Estimated Read Time: 7 Minutes
Part 2: Making a Website
In our last episode of this series, ‘Starting a Private Telepractice for Accent Reduction‘ we discussed the required knowledge, training and business ability in order to open a private practice telepractice to support students in their efforts to improve their accent. We talked briefly about how difficult it is to find clients and the role that Accent Connection can have in your marketing strategy to create your speech telepractice. This time I’d like to go into making a website. It may seem hard at first, but we’re going to take it step by step and you’ll happily have everything running for a reasonable price without a lot of difficulty.
Editor’s note: We do not use any affiliate links and we do not make any money from any recommendations. They are all the personal views of the blog author.
Getting a Domain
The first thing you need is a domain name (website address), for example our domain name is www.accentconnection.com.
To start out, I recommend that you just buy your domain name through whichever host you choose, which we’ll get to in the next section.
If you choose the low cost hosts they will sell you the domain name for approximately the same price, within about $1 per year of each other, although you might get a couple of dollars off of the first year if they are running a deal.
Domain names are cheap, about $11 per year for a domain that ends with .com, so don’t stress too much about this part and know that your web host will likely be very helpful with you in setting it up so your website shows up when people type in your domain name. The “free” and high cost web hosts will generally charge you more for a domain name than the low cost web hosts.
Although it is intimidating to a lot of people, building a website these days is rather simple. Most hosting companies will give you a ton of resources and information to help you. It may feel a bit like going back to school, but if you apply yourself this can be an easy step on the path from having a job to developing an accent reduction private practice (or any online speech therapy private practice).
There are three main choices.
- Use a website builder app
- Create a wordpress site
- Pay someone to make your website for you.
Website Builder Apps
Website builder apps are incredibly simple to use these days, and you can just drag and drop. For example, here is a tutorial on how to use the Weebly sitebuilder:
NOTE: I do NOT recommend the Weebly hosting website itself, but their sitebuilder is easy to use and you can use a hosting company like Hawkhost to use it with much more reasonable hosting costs.
WordPress Site Building
WordPress sites are reasonably easy to make, and offer a LOT more flexibility and control over your website. WordPress powers 30% of the internet and there are a ton of themes for it. Additionally, if you ever decide to switch web hosts your website can be very quickly and easily migrated to the new host.
There are, literally, over 400 million results when you do a Google search for ‘WordPress tutorial’ so there’s certain to be someone who does a tutorial that meets your needs.
Pay to Play
Finally, you can pay to have a website made for you. This can get expensive quickly, but it is the easiest path to having a website. Make sure that if you do, you have them teach you how to manage the website and add blog posts. In the end, they will almost certainly build you a WordPress website, so eventually if you do not want to pay them monthly you’ll have to learn some WordPress.
However, this can be a gentle way to get your feet wet if you don’t feel comfortable with the other methods and you just want a website now.
Websites need somewhere to live. In the same way that the domain is the address, the web host is the land your website sits on. The different options all really end up with the same goal: A place for your website to be on the internet.
Just like if you were to build a house, you can buy cheap land or expensive land, and like building a house some land is cheap and a good deal, some land is expensive and a good deal, and some land is a bad deal all the way around.
The good news is that you have no need for the expensive ‘good deal’ land. While Amazon or Google need tons of computing power, your power needs are lower. Luckily, how beautiful your website is has almost nothing to do with how much you spend on website hosting.
Now let’s go through the web host options one by one, from cheapest to most expensive:
Note: I chose these providers because they come up in a basic search for free web sites. They are not the only companies to offer similar services.
- Easy to use
- No-cost plans
- They will generally have ads on them and can look unprofessional to some people
- If you want to move to another web host you have to do a lot of work to remake your whole website since it doesn’t transfer
- While the templates are nice, you’re usually limited in resources
- If you decide to pay enough so you don’t have ads and have a truly working website they are usually about the same price as the high cost services in this list (approximately $12 per month, depending on the host)
Low Cost Hosting
Note: I chose these providers because they are consistently well recommended on a popular web hosting forum called Web Hosting Talk. They are not the only companies to offer similar services.
- Reasonably priced from about $2 – $4 per month for plans that are completely usable for a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice
- Many have easy to use site builders, though contact them and double check that they do if this is important to you.
- You can create your own WordPress site, which makes it incredibly easy to change the website experience and how it looks with just a few clicks
- Generally you get the most bang for your buck here, the highest speeds and the most control
- You might not get as much automatic hand holding as other hosts where it is all designed to lead you through the process (but you will likely get FAR better customer service if you need it)
- All plans are paid, though many hosts will offer a money back guarantee if you don’t like the service they provide
Note: I chose these providers because they are consistently marketed to new businesses seeking to build a website. They are not the only companies to offer similar services.
- They have nice names? Seriously, I can”t think of any good reason to use these unless you just REALLY like the way one of them looks… Though that’s a fine reason if it suits you!
- High cost (approximately $12 dollars per month, depending on the host you choose)
- Often limited features or access
- Sometimes don’t offer the tools you need to create a good web presence
- Usually actually harder to use their website builders than the budget friendly options
I personally would go for one of the low cost website hosts. I think you’ll outgrow a no-cost plan very quickly and then it becomes a very expensive plan that gets you very little.
I understand why people choose hosts like Squarespace since they have an excellent marketing department, but I do not think they offer very much for the rates they charge.
If you’re unsure of your abilities buy a cheap, shared web hosting plan at Hawkhost or Namecheap (I think Hawkhost’s sitebuilder is easier, but your milage may vary, as the saying goes) and use the no-cost sitebuilder.
If you’re a bit more adventurous and want your website to truly reflect YOU, buy a shared web hosting plan with either of them or MDD Hosting (or any other general purpose host you like) and create a WordPress site.
In either case, be prepared to spend some time playing with it all and try to have fun!
YAY! Done, right?
Not quite. Gone are the days when a website was basically an online business card. Whether you’re using this guide to create an online speech therapy career, to escape the schools, or develop a way to work from home providing the best online English accent reduction training in the world (hint: join our site, Accent Connection), you will definitely need to find students… And that means students need to find you!
In our next installment we’ll talk about creating your social media, linking it to your website, and writing your first blog!
Exciting times in your online accent reduction career!
Accent Connection (www.accentconnection.com) takes the work out of marketing and advertising and lets you do your job: Helping clients! By subscribing to our service you get the opportunity to create a profile that clients can browse. They can then message you and you can connect with them to discuss how you can help them improve their accent with your services.
We spend thousands of dollars to bring you those clients so you don’t have to learn how to build and deploy Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising on sites such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest and others, monitor and perform single and multi-variate testing on those ads, develop and maintain a marketing funnel that provides a pathway to move Interested People through the process of becoming Learners and finally transforming them into Buyers.
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