you will only need a shared web hosting plan. VPS and Dedicated are for high-end websites that use up lots of space and bandwidth. Shared web hosting usually costs somewhere around $3.99/month up to $12.99/month. There are of course lots of coupons out there for which ever hosting company you choose.
As for which web hosting company? You can host it with the same place you registered your domain (i.e. GoDaddy or Namecheap), but you don’t have to. You can purchase hosting with another hosting company like Dreamhost or Bluehost, and then you can point your domain to your new web host.
How do you point your domain? Let’s you register with GoDaddy and then buy hosting with Bluehost. Still with me?
Every domain name has nameservers. Right now your GoDaddy domain name is pointing to Godaddy’s nameservers. You can go in and change those to point to Bluehost’s nameservers. Every host has a set of nameservers, and these nameservers are the same. So every Bluehost website will have the same nameservers.
3. Choose How Your Website Will Look and Feel
Now that you have a domain name registered and hosted somewhere, congratulations. You have a live website! But now you need to figure out what your website will look like.
#1 Option: WordPress – WordPress is a content management system, which basically means how your website operates on the backend. WordPress is a completely free application that you download and install on your website.
The best part of WordPress is how versatile it is. You can choose how your website will look and feel by choosing one of many WordPress themes, of which there are tens of thousands to choose from. Most are free, but there are premium themes if you want to be fancy.
There are also hundreds of thousands of plugins, which you can add to your website to give it cool features like a contact form, google maps (so people can find your business), appointment calendar, and more. These are 3rd party plugins, so there’s no guarantee everything will work together.
Which is part of the problem with WordPress. There is a learning curve with their system. You can choose a drag-and-drop site builder for your website like Weebly, Simbia, or Wix. These are free to install and a little easier to setup, but plenty of their features are locked behind a ‘Pro’ version of their software which can cost anywhere from $5 to $99 to use.
Our team has a set of plugins and themes that are designed to seamlessly work together on all of our clients’ websites. We know which plugins will work and which ones will break your website. We also know, from experience, which features your website needs, and which ones will be superfluous.
Step 4 – Submit to Search Engines
Now that your website is completed, it’s time to start marketing yourself! You can submit to Google Places, Yellowpages, and all the local business listings in your area. This can be a time consuming process, with the submission requirements different for each company.
We include this initial setup as part of our website building package. Sometimes these local submissions are enough for a website to rank #1 in that area for his field, which creates lots of free leads that convert to paying customers.
Remember, you can totally do this all yourself: there’s no magic to it. We just have to experience to do it and know the right paths to take so your website doesn’t end up not working properly or not capturing leads like it’s supposed to.