How [& When] to Make a Custom Coaching Website?
As an experienced coach, you likely have a simple WordPress- or Shopify-based website to present yourself and your services. However, such a solution may not match your coaching business needs as you decide to launch a new product or deepen the level of interaction with your clients.
When using a templated website, you probably won’t be able to implement all the features you need. It happens so due to the limitations of the basic WordPress-like builders. Сustom website development allows you to overcome these obstacles and create a product that perfectly addresses the needs of your visitors.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how to create a custom coaching website, when you really need this and share some development tips.
✅ When to Create a Custom Professional Coaching Website
A custom coaching website is much more flexible in terms of available features and design. Yet, it’s not a silver bullet that solves all the challenges – in some cases, it may be more than enough to have a good old templated website.
In this section, we’d like to describe a few common cases when it’s reasonable to consider custom coaching website creation as well as scenarios when a templated one is just enough for your goals.
You’re looking for custom website design and functionality
You may come to the point when your current website builder can’t provide you with the required customization level. It usually happens when:
- you’re launching a new product that implies interaction with users — online video or audio courses, live training sessions, interactive tools for self-assessment, etc.;
- you have some ideas on how to update your existing product, however, they can’t be implemented with your current website builder;
- there is no way to implement some web design decisions you want using your current website builder.
As you can see, a custom professional coaching website is often about interactivity in the first place. Watching videos, listening to the audio, leaving comments, joining calls, sending documents and files, communicating in chats, doing tests and tasks — the more of these and other similar interactions you’d like to have, the higher chances that you need a custom coaching website are.
You need special website integrations
If you have some experience working with any WordPress-type websites you probably know the variety of plugins available on these platforms for you to pick from. While they usually cover many popular 3rd-party services, it may be not enough if you need to integrate special coaching tools. Apart from this, even if there is an available plugin, its performance may not be as good as the one you have when using the service itself.
To put it simply, custom integration implies connecting the 3rd-party service to your website. These integrations are often needed when it is essential to connect your website with any other platform or system for it to be accessible via your web page.
Let’s say, you want to use Salesforce as your CRM system, connect Zoom for live calls with customers and integrate online payments via Stripe — custom integrations make this all tech magic work.
Thus, a custom coaching website kills two birds with one stone: it unlocks new integration opportunities and enables the smoother performance of 3rd-party services that you’ve already been using before as plugins.
According to Statista: as of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide — 59.5% of the global population. Of this total, 92.6% (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices.
In case you are considering making a mobile coaching app or you already have one in use, the main point in creating a custom professional coaching website is to make a smooth synchronization between both platforms. It leads to a convenient cross-platform user experience. For example:
- If you provide online courses, users can seamlessly switch between devices — start watching your lesson on their smartphone and then continue where they’d stopped on a desktop device.
- In case you hold live sessions, some users can join them from their mobile devices while others will do it from your website via tablets or laptops.
The cross-platform will allow you not to miss any potential interest for your product from the mobile-using part of the population.
Better mobile experience
According to WebFx when it comes to mobile experience:
- 74% of people are more likely to return to a website when it is optimized for mobile.
- 67% of mobile users say they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service when the website is mobile-friendly.
- 61% of consumers have a higher opinion of companies with a positive mobile experience.
- 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of a bad mobile experience.
After the evaluation, it is clear that a big percentage of visits comes from mobile devices but you are not yet ready to produce a full-fledged mobile application? A custom coaching website is easier to adapt for mobiles and will offer your clients the best mobile experience you can achieve before the app-making stage.
❌ Scenarios When a Templated Website is Enough
As we have already got our eyes on the scenarios that lead to creating a custom coaching website, let us mention some cases, when a templated website will be just enough for your business needs.
No expectations in interactions with clients
It all depends on your needs. If the main goal of your website is to present yourself as a coaching expert or to show what services you are offering, a simple WordPress- or Shopify-based landing can do this well. This works in case you are not expecting to add any interactive decisions to your website, such as online lecture courses, video conferences, etc.
Proof of coaching business concept
If you need to test the viability of your idea, a templated coaching website is usually more than enough for this purpose.
Let’s say you have an idea of launching your own online coaching courses on your website. You can invest a lot of resources in custom development right away, or you can create a simple landing page to determine if your audience is interested in what you offer at all. Such research can show you that for this specific need it is not yet time for you to consider making a custom coaching website.
⚙️ Main Features for your Custom Coaching Website Development
As we have already spoken about the absence of limitations, let us dive into the vast variety of features you can consider adding to your website.
