Create a Website

Create a Website for Your Medical Practice: 4 Different Ways

Last update
5. Nov 2023
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Like most things, the first place people look these days when they want to visit a doctor is the Internet. If you'd like your practice to reach new patients, there's nothing more important than a website.

In this article, we'll let you know what advantages a website offers physicians and medical professionals, which options are available, and what you'll need to pay attention to.

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What Are the Advantages of a Medical Practice Website?

While databases and directories are popular, they rarely allow physicians to describe all of their services in detail. A dedicated website serves as a hub that both existing and new patients can use to find out more about your practice and utilize your services. They can:

  • Find important information such as your hours of operation, services, and whether your office is closed.

  • Book appointments online.

  • Read up on you and your team and make a personal connection.

  • Learn about illnesses, courses of therapy, medication, and other treatment options.

A website also helps to relieve your staff. If a new patient wants to know what to bring to their first appointment, you can provide answers here in an FAQ section. Since your staff will have to answer the phone less, they'll be able to focus on other, more important tasks.

What Does a Medical Practice Website Need?

Before you design your medical practice's website, you'll need to ask yourself some questions. First, what sets you and your team apart from everyone else? Regardless of whether you're a cardiologist or an ENT, your website should reflect your personality and represent you. With that said, there are some things that should always be on a medical practice website:

Homepage

Your practice's homepage is like its digital waiting room. In real life, your waiting room should be sleek, clean, and comfortable, and the same goes for its virtual counterpart. Make sure that it doesn't look outdated or have an old-fashioned design.

Beyond that, new and existing patients should be able to find any important information here, or after a few clicks. The following elements are absolute musts for any medical practice's homepage:

  • Practice's name, address, telephone number, and email address

  • Hours of operation

  • Directions (for example, with a Google Map), to help new patients find your office

  • Team photo

  • Summary of your specialties (short and snappy)

  • Other relevant information for patients to know (such as whether you accept insurance, and which kinds)

This dentist's office looks trustworthy and modern. (Source: My Dental Clinic)

While more information is generally better, don't overload your homepage. Too much text can scare away new patients, as can bright colors, flashing fonts, and other special effects. Since many people will visit your website on their smartphone, pay close attention to its mobile-friendliness.

Clear navigation is another important aspect of a medical practice's website. Try to have no more than eight menu headings. Submenus should not exceed 4-6 options. Visitors should be able to quickly and easily find your "About Us", "Services", and "Contact" pages.

About Us

On this page, you and your team can go into greater detail than the homepage. Try to relay your compassion and empathy, along with your experience and competence. Ask yourself these questions and base your content on the corresponding answers:

  • Why did you become a doctor and choose your specialty?

  • What are your guiding principles? What's important to you as a medical professional?

  • How long have you practiced medicine and what sort of experience do you have?

For the second part of the last question, don't exhaustively list every post you've held. Instead, mention those that have shaped or significantly influenced your medical career.

Use the "About Us" page to discuss your qualifications and career highlights. (Source: London Orthopaedic Clinic)

It's also recommended to include a high-quality photograph of you and your team here. The minimal cost of a professional photographer for both a group picture and headshots will pay for itself many times over. Regardless of whether your colleagues are physicians or specialists, they should also briefly introduce themselves here.

Services

Now that you've provided important information about your practice and your team, it's time to let visitors know what you can do for them in greater detail. Make sure that your "Services" page is highly visible. The goal isn't to impress colleagues with your knowledge, but rather, to give new and existing patients an informative overview of how you can assist them. Some important aspects include:

  • The practice's focus/specialization – If you have multiple specializations, give each its own submenu.

  • Offered tests, procedures, and therapies – Should you collaborate with a lab, mention it here. Patients should also be able to see which services you accept insurance for, and which need to be paid for out of pocket.

  • On-site screening devices and tools – Do you have a 3-D ultrasound, an MRI, or an electrocardiograph? If so, mention it here.

This medical practice clearly lists the services it offers. (Source: Women Wellness)

If you don't accept insurance and offer concierge medical services, you might want to weigh the benefits of including a price list. Many physicians are opposed to this because their services are too individualized to set specific prices. All the same, it can significantly help patients.

Appointment Scheduling

User-friendly online appointment scheduling is a win-win: It saves your patients time and makes life easier for your practice's staff. If it isn't possible to integrate a relevant plugin directly onto your website, most databases have buttons that you can add to your website and directly forward patients to your scheduling calendar.

Add an online scheduling app or widget to make life easier for both your patients and your staff. (Source: Dr. Med. Görlitz-Novakovic)

With many apps and widgets, patients receive an email or text reminder shortly before their next visit.

Pay Attention to Data Privacy

If you add an online appointment calendar to your practice's website, you'll need to accept responsibility for the security of your patients' data. Make sure that it is safely stored and not accessible by third parties.

Contact

Even if you've provided your contact details on your practice's homepage, list them again on a separate "Contact" page.

