As website technology improves and improves, we as dentists are no longer limited to being entirely dependent upon a website developer or IT person to make updates to our websites. There are many advantages to using a content management system (CMS) for your dental website, and this article will review a few of these factors.
Two Types of Websites
Generally speaking there are two types of websites – those that you can update yourself, or those that you need an “IT Person” to updated for you. In both cases there is some underlying technology that needs to be configured – usually by a technical person – but the idea with a CMS is that you or your staff can easily handle the day-to-day management of your dental website.
As you may or may not have heard, there has been a recent rash of attacks agains WordPress websites that have now increased. The key thing to note is that this security threat mostly targets WordPress websites where the administrator login username is “admin”. The sites that are the most vulnerable appear to be sites where “admin” is the login and the password is something very simple. As you will read in the article I’ve referenced at the end of this post, the motive behind the attacks is not known.
1) You will need to talk to your web developer to check the status of your site, but one of the things that you should consider doing it changing the “admin” username to something different, and to reset your password to something complex.
2) A further step you could take it to install a WordPress plugin that limits the amount of password guesses.
3) While not directly related, make sure you always have a current backup of your files.
Here is the article I’ve referenced above, and it’s worthwhile read: http://ithemes.com/2013/04/15/ongoing-wordpress-attacks-details-and-solutions/
Dear Short Hills Design client,
As discussed, please click the image below to signup for the WordPress website backup plugin. The company is iThemes and the product is BackupBuddy.
In Part I of this series I talked about the advantage of having a Content Management System (CMS) in order to facilitate updating and maintaining your practice’s website. I talked about the open-source system, WordPress, and I why I use the WordPress platform for practically every site I build. Here in Part II of this series, I am going to talk about the other end of the spectrum — proprietary CMS systems and their advantages and disadvantages. .
Proprietary CMSs for Dental and Medical Websites
A proprietary CMS is just that – a system where the ins and out are really only known to the owners of the system. This situation is analogous to certain implant systems – you can only use the “company x” abutment with the “company x” fixture.
As you will read below, there are some benefits of using a provider that has a proprietary system, but in the end I do believe that running an open-source CMS such as WordPress is still the best way to go.
1. Closed-source – Whereas the code-base for WordPress is readily available to developers and to people such as myself who want to have a deep understanding of two the system works, proprietary systems grant no such access. If for example you needed a plugin (an extra) feature for your website that performed “functions ABC”, you could hire a programmer to create a WordPress plugin to add this functionality. In a proprietary system, if the company doesn’t offer “function ABC”, then you simply cannot have that functionality on your website.
2. You are Married to your Provider – Because proprietary systems are just that – proprietary and closed source, you are basically “stuck” with that company for all of your services. Whereas my WordPress clients are free to host their sites wherever they want, invite whomever they want to perform maintenance or SEO services (who hopefully would be my company), with a proprietary system your ability to bring in outside service providers or contractors is very limited. For example, in this month alone I have unfortunately had to turn down two potential SEO clients. While I could do the audits for them and make my recommendations, I am unable to fully implement my recommendations because there is no documentation available about how their providers’ proprietary systems work. One of the first things I do with any client website is to run a backup before I do any work – and for some of these proprietary systems, there’s simply no way to get information how to create a backup, and especially how to restore one.
3. Limited Popularity – Because proprietary systems are limited to the company that develops it, you are limited to who you can turn to in case of a problem with your site. IF the company requires a monthly maintenance agreement you are trapped, because there’s nobody else who knows the system.
4. Ease of Use – Many of the proprietary systems out there do offer some level of flexibility in terms of adding and updating your content. So for this area of comparison, proprietary systems are on par with open-source.
5. Security – Every system needs to be secured, and one of the advantages of having a proprietary system is that – you would hope at least – that since the company is managing the system and the hosting, that they are automatically rolling out security updates as needed. Further, if any features are added to the system, every customer using the system will receive these updates. If you are using WordPress, you need to make sure that you or your web developer are being proactive about making sure that WordPress is updated to the latest version when necessary, and that your plugins are all up-to-date whenever possible
6. Backups – you NEED to have a backup of your website and your data. With WordPress it’s very easy to create a backup, and if needed, migrate that backup to another system. With proprietary systems, it’s often hard to get a backup and you must rely on your provider for backup and restoration of the site as needed. Further, if you were ever to leave your proprietary provider, you would most likely not be able to export your website and migrate it to another web host or web company. You’d likely have to use your existing content, and then start from scratch with the design.
Only you can choose what type of system you’d like to use for your website, but if you were to ask me, I’d recommend an open-source CMS such as WordPress, every time.
The Technology Behind your Dental Website
When we as users visit a website on the Internet, the technology that is used to power that website is generally invisible to us – as it should be. So while users don’t need to know what type of technology, or “backend” is used to manage and maintain the website in order to use it, the people who own the website, however, must have some knowledge and understanding of the system that is used.
As a health care professional the intricacies of these backend systems, often also known as “CMS” or Content Management System(s), are not important. What is important to know, however, is what the advantages and disadvantages of are of the two broad types of CMSs available to build your website, and to be able to make an informed decision about which type of system you should use. And the details of installation, implementation and management of these system should in both cases, be left to your web developer (or you can do it if you are so inclined).
Here in Part III of our overview of the use of videos for your dental website and medical website, I am going to discuss the topic of hosting your videos, and will compare and contrast YouTube and Vimeo, two of the major services that we use for hosting videos. Don’t worry about the actual implementation of what I’m going to discuss, as more likely than not, your web developer will be doing the implementing for you. Instead, focus on the concepts to understand the what and the why; the “how” is less important.
Welcome back. Here in Part II of the article series on the concepts you need to know about using videos to enhance your dental or medical website, we are going to discuss what to do with the videos once you have produced them, as well as what NOT to do.
In this threer-part series I am going to go over the basic concepts you need to know about using videos to enhance your dental or medical website. Videos can be an excellent adjunct to an already existing website, and can also be used to bring new life into an older site, as well.
In this series I will review the following topics:
1. The What, Where and Why of Website Videos
2. What To do and What Not to Do with Website Videos
3. YouTube vs. Vimeo for Dental and Medical Video Hosting
With 2013 just beginning, it’s a great time to think about your practice’s website and to see what can be done to improve your ROi and your new-patient building goals. In the list below I detail 5 key things that you should examine and implement if needed for your website. And don’t worry, I don’t expect you to make the changes yourself; simply take a look at the list below and hand it off to your web developer and say, “Make sure we have this in place”. Read more →
The topic of blogging for dental and medical websites is a large one, and it surely cannot be covered in a single blog posts (it’s actually an entire lecture). But there are certain key concepts that are important to highlight and should be considered by all website owners. Read more →