Hey, therapists. Thinking about taking a DIY therapist website? Your website is often the first thing someone will see in deciding to work with you! That means it’s really important to get it right.
But here’s the thing: building a website is really freaking hard. Even with drag-and-drop builders. Even if you’ve built a website before. Even if you have a friend of a friend who will do it for free, taking the DIY approach to your website will pull you away from the things that you set out to do.
That’s where our DIY therapist website workshops come in. Whether it’s time, money, or overwhelm keeping you from getting your website up, our workshops give you the structure you need to make it happen.
Not quite sure where to start? Here’s a walkthrough of all the steps in our free Plan Your Damn Website Workshop.
1. Make a Mood Board
Start with a moodboard – a visual display of images, colors, textures, and design elements to convey a specific mood or theme. It serves as a creative reference point and helps to set the tone and ensure consistency in the overall design process.
Get the workshop for a free moodboard template.
2. Choosing Your Domain
A domain is how people find your website. It’s the URL that someone types in their search bar to find your website. ie. yourbrandname.com. Want to know more about what a domain is, how to get one, or what makes a good one?
3. Choosing Your Platform
Squarespace, WebFlow, WordPress, Wix, oh my. One of the very first steps to DIYing your therapist website is deciding what the best website builder for therapists is. Want some help deciding?
4. Choosing a Theme
Your “theme” is the tool that you use to change the look and layout of your website. Rather than starting from a blank page, you might choose a Squarespace or WordPress theme that looks a lot like you want your website to look. From there, you can swap in your own imagery, copy, and colors to make it your own. You can move sections around, and add new sections with minimal effort. Some themes are available for free within Squarespace or WordPress, but you can also buy premium themes that will make your website look slick with minimal effort.
5. Choosing Your Design
Every website needs a logo. But some businesses make the mistake of waiting to build a website because they can’t afford a designer, or over-investing in graphic design when something simple will do. If you don’t have a logo yet, consider Squarespace’s free logo maker.
Your color palette can set the mood for your whole website. It’s best to start with 3-5 colors, and stick with them consistently throughout your website.
Fonts – maybe you have some favorites besides the default? But pairing them gets tricky. When in doubt, always go with the theme’s default fonts as they’re usually selected by a designer. If you do want to branch out, just Google “Font Pairings” and see what catches your eye.
The goal in choosing fonts for your therapist is to go with legible fonts that mirror your brand’s tone. Most websites use 2-3 fonts, mixing them with different sizes for headings and body text.
Get the workshop for a free design template.
6. Choose Your Photos
Photos are particularly important for therapist websites because they can help set the tone for what working with you will be like. Your potential clients want to feel like you’re someone who gets them before scheduling an appointment. By using appropriate images, you can create a website that reflects your therapeutic approach and values.
Take a look at our blog post on choosing the right pictures for your therapist website for more ideas on what images to choose and where you can find good therapist stock photos (for free!)
7. Planning Your Sitemap
Nobody likes feeling confused on a website. So before designing your DIY therapist website, start with a clear plan of which pages you’re going to create and their hierarchy. Most basic therapists’ websites include the following pages…
- SERVICE #1
- SERVICE #2
- SERVICE #3
The navigation menu is the bar that usually runs along the top of the page where you can click to other pages of the website. Best practices for a navigation menu are that it is simple, clear, and with intuitive menu labels.
Get the workshop for a walkthrough of planning your sitemap.
BONUS Write Your Damn Website
Good website copy should inform the design of your site (and not the other way around). The point of your website is to support your sales and onboarding, so before ever building your site, it’s essential that you get clear on the function and central message of each page.
Your copy should grab visitors’ attention for long enough that they stick around to learn about who you are and what you do. It should communicate what they can expect working with you and make it crystal clear whether you’re the person who can help them with whatever they’re looking for. That means great headlines, clear calls to action, and short and captivating descriptions.
While most therapists have a really clear vision of who they are and what they do, that all evaporates when they sit down to write a website. Writing may be a creative endeavor, but copywriting is almost a science. Seriously. We’ve got formulas and everything.
If you’re a therapist or other health professional, consider our Write Your Damn Website workshop that walks you through the steps of defining your ideal client, your brand and creating high-impact copy using fill-in-the-blank style prompts.
Plan Your Damn Website will help with your DIY therapist website project
It walks you through 9-steps to planning your DIY therapist website, including how to choose a platform, design your site, and create your content. Sign up below to get access, completely free (normally $37).