The Benefits of Owning Your Own Website
Jonathan S. Barrett
Senior Web Developer/Designer, SEO Specialist
What does it mean to “own” my own website?
When you OWN your website, you maintain copyright ownership of all content and images found throughout the website. This means there aren’t other veterinary websites out there that look just like yours.
Additionally, this entails that you also own the website’s packaged files (database and source files) in their entirety — more on this later.
Owning your own website ensures that you maintain the ability to relocate your website in its entirety to a different hosting provider at any given point in time (less any existing binding timeline agreements/contracts).
How can my veterinary practice determine if we own our website?
We regularly encounter veterinary practices who think they own their website but actually do not.
Ask your current website and/or hosting provider for an overview of existing contract details, specifically asking if you have maintained ownership rights to the website, including all copy and images. Keep in mind that where your website is currently hosted may not necessarily indicate who originally built it.
It’s also important to be aware of term commitments in your contract. Every website needs to be updated over time. Doing this with your template theme can be costly. Most template licenses need to be renewed every year, and it’s not guaranteed to be the same price you initially paid for.
When is it appropriate to have a 3rd party own my website?
3rd party websites (i.e. websites through Wix.com, etc.) can be beneficial if a practice is just getting started or if cost is a largely prohibitive factor. They are sufficient at providing a basic online landing/presence for small, service-based businesses who use static web content.
How does a template website affect my SEO?
Renowned for having poor structure, messy code, and inadequate browser compatibility, template websites not only affect your user experience, but also your SEO.
Clean code is important because that’s how search engines read your website and determine if you are legitimate. This is necessary in order to have ranking for the specific key words that pet owners are using to find a new veterinary practice.
Although it might look okay, your template website is seriously under-serving you if Google and other search engines can’t read the information.
While you may save money up front on a template website, over the long run it will cost you significantly in terms of lost visibility to new, prospective pet owners.
Owning your website gives you the ability to not only maximize your content SEO efforts but, most importantly, maximize your technical SEO efforts.
What are the long term benefits of maintaining a database/archive of my organizational growth/development?
Maintaining a database/archive of your organizational development is an important aspect of SEO that is not possible with template websites.
Site archives allow you to steadily enlarge the size of your footprint on the world wide web, establishing yourself as the subject matter expert in your veterinary profession, centralizing at your physical location and branching outward.
What are other issues that can arise with a template website?
In addition to the SEO ramifications, the code on these websites often becomes obsolete and is no longer supported, making it impossible to make necessary updates as your practice grows.
We are regularly contacted by veterinary practices who want to invest in the development of their own website in order to accommodate their growing practice — only to find out they have a template website that won’t allow for such developments.
This renders their existing website worthless, entailing the necessity to begin from ground zero with their online presence.
If your website cannot grow and change with current design trends, evolving website best practices, updated features and functions that help your veterinary practice grow at the pace and direction you need it to, then the inexpensive template website you invest in is of very little value.
Beware of website companies that are looking to make a quick sale and are not considering the long-term well-being of your online presence.
How does a website template affect my veterinary branding?
A template website does not give you the ability to fully brand yourself. It limits you to the use of a logo, branding colors and unique imagery.
Owning your website gives you the opportunity to oversee the development of a website that becomes an extension of your existing brand or can be used to update/redefine your brand. It allows you to add website functions and features that mirror your practice as it grows.
The SEO built into your custom-made website will help you promote your most profitable, desired services. It will convey your brand in a way that does not feel generic or impersonal.
Template websites, no matter how good looking, cannot provide the strategic approach you need to build ROI online.
Make a Long-Term Investment
There is no long-term value to a template website. Any investment made to build, maintain and keep the website live is a sunk cost. Just as you think long-term with your other practice decisions — such as equipment, software, or even staff — we hope you’ll do the same with your website.
The development of your veterinary practice takes time. As with most endeavors, longevity and sustainability are key, and your online presence is no exception.
- Learn more about the web design and development services provided exclusively to veterinary professionals by Simply Done Tech Solutions.
- Contact Simply Done Tech Solutions and gain the competitive advantage you need to compete both on and offline.