5 important things to be aware of before signing a dental website design contract

Jan. 21, 2015
If you have never had a website and want to increase traffic to your site, you can kick-start this project with a paid advertising campaign template website and then move on from there. Kyle L. Summerford goes through a list of five critical things you need to be aware of before you commit to a website design contract, whether you are interested in using a custom design or an existing template.
Ad words campaign vs. organic? If you have never had a website and want to increase traffic to your site, you can kick-start this with a paid advertising campaign template website. At the same time as paying for a “click” campaign, you can invest in organic web back-link building. This will allow your business name to be placed at the top of key word searches with a paid campaign, and at the same time your website will be organically enhanced in the background. After your site builds a reputation and has tracking with search engines and organic traffic flow, you will be able to leave the paid advertising.

ALSO BY KYLE SUMMERFORD |Case acceptance: mastering the 'Art of Persuasion in Dentistry' by mastering the art of compassion

Track record and return on investment
Ask for proof of projects that potential website design companies have completed for other buyers. Check to see if these consumers have seen great results, and approximately how long was it before they saw a return on investment. Actual calls to other offices can help with questions you may have about the authenticity of what these website companies propose.

ALSO BY KYLE SUMMERFORD | What to expect when buying a preexisting dental practice

Custom or template website?
When you customize a website, most companies will allow you full ownership of the site with the ability to take it to other hosting companies if you desire. The downside of customization is it takes longer to produce and requires more time on your end. A template website usually means the website company has ownership of images or videos placed on the website. It is much faster and requires less time and input on your, end but you should find out the stipulations if you decide to take your content to another hosting company.

Charge to change?
Know how much production time is included in your contract. Ask what the cost is for minor changes and adjustments after the production hours are exhausted and the launch has occurred.

It’s very important to have communication with the developer. Our office recently worked with a website company that was extremely difficult to work with. Production took two years longer than it should have because of constant emailing back and forth will little to no telephone contact. Make sure the company you use has a person in charge of your account — not a department. Another idea is to tailor payment to completion of the website and have an opt-out contingency if you are not satisfied with the progress of the work.

Kyle L. Summerford is an independent dental consultant. His professional career of 13 years in dentistry has given him expert knowledge in various areas of practice management. He is a professional speaker focusing on various topics such as increasing profits, staff etiquette training, and maximizing dental insurance benefits. He has authored many articles that have been featured in Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, and Surgical-Restorative Resource. Visit his websites at www.ddsguru.com and www.rescuemydentalpractice.com, available to dentists and team members for educational purposes. You may contact him by email at [email protected] with inquiries regarding his practice management consulting services.