We recently shared our advice on how to DIY your practice website.
Whilst a website building platform such as WordPress.org or Squarespace will allow you to quickly get a basic presence up online for your practice, creating a high quality website can take a lot of time and effort. For some, it can be a daunting task.
It’s for this reason that hiring a professional web developer is a popular route for many practices. But should you go with a freelancer, or an agency? Here’s our advice on what to look for.
Using a freelancer
Finding a freelance web developer can be a good option, especially if you know someone, or you can find a friend of a friend. A freelancer is certainly going to be cheaper than using an agency. But it’s important to exercise caution – as it can also be harder to check the quality of their reputation.
Before engaging a freelancer it’s good to make sure they’ve got a decent portfolio of work — including their own website!
If they take care of their own web presence, including a mobile friendly design – then it’s likely they’ll do a good job of looking after yours too.
When considering a freelancer, it’s very reasonable to ask to speak to one of their recent clients. You’ll get a much better picture of their professionalism and what it’s like to deal with them from someone with first-hand experience.
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The agency approach
On the flip side, if you’re looking to create a truly unique, world class web experience for your patients, using an agency could be a great option.
Whilst using an agency may be the most expensive approach to building a website for your practice, with the increased cost comes increased quality. Agencies tend to be more thorough, produce higher quality work – plus it’s generally easier to check their reputation.
An established agency will usually include a list of clients and testimonials on their site.
Check out the websites of some of their clients, explore their layout, and remember to test out the navigation on mobile too.
If you find their designs user friendly, it’s a good indication of how your website could look to your patients.
The choice is yours
Both an agency and a freelancer can make you a customised theme for your preferred Content Management System (CMS). In agency land, WordPress.org is a popular CMS choice amongst web developers.
Whether you choose a freelancer or an agency, it’s important to remember to ask your web developer to train you on how to update your site’s content over time. This training is a key part of the process as it empowers you to take ownership of your site – meaning you can make small changes yourself without having to continually engage a professional. Saving you both time and money!
Regardless of which option or CMS you choose, your web developer can seamlessly integrate an online booking system such as the HealthEngine widget to allow your website to accept online bookings.
Next up in this series, we’ll share our advice for optimising the look and feel of your website.