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The 4 (or 5) Costly Bloopers To Avoid With Your Next Dental Website
Hi, Colin Receveur here again for another episode of Fast Thoughts on Dental Marketing. Today is Tuesday March 26th and today I want to cover the four biggest pitfalls that you could encounter on your next dental website. Stay tuned, I’ll be right back.
So the time has come, maybe your dental website just doesn’t produce or maybe you just flat out think it’s ugly or maybe it’s just time for an upgrade or you’re ramping up your marketing campaign and trying to find more new patients. Regardless, you’re here today because you are wanting to find out what kind of things to avoid when you’re getting your next dental website. Today I’m going to quickly cover the four biggest pitfalls, the four biggest problems that we see that companies take advantage of dentists and do. I’m going to start with the biggest one that I see and that’s portability.
So the first one is portability and what that means, portability means the ability to take your website with you if you decide to leave. A lot of companies may use proprietary systems or it may be in the small print at the bottom of the contract that your website is not yours to take or it cannot be transferred due to technical limitations. There are tons of great technologies out there right now that allow you to have a website that’s portable, that can be taken with you when you go somewhere if you decide to change providers, and you’re not locked into that specific company. That’s the first tip is make sure you’re working with a technology that is portable.
The second item is contracts. Contracts have always amazed me because I just don’t see the purpose for them. If you start doing work with a company and that company is delivering or exceeding your expectations do you need a contract to keep working with them? Of course not you don’t. You’re going to keep working with them because they’re delivering to you exactly or more than they promised. The only time a contract is advantageous to the service provider is if they are not delivering what they say they are going to deliver. The only time a contract is advantageous to the purchaser is never. That’s kind of our philosophy, if we’re delivering what we say we’re going to deliver we don’t need a contract. We’ve never had contracts, not in ten years. We have simple one page agreements that outline what we’re going to do for you, outline what we need from you and if you decide a month later you don’t like it we can part ways.
The third item is editing. Back in the heyday of the internet if you wanted to edit your own website you had to send an email to your webmaster who had to make changes and it took days, weeks, we’ve heard horror stories that it even takes months. We make all edits for our clients within 24 hours and on top of that we give all of our dentists the ability to edit their own website. If you want to change some words, add a video, add a blog, rewrite some content, update your staff page, whatever it may be, you can quickly and easily do it on your own website. If you can edit a Word document and use the little formatting bar at the top, change the font, edit the font, space down, it’s that simple. Make sure you’re able to self-edit your content. There’s nothing worse than building a great website and then you find out that you’ve got to pay $50 every time you want to correct a punctuation mistake or add a sentence or add a picture. Those fees will quickly add up.
The fourth item I want to cover is ownership. Some websites out there, and this kind of goes back to the portability, some website providers do not actually consider you as owning the website you paid for. That sounds kind of crazy but it goes back to copyright law where the content creator actually owns the copyright to your website legally whether you paid him or not. Unless he explicitly grants you the rights to your website he can still claim that as his property. Make sure that you are getting ownership and copyright of what you are paying to have created, because if not that can lead to more problems down the road.
I’m going to go ahead and throw in a fifth item that I didn’t think of right off the bat, and that is make sure that you own your domain name. Make sure that it’s in writing that it’s yours and that even if you don’t have it in your own GoDaddy account that you have in writing that it is your and it’s your property. The domain name is kind of like the title or the deed of your website. A lot of companies will play games with the domain name and they will not allow you to transfer it or not allow you to take it with you. Unfortunately the legal recourse is just that, legal recourse. Make sure that it’s in writing that you do own your domain name, it’s your property and it’s yours to take with you regardless of any other factors or variables or cost. It should be yours to go with you no matter what.
Some dentists prefer to have their domain in their own GoDaddy account at all times so that they never really relinquish control of it, and that approach is great. The only downside of that approach is the dentist has to be savvy, they have to be on top of their internet happenings enough to know to renew their domain and to maintain it. There’s not a lot of maintenance associated with a domain but you do have to pay for it. If you forget to pay for it, like we’ve had happen with a couple of clients who were very resistant against transferring their domain to us, then of course your website goes down.
On the flipside if you transfer your website to a provider and then they decide not to release it or they try to play the hold the keys game. I was at a dealership once trying to buy a car and I gave them my keys to test drive and I decided I didn’t want to go forward with the sale, a few things just didn’t feel right, and they wouldn’t give me my keys back. Now whenever I see a website company that won’t give you your domain name I call it the hold on to your keys game. If you do own it yourself and you have it in your account make sure you’re keeping it updated. Don’t let it expire or your website goes down, your email goes down, everything goes down. If you do transfer to the provider make sure you have it in writing explicitly stated that this is your property and it’s yours to go and do whatever you want with it. There’s nothing wrong with the provider holding on to it so long as you trust them, if you’re paying them thousands and thousands of dollars you should trust them with it in the first place, but make sure it’s down in writing and that they’re going to be maintaining it and taking responsibility of it.
That’s my four or five tips for today, Tuesday. Keep moving forward.