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Looking for a New Website? Questions to Ask….
If you were looking for a new dentist, or car, or choosing a hotel would you turn up blindly at the door, with your fingers crossed? Or would you search online first?
You’re not alone, the vast majority of people now do their research online before committing to a new product or service and a new vet is no exception.
Therefore your online presence has to be as friendly and professional as you are! And your website is the place to start.
We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about bad web developers in the past, that’s one of the reasons we started making vet practice website ourselves. So if you’re looking for a new website, here are some of the important things to ask your web developer:
How easy is it to update?
A website that gets built and never updated gets out of date fast, so you need to be able to alter information and add your news. And you need to able to do this really easily and quickly so make sure your web developers use a Content Management System (CMS) that can be accessed and update by you. WordPress, used by 25% of websites in the world, is our recommendation – and this article sums up why: https://www.inkthemes.com/why-use-wordpress/
Will it look like other vet practice websites?
You want your practice to stand out! Don’t settle for a website that looks like your competitors’. Make sure your web developer has a good understanding of the design and functionality you want. Your developer should be asking lots of questions and wanting examples of websites you like.
Will it show up in Google?
Even the best vet website in the world won’t automatically show top in Google. But a well designed and built website will a) be easier for Google to ‘read’ and so from the get go you have a better chance of showing higher and b) will provide the back-end tools required for further Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It’s important that your developer explains how website search works to you here and doesn’t give you false promises. Only Google can guarantee where you’ll place in search results.
What content do you need from us?
A website can be beautifully built but content is king! Good quality images from inside the practice and well written copy are crucial. You can take the photos and write the copy yourself or many web developers can offer to do that for you for an extra charge. In our experience content is something well worth investing in. Either way make sure you and your web developer are clear about what content is being provided by who and when it is due, this will prevent delays.
How much are the ongoing costs?
Some websites have a small upfront cost and a larger ongoing one. Others have a larger, one-off, cost with small or no ongoing payments. Make sure you factor this in when deciding on your new website and choose the best option for you. Remember to consider how long you’ll have the new website for as that can make a big impact.
If your design and build (upfront) cost is large, then your ongoing cost should only need to include things like:
Hosting – this is a cost to the web developer too as they need to rent server space which is where your site ‘lives’. This is generally the minimum cost you will pay for a website, you don’t have to host through your web developer but it will likely be much easier to do so. We charge £15 p/m so you should question if you get quoted a lot more.
Bug fixes – most websites get them, it is often easier to have a company that know what they’re looking for to keep an eye on your site and catch any bugs quickly.
Content updates – if you don’t have time to create blog posts for example.
If your upfront cost is low and your monthly cost is higher, then you’ll be paying for some of the above plus the use of the design template etc.
There are likely a lot of other questions you’ll want to ask too. Ideally the process will start with a questionnaire so your developer can glean lots of information about what you want. A new website is an investment for you, of money and time so please make sure you’re happy with the website developer you choose and that you’re excited about what they can create for you!