better websites

HTML or WordPress for better websites?

Once you start having conversations with a few people about medical websites, you will enter the world of tech speak. Let’s unravel some of the tech myths in regards to websites for doctors, with a focus on the purpose they serve: to manage your reputation in the online space, assist your patients with reliable information and generate referrals and leads.

better websites

Better websites that bring in patients: WordPress or HTML?

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

November 22, 2022

The thing about two camps: you get confused

coding a website

Here’s the thing: the fact that you read this blog tells me that you are a doctor, most probably starting or growing a private practice. You are not an IT person, a web developer or a programmer.

So when you talk to people about what makes better websites (html or WordPress), you will soon get bored, frustrated or bluffed into making the wrong decision.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"No way would we encourage a doctor to order an html website. The specific needs of a health practice require a constant dynamic that involves creating new content and you do not want that to depend on someone who has to write computer code."

In the video, I explain why many surgeons, doctors and allied health professionals end up in a meeting about building their website in html. And why it is a good idea to do your research before you sign on the dotted line and before someone starts coding a website for you.

The big benefit of html websites for doctors

html websites for doctors

The main benefit you will hear about is simplicity.

HTML stands for Hyper-Text Markup Language and it indicates the code your website is written in. Code is needed because a website is like a mini-software application that works each time someone visits it, or when Google crawls it to check if you are worth ranking.

So why are html websites for doctors simple, compared to WordPress websites? They are programmed or coded once in this html language, then left alone and they need virtually no updates. At first sight, it might actually make sense to believe that html projects lead to better websites for you as a doctor.

You would choose to have your website built in html if the following is true:

  • You want to avoid update and maintenance costs and you plan to keep the website as is for the next 5 years
  • You want a simple backup process, keeping a copy of your entire website on a USB stick in your desk, instead of a cloud-based backup system that costs you money
  • You do not need any ongoing medical marketing

If that is you, by all means, go for the html website. If you are growing your medical practice, bear with me and let’s unpack the alternative.

The benefits of a medical website in WordPress

medical website in wordpress

The alternative to having your website built in html is using WordPress as the software behind it.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"It is estimated that around 1 in 3 websites worldwide are now built using WordPress. It is a CMS or a content management system and that is why it aligns really well with the needs of a content marketing strategy."

The main reason to build your medical website in WordPress is flexibility. We know that organic visibility in Google Search, Content Marketing and SEO for doctors are key points in your medical marketing strategy.

A content management system allows you and your marketing agency to constantly add new pages and blog articles based on what patients search for. The bottom line in this day and age is that better websites and better results are achieved when you start with the content.

Making the most of your content management system

how to use wordpress

When you see other doctors with better websites, it is important to remember that not everything depends on using html or WordPress.

But truth be told, WordPress is a great framework to do what you have to do as you grow your practice: use content marketing to make your practice as visible as possible.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"WordPress is only a framework. It can be used at a very basic level to put content on your medical website, or you can use it as the back end of a powerful content marketing system."

How to use WordPress if you want it to be a powerful content management system for your private practice?

This is where it fits into a larger strategic marketing plan:

  • Market research: start with the content that your referrers and patients are searching for
  • Brand positioning: decide how you will position your practice in the local market
  • Website development: Use the WordPress framework so you have a content management system to support your future efforts
  • Content: use a medical marketing agency such as Digital Practice to build content on your website that generates visibility in organic Google Search. That is what we call content marketing.
  • Monitoring: plan monthly assessments to look at your competitive visibility, add new content and plan your progress in organic search performance for the next 12-24 months.

The technology pitfall doctors better avoid

IT and websites

IT and websites are somehow linked to each other because they are both professional areas that start with computer skills.

But as the internet evolves, many internet professionals no longer need to be IT people. Someone who is counselling as a psychotherapist is able to switch on their computer and meet a client on Zoom.

A podcaster is able to interview people and distribute an amazing podcast.

A website developer uses the tools that are available to create a premium quality website without ever studying IT or traditional computer sciences.

The pitfall is this one. As a doctor, your focus is elsewhere, not in digital technology. So as soon as an IT person starts talking about the technical aspects of websites, you give them the credit of being that computer expert who will create or fix my website.

Here at Digital Practice, we have tremendous respect for anyone who is a programmer, app developer, IT engineer and everything in between.

But we do know that the pitfall is there and that it’s wise to disconnect IT and websites for doctors. Developing your online profile is an important aspect of your reputation management, and we use a combination of market research, design, journalism techniques, website development and content marketing to make sure you achieve the results you are after for your practice or your career as a surgeon or specialist doctor.

The one area where IT and websites go together is when you make decisions about the hosting of medical websites.

Let's meet

Happy to create more clarity

website back end

Sometimes your main concern as a doctor is the back end of your website. How does it work, why can’t we log in, who built it, where is it sitting and what can we do to optimise it? Those are the typical questions I get on a daily basis and I would be happy to help you achieve more clarity about your important digital assets. Just book a free 1:1 Strategy Session to discuss your current online strategy and we will take it from there.

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