If you’re not quite sure what to look for, here are some questions to make sure you’re getting the best site possible:
How easy (and costly) is it to update the website?
Even if you pay a designer a few hundred dollars to put together a website for you, you’re stuck. Every update to pages can cost $25 or so, and require a lot of back and forth between you and the designer. About half of the websites I see are out of date, have pages under construction, or are lacking in basic information. If you can’t update your site, you end up with a frozen or outdated website.
To avoid this problem, we put control of your website in YOUR hands. Our system makes it almost as easy to edit or add pages as sending an email or typing a report.
Is it easy to make small changes?
If you need to change your hours, offer a new service, make an announcement, change your price, whatever – it’s a small change. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to do. Most website systems will take days to make even the smallest change.
It would take you more time to tell the designer what to change than to actually make the change yourself using our system! To create or change a page All it takes is:
- You log in
- Make 2 or 3 clicks to find or create the page
- Type in your changes (or a new page)
- Click save.
Your site is immediately updated. Google and other search engines are automatically notified. It really is that simple.
Is the site search engine friendly?
If you have a good website, and it’s relatively complete – how will people find you? Many web designers don’t use basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques, and if they do, they use the same stuff on each page. That’s why the first link from Google might not even be to your front page, it could be buried in your site. If your site isn’t search engine friendly, web surfers may miss important parts of your site.
The Alternative Health Websites system allows you to type in meta keywords and a meta description. Keywords are just words people are likely to enter if they’re searching for the information on your page. A description is just a sentence or two of what the page is about.
To check your own meta description, right click on the page in the browser. Then click “view source.” (You’ll see a lot of code, but don’t be intimidated.) Press ctrl-f (or on Macs, Apple-F) and search for meta. Keep clicking the search button until you find meta description – or not.
Can people Google you? Will search engines find your site?
Does your site have a search-engine friendly sitemap so Google will index all your pages? Has the sitemap been submitted to Google and the other search engines? Some hosts will claim to submit your site to a few dozen directories – only no one actually looks at those directories.
If you’re not in the search engines, your website is like a deserted island. It’s pretty, but no one is visiting.
With our system, the sitemap is automatically sent to Google and other major search engines as soon as you update or add a page. This happens in seconds.
Can I use photos?
Of course! If a picture is worth 1000 words, why not use them? Digital photos are so easy to take nowadays, there’s no excuse not to have photos on your site. Even if your site isn’t one of those frozen/dead sites, can you put photos on it? A photo-free site seems less “real” and more virtual. You and your clinic exist in the real world – make sure they can see that.
Adding photos is easy, and we give great support for this.
- We provide a video that shows how to add photos yourself.
- We show you where to download quality stock photos for free, or about $1-$2 each.
- The system will let you insert photos, crop them and resize them.
Does your site have an email list?
Do you have a mailing list to keep in touch with people who are interested in you? More than 9 out of 10 practitioners with a site do NOT have a mailing list. Most of the time people visit your site only once or twice. Unless you have a mailing list, you’ll lose them forever.
What kind of support do you offer?
Most tech support tends to be on one end of a spectrum or another. Either they expect you to be an expert, or they expect you to pay them to do the work for you. That’s a false choice. The system should be easy to use, no matter how much computers intimidate you. Depending on someone else means you have to email back and forth to get the littlest thing done. The system has to be truly easy to use, or you won’t use it.
Can you send email? Can you type a document? Then you can use our system. We provide tutorials, videos of actually using your site, as well as a way to request support from within your site. If you have questions or problems, we’re there for you.
What’s the catch?
The only thing we don’t do is provide detailed design work – which you’ll probably never need anyway.
We’ll work with you to customize your existing site or an existing design. This sets up the fonts, the layouts, bullets, numbering, everything. We’ll even help you with the photos. This sets up the site design, but if you want more complicated features like fonts/style not in your design, it can get complicated quickly. There’s probably a better way to do it with our system anyway, so ask and we’ll figure it out.