Yoga Teacher Websites: Do I really need one?

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Last week, I was interviewed about the importance of yoga teachers having websites and many of questions were very similar to the ones I get from clients.

I’m a new yoga teacher, do I really need a website now?

YES. And I’m not just saying that because I design yoga websites.

Think about this: All successful businesses have websites. If you are serious about making a living by teaching yoga, then you absolutely must have a website. Your website shows your current and prospective clients that you are a professional and that you should be taken seriously.

Yoga, as a business, is BOOMING right now, and your website will define you within the community and set you apart from other yoga teachers. Your website is a way to showcase who you are and what you offer. It allows current and prospective clients to contact you and book services. It is also a powerful tool for building your email contact list so that you can market your future workshops, trainings, and retreats to clients.

Pro Advice: At the very least, get a landing page up with your information, where you’re teaching, how to contact you, and how to sign up for your newsletter. Get this posted while you work on building your full website.

Can anybody build their own website? I keep seeing the commercials, looks easy enough?

The simple answer? Sure. With sites like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace, you can pick a template and plug in your content… These kinds of sites seem easy to set up and are often free to start, BUT if you want anything beyond the most basic features (and everyone does) the pricing jumps significantly and some level of web layout is needed to get it set up.

About half of my web design clients come to me with a site that they or a friend started, but can’t get the features, design, and functions they need and want. We typically end up scrapping the previous website and starting from scratch with a premium WordPress theme.

Pro Advice: While it might be tempting to have a friend who is trying to build their web design profile build your website, I’ve seen this go horribly awry and ruin friendships and stall businesses. Hiring a professional may be more expensive, but you will get someone who knows exactly what they are doing and can deliver the site just as you want it and in a timely manner. Book a free 30-minute consult with me to talk about working together.

Also, it can take between 60-120 days for Google and other search engines to discover and index your website. Which means the longer you delay, the longer it will take for you to show up with people start searching online.

What’s the difference between all these different website platforms? Which one is the best?

The three platforms I work with and recommend are: WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify. I would avoid Wix, Weebly, Joomla, and GoDaddy Builder (in fact, I won’t even work on these types of sites anymore).

WordPress is the industry leader. It’s has thousands of gorgeous themes and integrates seamlessly with payment processing, membership sites, online stores, booking calendars, eCourse platforms, and other cool online tools. WordPress sites are highly customizable and are therefore more expensive for the initial set up, but the overall cost to maintain your site over the years is significantly less than any other platform. You definitely want to hire a WordPress pro to set up your site. Themes are about $100 and you pay for them once. Hosting is around $70/year.

Squarespace is very popular in the yoga world and is a great option if you want to manage your website and blog all on your own with little or no tech skills, but it is expensive. Processing payments, online stores, subscription payments, adding email pop-up windows, and other special features all require one of their premium plans which you will pay $26+ monthly or $250+ yearly.

Shopify is in a league of its own and is primarily for selling products like apparel, yoga mats, jewelry, and other goods online. It is a powerful ecommerce system that manages orders, customer accounts, delivery information, client files, and more. It has its own design code called Liquid, which is different than the coding used to design other websites. This is another one that will require a Shopify specialist and get ready to dish out the cash, monthly plans are around $80 for Shopify, but if you are selling products, this is the way to go.

Pro Advice: Spend a little bit of time figuring out the best platform for you. Switching between different platforms can hurt your search rankings. Know what kind of functionality you want —not just right now but also for a few years down the line—before you commit. Book a free 30-minute consult with me and I can help you decide which platform is right for your business.

When is it time to hire a web design pro?

ASAP. Having a yoga website can increase your number of students, allow you to build deeper relationships with them and help you secure new jobs and collaboration opportunities. Your website shows potential employers and clients that you are serious about yoga as a profession and helps you stand out. Hiring a professional will get you a professional website.

Wondering how much you should pay for a website? Prices range widely, you can pay as little as $500 and as much as $5,000 (and more) for a website and in my experience, you get what you pay for. If you get a really cheap price, be aware that your developer might not always be available or doesn’t have a lot of experience. Always check out their portfolio and ask them about their experience. Just to let you know, my prices for a Squarespace websites start at $1,500, WordPress start at $3,000. Get in touch if you want to learn more!

I heard that with social media now, I don’t even need a website, just Facebook and Instagram profiles. Is this true?

Hmmmm, I see why some people may think this, but no.

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting to the world and if used strategically, will drive huge amounts of traffic (potential clients) to your website where people can learn more about your professional services and offerings. Social media won’t help you manage your calendar or process payments. You still need to connect it to a website to make that happen. Social media works with your website, but doesn’t replace it.