Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP
This is the third and final article in a series on building websites. This article is about choosing a domain name, hosting partner and structure for your site.
You might be wondering, what’s a domain name? A domain name translates an IP address (like 18.104.22.168) into a readable piece of text. Think of your domain name as the online address for your psychotherapy practice. The address can be your name, the name of your business, or a statement that describes your practice. For example- my colleague, Andrew Susskind owns the domain name “westsidetherapist.com”, this is a simple, search-friendly domain name. My domain name is my name, mariagray.net.
Domains must be purchased through a vendor. The first step is checking to see if the domain name you want is available or if someone owns it. When I looked for mariagray.com I found out it was taken so I chose mariagray.net. It is usually less expensive if you buy your domain name, email and hosting services together.
Next you will need to find a hosting partner. Think of hosting as the place where your domain name, (and eventually your website when it’s done) are invited to visit for an extended stay. Some of the many hosting providers include: GoDaddy, Therapysites, Dreamhost, Squarespace, Google Sites and justhost.com. When you are choosing a hosting partner, be sure to find out how often your site will be backed up, the length of your contract and whether the company offers website templates.
Finally, you will need to decide on the structure of your site. The structure refers to the tools (sometimes templates) you will use to build the site. Some examples include- GoDaddy, WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, Volusion, Goldfish, Intuit, and Bluehost. If you have a developer building your site he/she might choose to use HTML as opposed to a template.
I recommend using a consultant to help you design/build your website. If you are technical, you might want help with graphics and images. Maybe you are creative and don’t need help with graphics, but you do need some help building the site. Don’t skimp on your website, hire the people you need to help you build a site you will feel proud of.
Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP is a psychotherapist in private practice with offices in West LA and Silver Lake. Maria specializes in trauma and addiction. To learn more about Maria’s practice see www.mariagray.net.Maria’s next marketing workshop, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Building A Profitable Private Practice But Were Afraid To Ask, is scheduled for Saturday, January 28th, 2017. The workshop is suitable for licensed professionals, interns and students. To register, go to mythrivingpractice.net.