Dr X is a highly qualified plastic surgeon specialising in breast enhancements and after operative care. Her old website was ailing and needed to be brought into line with modern web site practices. The main issue however was that the old website also had a lot of good traffic which needed to be ported over to the new site discreetly.
The brief for Doctor X’s medical website:
- Clean Design (using white)
- Large before and after opertation photo gallery (over 600 images)
- Extensive CMS for updating news articles, images and adding new pages
- Good domain name with SEO component
- Lifetime support
Medical Websites are not for Doctors or Surgeons
The original site isn’t easy to update from the back-end and uses the clunky (proprietary) and very expensive (about $3,000 per annum maintenance) DotNetNuke Content Management System (CMS). the irony is that this particular very expensive system (I use open source free CMS systems) is almost impossible to navigate and understand without a lot of tuition. Needless to say, it is also extremely out of step with current technological trends being designed more than 10 years ago.
A medical website CMS (Content Management System)
Perhaps because the web is in a state of flux, I’ve implemented the totally modern (and free) WordPress CMS. It does need maintaining however. If clients host with me, I include this in the hosting price (prices vary from $350 – $650). I update the WordPress CMS and associated software plug-ins almost monthly these days.
Pictured below is the cumbersome and near impossible to use DotNetNuke administration system. A license to use this system costs $3,000 per year.
It’s very similar to many proprietary systems. Proprietary systems ensure that the client is only able to change certain parts of the site. Unlike WordPress, these systems often reference “modules” and the site ise modified via a complex series of interconnected modules. A small edit symbol alerts the user that this particualr area (in this case the page title) is editable.
An easy to use back-end administration system for nurses, doctors or administrative staff
This is a screenshot of the WordPress administration system. Because it’s open-source software which is updated nearly once every month, it’s a much more “relevant” system to use. It’s also easy to understand (a key factor for medical secretaries and administration staff) – it’s completely free and I implement it on all the sites I build because it’s a no-brainer.
You can see from this image that adding pages or posts (news items) is a very easy process.
Keep the old medical website up, but change the content
Because the old site comes up high in a search for Queensland Plastic Surgery, we have decided to keep it where it is and will think about re-purposing the site in the future. The site could be used as a landing page or specialist site about breast implants, special offers or Frequently Asked Questions about operative procedures and post-operative care.
But for now, a simple button on the site informs potential clients that the new-look plastic surgery website is available.
If you do build a new website while keeping the old one going, do consider changing the content. Duplicating content on both sites can be considered spamming by Google and you could be penalised for it in terms of rankings.
Edwin wrote his first (Harrier Jump Jet) text adventure computer program in 1982 during the Falklands War conflict. He now builds websites with best practice, future-proof web development, Ad marketing & SEO. He taught at Curtin Uni and OUA and in 2007 was voted 5th best lecturer (out of 2,500) across all disciplines taught in Australia. He loves sharing what he knows.