Website Design for Midwives, Doulas, and Birth Centers – What You Need to Know Before You Hire a Pro
So you’re thinking about hiring a pro to design your website? Great! Is it a birth center website? A home birth midwife website? A postpartum doula website? And, more importantly, will your website designer ACTUALLY know the difference??
Here’s the thing – we will FOREVER encourage midwives, doulas, and birth center administrators to get with a professional for their website design. But we also think it’s important that you stay WARY as you’re looking for a designer to suit your needs. Websites are complicated beasts. Technologies shift quickly, the web is unpredictable, and no website design (or designer, for that matter) is the same. Still, it’s almost certainly a good idea to invest in a professional website design. We find that things tend to work BEST when everyone is doing the job they’re best at. That’s why we’re not out there catching babies, and it’s why you probably shouldn’t build your website on your own.
Tyler here – and I just need to say that I’ve seen a lot of websites. Like way, way, way, way too many websites. And the funny thing is that I’ve seen SO MANY websites for an incredible midwife or a talented doula or a gorgeous birth center where the website LOOKS like it’s the website of a factory parts manufacturer. (No offense intended to factory parts manufacturers).
And that’s where the danger lies for midwives and doulas looking for a professionally designed website. The truth is, the natural birth profession is incredibly unique. You’re going to need a website that tells your story, shows off your skills, and presents you in a way that’s consistent with your branding.
In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of some of our TOP tips for hiring a professional to build your midwife, doula, or birth center website:
- Know Your Platform – There are countless website platforms out there in the world. You’ve probably heard the names tossed around – WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, etc. Our team prefers to work on WordPress for a number of reasons, but the truth is, you can have a decent website on ANY of the major platforms, BUT only if the designer is proficient (or preferably excellent) at using that platform. You need to talk with your designer about a platform that allows you the ability to grow. The digital world is ENDLESSLY shifting, and you may have your website for a long time. Consider websites that were built even 5 years ago that WEREN’T optimized for mobile users. Whoops, now they’re finding out the hard way that nearly 50% of all web traffic happens on smart phones. Consider the flexibility of your platform.
- Be Prepared for SEO – A good website designer will talk to you about the work they’ll do on your website design to optimize it for search engines. But make sure that you also talk to them about a plan moving forward. How will the website allow your SEO to grow and thrive over time? Is there a plan to optimize your blog traffic? These are questions we want you to have in mind.
- Make a Design Plan – Websites take a fair amount of time to build. So don’t be the sad midwife, doula, or birth center owner who finds out that your website design contract doesn’t allow you to have a say in the revisions. Talk with your designer about the deadlines, the system for your opinion to be heard and revisions to be made, and create expectations before you sign the contract. Now, here’s Tyler’s caveat – please LISTEN to your website designer’s opinion on things. Assuming they’re a good designer, they’ll have knowledge about what makes a well-functioning website. Ultimately, it’s your website, so you have the final say. But at least hear them out!
- Get Someone Who Can Build For YOU – There are so, so many website designers out there. But a birth business website design is unique. We’re not saying you MUST hire someone who has countless hours designing midwife websites, doula websites, or birth center websites. Just find someone who can understand the basics of your profession and demonstrates to you that they understand what makes YOU different from ‘Bob’s T-Shirt Printing Company.’
In summary, make sure you find a website designer who has your interests in mind. Find someone you work well with. There are plenty of resources online for finding website designers for hire. If you need help in your search, let us know and we may be able to help you find someone. OR, if you’re looking for the BEST professional website designers in the midwife, doula, and birth center industry, you know who to call…