Simple Sites for Therapists
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to create my site? I’d normally expect to have your site ready for approval one or two weeks after you’ve sent me all the material I need to create it, but quite often I've been able to complete the whole thing in just two or three days. If it looked as if it was going to take me longer to make your site than usual I'd tell you, so that you’d know what kind of timescale I was working to.
How can you offer this service at such a reasonable rate? Essentially because I’m using packages provided by Google, all of which are free. Normally you’d have to pay to have your site created and also be required to make a regular payment to have the site “hosted” somewhere. In my case you’d simply be paying for my time in creating the site and, because I’d be using the template based technology entailed in Google Sites, this would be a much quicker – and thus cheaper - job than would otherwise be the case. On top of this because currently Google host Google Sites for free there would be no further charges - but, in case they ever changed their minds about this, I would archive your site so that it would be easier to transfer the site elsewhere if that became necessary at some time in the future.
I've got a logo which I use on my literature - could you include that on my site? Absolutely. If you've got it in electronic format than just send it to me. If you've only got it on paper then post it to me and I'll scan it in. If you've got it in several different sizes then send me the biggest one you've got - that way it will always be at it's sharpest on the web.
Do you always charge the same price, regardless of the size of the site? No, occasionally I charge a bit more. If I can see from the amount of material you send in that you site is going to involve me in a good deal more work than usual then I'd negotiate a new rate for the job. Similarly, if you send in your material, I turn it into a web site, you then ask for some edits, I do them, you ask for more, I do them, you ask for more - etc - then I might start to suggest that if we're going to go on like this for much longer then I might need to charge a higher fee! Having said all that, almost all the sites I've made have been made for at the basic rate.
What sort of changes would it be possible for me to make to my web site without me having to involve you? The answer to this will depend entirely on your level of confidence with technology, but essentially you would have the rights to make any change that I could make. When I’ve created your site I’ll provide you with the information you’d need to make basic changes and the more you experiment the more confident you should become. If you become BACP accredited, for example, or change your address, then the likelihood is that you’d be able to make the change yourself – it’d certainly be worth giving it a try. If you don’t feel confident, or simply don’t want to bother, then I’ll be happy to do it for you, of course, and I’d make a charge of £25 for doing that.
If I buy a domain name do I have to do that before you make me a site, or afterwards? It doesn't matter. There are two quite distinct steps here. Creating the site, and buying a domain name. They happen quite separately from each other and can be done in either order, but once the site is built and you've got the domain name you link that to the site so that someone putting the domain name into a browser will go to your new site. (You don't actually have to buy a domain name, of course, the site will have an address anyway, it'll just not be that easy to remember - see my page on domain names for further details.) I'd encourage you to buy your domain name from namesco because they make the process very easy and also give you the option to have an address like email@example.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever) that will send emails to your normal email address. When you go to namesco you don't need to buy this option - in fact, don't buy anything from them except the domain name - because this option comes as part of the package. As soon as you've bought the domain name - which you could do today - you can decide what email address you want on your stationary. You might want to read through all the material on domain names on my site - the link above, plus this one and this one should give you clearer idea about all of this.
You say you’ll update my site for £25 if I don’t want to do it myself – what sort of changes would that cover?
It can be a little difficult to say, but probably two or three changes throughout your site would seem fair. If it looked like a major piece of work I might come back to you with a higher quote, though that very rarely happens. Your responsibility in this would be to send me – electronically - all the material you wanted to go onto your site clearly marked so that I knew exactly what you wanted doing with it. So, if you wanted to change some of the text on your “about me” page you might send me an email saying “please replace the second paragraph of the “about me” page with the enclosed text”.
When do you give me the "permissions" I need to edit the site myself? I do that immediately after payment, as well as giving you a link to some basic instructions on how to take your first steps in editing.
Do you have any advice on the kind of information a therapist’s web site should have? Think about how you want to present yourself and what you want prospective clients to be thinking when they visit your site. Your site is what’s going to make the difference for them between just seeing a name in a directory and feeling that they know you as a person. In that case it makes sense to say how you work, what your qualifications are, where you trained and so on. If you have particular experience in working with a particular client group – relationship work, substance misuse or whatever - then you should indicate that and, again, it will be worth explaining what orientation you work from.
You might also want to think about the sort of clients you want to attract – short term or long term, counselling or psychotherapy – and make that clear too. Remember prospective clients are generally feeling pretty anxious and the more information you can give them the more confident they’re likely too feel about actually contacting you. For the same reason you're probably going to get more contacts from your web site if you sound warm and friendly. This might not be the time to sound too psychoanalytic!
I would include a photo of yourself but I’d suggest you should about how much information you give as far as contact details are concerned. A phone number and your email address would be pretty much essential, of course, but I probably wouldn’t include any information about your postal address beyond the town or village you work in if you work from home. The question to consider is whether you actually want prospective clients turning up on your doorstep unannounced. As you can see it’s certainly possible to include a map on your site indicating where you live - but I'd be wary of making the map too detailed. You'll see here that the map is showing you the village that I live in, but not my actual address.
You'll probably want to put something in about your qualifications, your training background and years and range of experience. You might want to let people know how flexible about sessions. Are you prepared to see clients on a fortnightly basis rather than weekly? Are you prepared to work at weekends or in the evening? Make sure you say so.
Finally, It’s also worth seeing what other therapists have included on their sites – in a very real sense you’re competing with them for work, so it’s always worth seeing what the competition is doing!