Does your practice’s website really need its own domain name? The simple answer is yes. When building a website for your plastic surgery practice, you have the option of putting up your site with a free web hosting service or a paid one. With the paid service, you can get your own domain name. For plastic surgery advertising, this would be something like www.drsmith.com . With a paid hosting company, however, your domain name would look like the following: www.thefreewebhost.com/drsmith/ .
While a free web hosting company has its merits, namely that it’s free, having your own domain name is very important. The amount of money that you would save with a free web hosting simply company cannot compare with the benefits gained by having your own domain name. There are many reasons why having your own domain name is a must, including the following:
- Credibility and professionalism. Having your own domain name simply looks more professional and is the first step in building your online credibility. It’s essential that your website appear both credible and professional to your visitors if there is any chance of them becoming your actual patients.
- Retention. In most cases, a domain name that is your own is smaller and easier for people to remember. With the above examples, www.drsmith.com is far easier to remember than www.thefreewebhost.com/drsmith/ .
- Email aliases. By having your own domain name, you can also have a variety of email aliases that you can assign to different functions. For instance, you might have email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , and so on. This allows you to better filter your email while also giving your visitors the impression that yours is a large, well-established practice.
- Search engine performance. For a variety of reasons, your website will be able to perform better in the search engines if it has its own domain name. First, some search engines simply will not index sites hosted by free web hosts. In addition, many search engines give more emphasis to a domain’s home page. If your website is hosted by a free host, your site’s homepage is not the homepage of the domain. This can make it very difficult to rank well for competitive keywords which, in turn, can cost you a great deal of traffic.
- Directory performance. With a free web host, listing your site in any of the major directories, such as Yahoo, is nearly impossible. They may not admit it, but they typically sill not list sites hosted by some free web hosts.