Website Builder Scoring Criteria
When looking for a website builder for your therapy or mental health practice, it’s important to be aware of all of the aspects to consider. Below, we will explore our process for independently rating the website builders that we review. We want to provide you with the unbiased information needed to make an informed decision, so you can gain as much value as possible from your website builder.
Ease of Use
One of the most important things to look for when searching for a therapy site website builder is ease of use. Therapists and mental health professionals already have enough to attend to in working with their clients. So, an ideal website builder should make it as easy as possible to get an excellent website online in a brief amount of time, with minimal difficulty for the therapist.
Star Ratings for Ease of Use
5-stars – This website builder is amazingly simple to use. It may feature an AI tool that builds the website for you or is just so intuitively designed that it requires minimal time and effort. If it is a designer or consultant-based website builder, then the process of collaborating with the designers is very easy and requires minimal input and time. The amount of hands-on time involved should not exceed 3-4 hours.
3-stars – The website builder takes a bit of time and effort to implement well. While it still doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge or skills, it may take some trial-and-error or online research to get things exactly how you’d like them. The amount of hands-on time would not exceed 5-6 hours.
1-star – The website builder is either too complex for beginners, or is so unintuitive that it requires an excess of hands-on time and is frustrating to implement. These website builders would require 8+ hours of direct, hands-on time to implement well and would require a great deal of manual effort from you.
Relevance to Therapists
Whether or not they are geared directly toward therapy practices, ideal website builders should at least have the flexibility to help a mental health practice effectively build a website to meet their unique needs.
Star Ratings for Relevance to Therapists
5-stars – This website builder is perfectly suited for mental health practices. Either they are built for therapists specifically or have many useful features for therapists. At a minimum, the website builder should be HIPAA-compliant, and ideally provide integrations for EHR apps, telehealth platforms, client portals, and tools for marketing your practice.
3-stars – This website builder is not created with therapists specifically in mind. However, it maintains enough flexibility and depth of features to ensure it will be useful for mental health practices. It may not be HIPAA-compliant, but there are methods for ensuring client security.
1-star – This website builder is not optimized for therapists. The features that are available may be poorly executed, or, simply, not important for therapy practices.
Degree of Customization
Website builders should offer a good balance of design customization vs. ease of use. The ideal website builders will ensure that you retain full control over your website’s appearance and functionality.
Star Ratings for Degree of Customization
5-stars – The website builder allows you to retain full control over almost every aspect of your website. This website builder lets you implement custom plugins or other features to ensure your website is uniquely designed, both functionally and aesthetically.
3-stars – The website builder allows you to customize the most important aspects of your website. However, the methods of implementing extensive changes may be obscure, or simply inaccessible altogether. There are not as many templates, themes, or customization options to account for a wide range of aesthetic preferences.
1-star – The website does not allow for adequate flexibility and degree of customization. There are very few options both aesthetically, and functionally.
Relative Cost & Value
Ideal website builders will be on-par, or of greater value than other options on the market – they will offer greater features, flexibility, usability, or convenience compared to the cost of their competitors.
Star Ratings for Cost & Value
5-stars – This website builder offers better value for the cost when compared to other website builders. It is very well suited for mental health practices and would likely be worth the cost. It offers better features, flexibility, usability, or convenience than other competitors do for the cost.
3-stars – This website builder offers a relative value that is approximately equal to the competition. It may offer improvements to some areas of features, flexibility, usability, or convenience compared to one or two competitors, but it isn’t the best.
1-star – This website builder is not worth the costs of money, time, or effort. It costs more than its competitors and this extra cost cannot be justified.
Reliability & Longevity
An ideal website builder will have plenty of years of experience in helping users develop and maintain professional-quality websites. For the purposes of this criteria, at least 8 years of service and a generally positive user sentiment generally mean the service can be trusted and is reliable.
Star Ratings for Brand Reputation
5-stars – The website builder has been in business for 8+ years and has had a consistent customer following over these years. Customers have maintained a positive sentiment in most user reviews.
3-stars – The website builder has been in business for at least 4 years, and has kept a consistent and growing following of users. User reviews are mostly positive, but there may be some mixed reviews or some evidence of user dissatisfaction.
1-star – The website builder has been in business for less than 3 years, and/or has had major scandals, security breaches, or other red flags.
Customer Service & Training
The ideal website builder platform will offer strong customer support and training. Customer support must be responsive and helpful, but there should also be many self-service options to help streamline things and avoid unnecessary emails and other correspondence. Training features should offer a wide range of both written and video trainings and a large amount of community support through dedicated forums or websites like Reddit. Website builders should offer onboarding trainings or webinars to help practices get set up on the platform quickly.
Star Ratings for Customer Service & Training
5-stars – The website builder has impeccable customer service. Representatives of the company are friendly, accessible, and helpful. The company operates a large knowledge base and there is likely a great deal of community support throughout the web. If this is a consultant or designer, the designers, and developers were easy to work with and exceptionally skilled. When reaching out to customer service, response times are fast, and there are many time-saving self-service options.
3-stars – Customer service for this website builder is adequate, but falls short of the best. Perhaps, customer service is not readily accessible 24/7 through a variety of means, or there are few options for self-service or saving time.
1-star – Customer service is grossly inadequate and is not fit for a paid or premium service, or is entirely lacking altogether.
Domains & Hosting
The ideal website builder will include a variety of features for managing the domain registration and ongoing hosting of your website. The best website builders will include a free domain registration with a subscription.
Star Ratings for Domains & Hosting
5-stars – The service offers the ability to add custom domain names, and will include a free domain registration. The company provides support in ensuring the continued validity of a domain name. Hosting services are secure and provide more bandwidth and storage for the cost compared to competitors.
3-stars – The website builder has hosting and domain features that are on-par with their competitors. All of the essential hosting features will be included, but there may not be custom email addresses or free domain registrations.
1-star – The domain and hosting features are insecure, or otherwise inadequate for maintaining a professional website.
Additional Features or Plug-Ins
The best website builders will include a number of additional features and/or plugins to help customize a website and ensure it is meeting all of your needs. These may be included in the cost, free, or incur extra charges. Ideally, plugins and additional features will offer excellent functionality compared to their cost.
Star Ratings of Premium Features or Plug-Ins
5-stars – The platform offers more than 10 features and plugins that are relevant to therapists such as scheduling, security, or chat plugins, and provide great value for their associated costs. Or, if the platform has no plugins, the base features accomplish all that would need to be accomplished.
3-stars – The platform has a handful of additional features or plugins that are relevant to therapists, or the features are expensive compared to their relative value.
1-star – The platform lacks any extra features or plugins for further customization or only features that are not useful for therapists.
Fit & Finish
The fit and finish of a website can be in regard to aesthetics or functionality. Regardless, it is important to have a website builder that adheres to modern design and user experience (UX) standards.
Star Ratings of Fit & Finish
5-stars – The UX of the website builder is incredibly polished. It is pleasing to look at, and allows you to accomplish everything you need to in an intuitive way.
3-stars – The UX of the website may feel or look clunky or dated, but it is still effective.
1-star – The website builder has a very poor UX, and is frustrating to use.