The thought of building a website can be daunting. There are so many decisions to make and on top of all that you have to pay attention to your medical marketing strategy. Additionally, website design for medical practices requires more security measures to ensure patient data and confidential practice information can’t be accessed by hackers.
Understanding how to choose a domain, how to write and arrange content, and the ins and outs of choosing images is just the start of medical website design.
The best way to create an attractive and functional website design for medical practices is to start by creating a list of what you want and expect from a website. Do you want to capture leads? What kind of personality do you want your website to have? What are some examples of websites you like and find easy to use? All of this can help create a lengthy checklist that will ensure your get the website you want.
When starting website design for medical professionals, it’s tempting to incorporate all of the latest bells and whistles into your website. But the most recent developments in user experience or user interface aren’t necessarily what you need. In fact, more often than not simplicity wins. After all, you don’t want your website to be a maze or puzzle people have to solve.
Here’s the basics of what you need to build a website
A domain name
Your web team can help you with this or you can go to any domain retailer online and purchase a domain. You’ll want to think carefully about the domain you choose. It should be easy to spell and remember, not too long, and ideally include a keyword. If you can’t include a keyword, include your practice name. The domain can play a role in how well your website ranks. A .com is always the best choice, however, due to a shortage in domains any other top level domain will also work.
Set up hosting
There are many hosting options online. In fact, it’s likely that wherever you bought your domain from also offers hosting. Hosting is where your content lives online. Some hosting requires that you share servers with other websites, while others allow you to have your own server to yourself. The best option will vary from site to site. Smaller sites tend to fare fine with shared hosting, while larger sites will need their own server. Talk to your web team to determine what will work best for you.
Use your domain for a business email
Now that you have your domain, you can set up a business email address. An email address on your domain fosters trust and makes you look more polished and professional. After all, how likely are you to do business with someone with a gmail address? Anyone can get it, and with cyber security at the top of everyone’s minds, it’s best you stick to best practices like getting a domain email.
Determine what you want from your website
Your website can be built using a CMS (content management system) or using more complex features. The content management system, like WordPress, allows you to make changes to your content and manage your website. If you’re looking for something more complicated you’ll need to have a programmer make changes.
Choose a website theme
The theme of your website is not just what it looks like, but how it functions and how it displays certain features. For example, a banner image or slider would be a feature of a theme. As with all website design for medical professionals, your theme should complement the personality of your business. When choosing a theme, consider the goals of your website, what you want to get from it, and how you want to serve customers.
Select a color scheme
The color scheme you choose for your website will depend on the message you want to convey and the current color scheme of your logo. From a branding perspective it is crucial that your website complement and integrate your current logo, color scheme, and personality. There must be consistency throughout.
Pay attention to graphics
The graphics you choose for your website need to be high quality and project the image you want people to perceive. Pay attention to copyrights and never lift images from other websites.
Use your logo
Your logo should be placed in a prominent area on your website so that visitors can recognize branding. Don’t settle for a hand drawn logo. Go to a professional graphic designer, talk to them about the essence of your brand, and see what they come up with. You want your logo to be clean, simple, professional, and easy to repurpose for print.
Focus on security
Talk to your web team about creating a website that is airtight. You want to protect sensitive patient data, which can be accessed if you provide patients with a portal to access their information. Limit the number of login attempts, require frequent password changes, and regularly update your firewall and software to protect it from hackers.
Create an intuitive navigation
Design your navigation in such a way that people can easily find what they’re looking for and take action. A poorly designed navigation will cause people to leave your website.
Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics will help you track user behavior on your website, understand where people are coming from, and allow you to establish a baseline of metrics. Imagine being able to see how a person gets to your website, the pages they visited, what they did, and when they left. This information is priceless when it comes to creating user personas. And, once you have that data you can begin to set goals and understand your users in a very real and personable way.
Creating a high-quality medical website that serves your needs and your patients’ needs take time and planning. This checklist is a great starting point. From choosing the domain name to making sure your website truly meets your expectations, thorough planning while creating your website will make the process smooth and nearly pain-free.