Whether you’re a new dental practice looking to get a website built or an existing practice looking to upgrade your existing site there are two main factors you need to worry about and they are website design and hosting.
Get these two aspects right and you should start to see a steady stream of new patients. Get them wrong, however, and you could be spending a lot of cash on something that to all intent and purpose is ineffective. If this sounds like a daunting prospect then don’t worry because we have you covered. In this post, we’re going to point out the key elements of website design and web hosting for dental sites and what you need to know.
So let’s kick off with web design.
Naturally, the first rule of website design is that it needs to be user-friendly. That means ease of navigation, ease of reading and a web design that is easy on the eye. Visitors, for example, should be able to navigate around your site effortlessly. Some dental sites underestimate the importance of this and wonder why they get plenty of visitors but little in the way of a tangible upsurge in patient numbers.
In addition, content should be written with the reader in mind while portraying the dental clinic as a trusted place to visit. The text should be well written and incorporated into the web design so that there is ample white space. It should also include (where possible) the use of media. Remember, 65% of the population are visual learners.
When it comes to web design, steer clear of clashing or multiple colours. Instead, stick to calming neutral tones.
If you have a particular branding then this should also be carried through in your web design.
Quality dental sites have a good balance of text and images. Nobody wants to be confronted with a great wall of text and images make any text easier to digest. Another key aspect of web design is structure. Dental sites with a clear hierarchical structure result in better navigation, so it pays to map a website design on a wireframe first before creating the pages as you don’t want to confuse the reader with terrible navigation.
According to one study, consumers on average use 3.64 different devices to carry out their online activities. So websites, including dental sites, need to be able to respond to that. Having a web design that incorporates responsive viewing is not just a ‘nice to have’ element. It’s now a necessary factor – that is unless you immediately wish to exclude a good percentage of your target audience.
With this in mind, it’s important to understand how your web design will look on other screens such as a smartphone. Will it lend itself to a condensed space or is there too much going on?
Understanding the crucial elements of good web design is only one part of website design and hosting. The latter needs to be right too.
Web hosting may be about the most underrated part of the entire World Wide Web. Everything you love about the internet – your favourite recipe blog, your favourite podcast or even your favourite Netflix movies all need web hosting. In other words, they exist on a server that a company or individual pays to keep up and running. This is why even if you get your website design right, a poor choice of web hosting can result in rendering your website pretty much useless and explains why website design and hosting really should go hand in hand.
Here are some important things you need to consider…
Shared, VPS or dedicated hosting
Most small businesses opt for shared web hosting platforms. These are the cheapest forms of hosting but are only advisable when you are a small business with limited traffic.
As the name suggests, shared hosting involves sharing a server with many other websites. Just imagine, for example, having a quality website with a great website design and as your business starts to grow you are unable to take full advantage of it due to bandwidth restrictions. That’s the problem with shared hosting.
Virtual private server or VPS hosting, on the other hand, is like a high-powered version of shared web hosting. The main difference here is that the platform is still shared but there are fewer web platforms on the server. This typically provides better security, reliability and performance for dental sites but it is cheaper than dedicated hosting.
Finally, dedicated web hosting is like having a hosting platform on steroids. As the name suggests, dedicated hosting places your web platform on its own dedicated server. So you can expect incredibly powerful server specs and huge amounts of bandwidth. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost where you can expect to pay in excess of $150 per month.
One key fact to check with any possible web host is whether you can upgrade without it causing restrictions to your website. Maybe you want to start your new design website on a shared platform with a view to upgrading as and when you start increasing traffic. You need to know:
- That this is possible and
- That it won’t prevent your dental website from being disrupted and therefore lose its ranking in the search engine
After all, it would be a real shame especially if you’ve spent a great deal of time and money getting your web design just right only for traffic to start dropping like a stone as soon as you want to upgrade.
Hopefully, this has given you more insight into the important link between website design and hosting and why it matters to consider both aspects.
If you need help with any aspect of patient acquisition including upgrading your dental website then come and talk to the team at Mediboost. We’re Australia’s #1 medical marketing agency so why not schedule a consultation and claim your free growth marketing plan today.
Call us now on 1300 163 058.