shutterstock_122365327-[Converted]This is our big “double” week in Building Abundance.  Websites are an important part of our businesses.  I thought I would share my website experiences through the years as well as the exciting news that we have a new website coming even as we speak!

Website #1

Years ago, early 1990’s,  Dex Yellow Pages built my first website for me.  I left it up online to accrue a few customers for me for about 10 years. At the time it didn’t really turn a lot of business for me. People still used yellow pages and that is where I put my resources. It was really out of style and I didn’t really notice.  When people started to respond to the website, it became time to take a look at it.

Website #2

It was this review that caused us to change the site.  I just happened to be attending a school with a  very strong  computer and graphic design department. I maneuvered my way into a Graphic Design class for building websites and learned how to create my own.  It turned out really nice.  This lead to sharing the simple steps to build a website into an article for a couple publications.  I used Dreamweaver and it was easier for me because I worked well with Illustrator and Photoshop. They taught us to build our own websites and not to use packages like WordPress.   It is true, there are some WONDERFUL things you can do if you know your way around Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and Dreamweaver.  You are not limited at all.

Website #3

A couple years later, our website needed updating again and I found a young graduate who wanted fast cash to move to New York in 2 weeks…he finished a beautiful website for me in 2 weeks and it was clean, easy to navigate, beautiful and …well… perfect.  It got me a great response too.  Well…it was perfect except one thing, I hadn’t considered putting a blog in and it has become important to have a blog because it is better to have continuous movement on your website for good SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Website #4

It may go against the grain for many graphic designers, but WordPress is a real time saver for many business people and I created a new website with a Premium WordPress Theme.  You can get lost looking at all the wonderful themes that are available.  I mean, it is a bigger time suck than Facebook.

The website (our current one) was great until I started fussing with it.  A health coach directory that was custom made messed up the site enough that we can’t do updates on the gravity forms…or the whole set up disappears.  I want a grand recipe option and I want to be able to add pages every day if I want…and I often add them daily.  45% of my customers browse the internet on mobile devices.  My premium theme is not responsive, (you can’t read it correctly if you are on a mobile device).

The one thing that never changes with websites…is that technology always changes and you need to keep up.  (tweetable)

Website #5

I hired my dream designer…then realized that she wouldn’t design my website in WordPress.  I have been spoiled with the control that WordPress afforded me and times have changed, people don’t use yellow pages any more.  The website is one of the most important faces and tools that your business has.

If we didn’t use WordPress and  wanted to change the site or add a page….I would have to get on the designer’s waiting list, that can take months.  I add pages daily – it would be a nightmare for me.  We create so many new programs and products that it just wouldn’t make sense to put ourselves in the position that we could not maintain and add to our website ourselves.  I couldn’t persuade my dream designer to work with me on WordPress.

We ended up hiring a husband and wife IT team, who has worked with us on other things and a graphic designer I admired.  We have been working on our web design for over 2 months now.  The needs of the website are a lot more complicated than they were in the day that I hired a young guy and got it done in 2 weeks.  I also have over 200 pages on my website, so it is kind of complicated.  Though not as complicated as the new Healthcare website, I expect ours to be up and working without a hitch – well maybe a hitch, but it will get fixed quickly and then it will work.

Being a designer, colors may be too important to me- but I am of the mindset that you shouldn’t have to change things again if you use classic colors.  I want to play the colors down a little in the new site…and it is pretty strange moving from all this color to a more refined look.   The lightness needs to stay because light is hope.  My graphic designer is being pretty tolerant.  I can’t wait for you to see what Christine came up with to solve our dilemma, it is very clever and really a wonderful solution.  We finally decided on the colors and we are moving forward again.  We were pretty lucky to find her- Christine is now my dream graphic designer because she is working with us in a way that we needed.

This is like Christmas time for me…I can’t stand having presents and not sharing.  Well, I really want to share a peek at our new website….but I am going to sit on my hands and wait to share!  All I can say…is it is going to be REALLY, REALLY good!  You will be surprised.

Our products are spectacular, so we want them to be the focal point of the website.  You won’t find me in sexy gowns or seductive poses (for more reasons than the obvious) …the new website is going to be about all the great programs and business tools we have for health coaches and the free resources we provide.  It all needs to be very easy for health coaches to get on the website and find precisely what they need.