Include your hours of operation, address, telephone number, and a Google Map view of your location. It's also recommended to provide directions, or, if in a large city, nearby public transport stops.

Extras and Nice-to-Haves for Your Medical Practice

Once you've finished with the most important components of your website, you can add more tools and features. In large cities, for example, it can be useful to offer multiple language localizations (for example, in English and Spanish), to appeal to international patients. At the same time, make sure that you or a trusted member of your staff can actually communicate with patients in whatever language you add.

Some physicians also add blogs to their websites and use them to discuss their daily routine, voice their opinions about new therapies, or discuss aspects of certain diseases. If you have the time for it, this will definitely help to indirectly market your practice.

This doctor has successfully added podcasts to her website (Source: Dr. Kamm McKenzie)

If you have a public Facebook or Instagram page, add the appropriate social media button so that your patients can find and follow you there.

Some developers specialize in digital services for medical practices. These include telehealth modules that you can use to remotely meet with your patients if they're out of town or unable to come to your office.

4 Ways to Create a Medical Practice Website

Have we convinced you that your practice needs a website? Good! All that's left to do is to make it. There are many different options, all of which depend on how much time and money you're willing to invest, as well as what your requirements are. Below, we'll highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each.

1.

Self-Program a Medical Practice Website

If you self-program your medical practice's website, you won't be tied to any templates and can freely customize its elements and design. Keep in mind though that even if you're familiar with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, creating a website from scratch can take quite a bit of time. For a pro, at least three weeks are needed.

On the other hand, if you took a few coding classes in college, we advise against this method. It's nearly impossible for someone who isn't a professional programmer to quickly create a high-quality website. Even if you manage to allocate a significant amount of time to it, the result will be disproportionate to your effort.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Inexpensive

  • Maximum flexibility and design options

  • Substantial programming knowledge required

  • Time-intensive

2.

Have a Medical Practice Website Programmed

If you'd like a high-quality, custom website, but aren't ready or able to invest time into its design, you can hire a freelance web designer/developer or an agency to do it for you. These specialists won't just design your website but also take care of its SEO and page speed. There are also web designers who focus on medical websites and know how to enhance a practice's online presence

Some agencies even specialize in medical web design (Source: intrepy).

However, this solution does come at a price: Expect to pay around $1,000 for a basic website with 3-4 subpages if you decide to work with a freelancer. Should you opt for an agency, you can double the price. Extras, like detailed graphics or interactive forms, can quickly push overall costs to $10,000 or more. There are "deals" to be had online, however, the quality of these is often questionable.

All the same, it's good to think of website costs as an investment and part of your marketing budget. In some countries, (business) website costs are even tax-deductible. So long as funds are available, you won't lose money with a custom website.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Custom-designed, professional website

  • Doesn't take up your time

  • Relatively expensive

  • Quality varies

3.

Create a Medical Practice Website With a Content Management System

Do you have some IT know-how, but not enough to self-program an entire website? In that case, a content management system, like WordPress, might be an interesting option.

With a CMS, you'll select from a large variety of ready-made templates, among which are many options designed specifically for physicians. After that, you'll be able to customize the template to your specifications and add individual elements like text blocks, a Google Map with a marker, or an image gallery.

The WordPress community has plenty of plugins for medical professionals.

Another advantage WordPress offers is its selection of plugins, which enhance the platform's functionality. Here too, there are plenty of options for doctors and healthcare professionals. In the picture above, you can see a plugin that makes it easier to schedule appointments online with a calendar. Keep in mind that not all plugins are free.

Even though it's less work to create a medical practice website with WordPress than to self-program one, it will still take a few days. This is especially true if you've never used a CMS before, since you'll need to familiarize yourself with the platform and its features. Even though WordPress itself is free (unlike a website builder), you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting.

Still, as long as you can set aside a few days or weeks to build your practice's website, WordPress is a great tool.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • No programming knowledge required

  • Lots of flexibility thanks to plugins

  • Plenty of designs for doctors and medical professionals

  • Free, however,...

  • ...you need to pay separately for plugins, themes, a domain, and hosting

  • Can be time-intensive

4.

Create a Medical Practice Website With a Website Builder

Or perhaps you've never done any web design but would like to create your own online presence. If CMSs sound too complex, you can try a website builder. Just as with WordPress, you'll choose from a range of different templates, some of which are specifically for medical websites.

Website builders are even easier to use than a CMS: Menus, images, and other elements are added and placed by dragging and dropping them in the platform's editor. These are very beginner-friendly and don't require any programming or web design skills. As a result, it's possible to create a professional-looking website in a matter of hours.

Subscriptions, which are charged monthly, include hosting, security updates, backups, and at least one domain. Expect to pay anywhere from $10-$50 a month for these.

The biggest downside to website builders, especially in comparison to the other options we've listed above, is the limit they place on creativity. You'll only be able to use the design elements and features that are included and have to work within the constraints of what's offered.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Easy to use

  • Not time intensive