We want to convey the things that health coaches struggle with and find the solution.

Your website should be about what you have that your customers want.  The colors on the website should appeal to your customers and make them feel like they have found the answer.  The style of the website should speak to your customers more than to you.

It is important that you convey what you have to offer and to show your clients what to do from the moment they arrive on your website. (tweetable)

Why should you have your own website?  #1 reason is to avoid brand confusion.  Most people who look at a website that is school provided, don’t really know whose website it is.  They don’t know if it is your site or the school’s.  #2 is freedom to promote anything you want on the website.  #3 is flexibility in widgets, selling and website options.

This is adapted from a checklist provided Sylvia Waxman (in charge of affiliates for THCG) did for us.  It is a very good checklist for what you need to set up a website:

  • My site looks professional, not hobby-ish
  • The graphics are of high quality
  • I prompt visitors to subscribe to my newsletter
  • I’ve designed my site to lead people through it, step by step
  • I’ve designed my site to lead people, step by step, to do what I want them to do
  • There is at least one free product or service that visitors can arrange for at my site
  • I’ve got a photograph of myself on my site so people can get a sense of me

This is just a very small sampling of the website checklist in our bonus to the 2 week website module.  You can get the rest  in “Building Abundance, The Business Plan for Health Coaches, be happy, healthy AND wealthy.

I am so excited for the positive response to our “breakthrough business program”.  There is optimism again for health coaches who have been a little confused and overwhelmed with all the great information they have and not sure how to apply it.  The program asks you questions in a methodical and linear fashion to allow you to pull your own business together and know what and how you should do it.  You can enroll here.

I almost forgot!!!!  We are having our first Holistic Health Coach Mastermind at Club Med/Sandpiper in Port St. Lucie, Florida November 5 – November 9, 2014.  To find out more, click here!

Comment below!  We would love to hear your website stories and struggles!

Share with your friends!

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8 Comments

  1. Theressa

    I can’t wait to see the new site! You learn so much from each website experience but you don’t necessarily notice until it’s time for a polish up.
    Love your tips too btw 😉

    Reply
  2. Leslie

    Can’t wait to see your new website! Thanks for the helpful tips and advice. Creating a website has definitely been a new adventure for me and it is a process but I am enjoying it so far with some ups and downs. Have lots more to do. So happy to have a tech savvy spouse to help me out!

    Reply
  3. Rommy

    Thanks for posting this Cathy!
    So, I’m exhausted seeing that you’ve had so many websites! I know, it’s been over the span of 20 years, but to think of creating, updating all those sites…is daunting to me.
    I built my first website for my yoga studio in iWeb. I really liked the look and the navigation, but it took blood, sweat and tears, yes actual tears and many many all nighters.
    Then came my IIN provided site and I was already weary from the previous one, but I did manage to customize it somewhat.
    Now I have a WordPress site and feel grownup, but I know it needs tweaks. Just thinking about ‘hiring’ someone to tweak it wears me out! I’m going to look over the list with greater concentration and get busy though. I do like an orderly home.

    Reply
  4. Beth K. Bedbury

    I’ve went through three incarnations of my website in the last two years trying to get it to reflect me. I finally got there. What struck me the most was remembering technology changes and your site needs to reflect that.

    Reply
  5. hayley hobson

    Can’t wait till your website is up, the anticipation is killing me after all that info! Thanks, Cathy, as always your posts are so informative and well executed.

    Reply
  6. Shelly

    That’s why I love this site, Cathy. Always full of informative information. Website maintenance is never ending!! I’m always changing mine as well. Gotta keep the folks interested!

    Reply
  7. Kat

    what do you think about a website by wixx instead of wordpress?

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Hi Kat, I am not familiar with Wixx. I have seen them and I think they are pretty. If you are considering them, I would be sure that you have blogging ability (probably do)…the SEO is good…(I would do some google searches “wixx seo” and I would be sure that there are tons of plugins available. That is the nice thing about wordpress…you can put a fairly sophisticated site up without an IT person because of all the cool plugins. One other thing…make sure you have someone who is techie and familiar with it so you can go somewhere for help when you need it.

      Reply

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