📋 Sign Up Menu
We recommend you improving the sign-up experience by adding a possibility for one-click registration via Google or Facebook accounts. This type of sign-up lets your website visitors save some time.
As it was reported that by 2021: an average human’s attention span has shortened to 8 seconds. Thus, it’s important to get users through the sign-up stage as quickly as possible so they don’t waste focus on something nonessential for them.
📑 Content Libraries
In case you are planning to sell courses on your website you need to present them in one place. Thus, your customers will be granted easy access to what you are offering.
We suggest you consider creating a separate page where every course and product you are selling will be displayed. There you can display the full picture of what you are going to teach them:
- Course title & description
- Number of lessons and/or course length
- Format: live online lessons, pre-recorded videos, etc.
- Course cost and service price
- Short presentation of the course
All this and other similar information will help your customers to understand the value of your services and motivate them to become your clients.
🔍 Filtering and Sorting
It is crucial that among all the listed web courses and products on your website your visitors could find exactly what they are looking for in a nick of time.
For this purpose, you should consider implementing search bars and filters in your content libraries. You can provide your users various options to sort your offers such as:
- Sort by Relevance
- Sort by Popularity
- Sort by Rating/Feedback
- Sort by Release Date
- Sort by Price
- Sort by Start Date
📇 Student/Coach profiles
To significantly simplify coaching and learning sessions for both sides, present a student/coach dashboard in a personal cabinet of your website. It will grant you as a coach access to the following features making your interaction easier:
- Interactive schedule and calendar
- Upcoming session reminder
- Information about your latest students
- Access to the testimonials your students wrote regarding the course
- Possibility to leave testimonials about your students’ results
🛠️ Special Features
Here are some special features that you may use to provide your service online.
📷 Video Conferences
It will be much more convenient to implement your own video call platform so that you don't have to deal with a lot of unnecessary information.
Your own platform will let you forget about constant room creation and about managing different connection links when you need to make a quick call with your client.
Also, it gives you opportunities to create any feature you may need that not every conference platform may provide. The ones you may be interested in are:
- Breakout rooms
- Interactive blackboard
- Unlimited recording
- Screen sharing
🔊 Video/Audio player
When it comes to providing professional guides and courses it is more convincing and easier to absorb the information with audio and video materials involved. For you to use these contents properly your platform has to have a good player with basic essential features:
- 5-10 seconds rewind back and forth
- Volume master
- Video speed management (0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x, 1x, ...)
- Continuing any lecture from the moment of your previous stop
📌 File Uploading
A file-uploading feature is a necessity for making your coach-student interactions more convenient. For example, it’s a must-have if your coaching business supposes an interaction with your customer by any of these scenarios:
- students sharing files so you can track their progress;
- you provide some additional information for students’ assignments;
- you provide any extra content during live sessions.
🧩 Quizzes and Tests
In our time different tests and quizzes are the most common ways for a coach or tutor to understand:
- Level of student's knowledge in any topic
- Level of information absorbed after taking a course
- Weak spots that occurred during the learning stage
- Techniques that work the best/the worst on a student's life
While quizzes and tests stay one of the most efficient methods to grant you as a coach access to the direct feedback from your student's mind, we recommend you not to overlook adding these features to your website.
📆 Easy access to coach's schedule and booking
Talking about the stage where your website visitor is already interested in what you offer, you should grant them interactive access to your full schedule along with a contact form. It can be presented as a calendar with available dates for consultations and the possibility for users to book a free spot.
🔗 API integrations
Making an API integration means creating a connection between several applications using their application programming interfaces (APIs) to grant them the ability of mutual data exchanging.
Nowadays, API integration is a necessity for making your website multifunctional, however, you won’t be able to integrate every feature you want. The barrier in this kind of integration is that, unfortunately, not every company makes their APIs free or even just available to use for everyone.
For example, here are some professional websites that let us connect to their contents for free whose services you can link to your professional website:
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Google Maps
As you can see, not in every situation a custom professional website is your go-to, in some cases, it can just be a waste of time and costs since your needs can be completely satisfied by any templated website-builder.
Let's briefly summarize 4 main cases where a custom website is crucial for you to develop:
- Templated websites cannot fulfill your design ideas or are not available to implement some features you need.
- To create custom integrations with professional websites or any backend system you have.
- To synchronize your website with a future or current version of the mobile app.
- To provide your users with the best mobile experience while you don’t have a fully-fledged mobile product.
If you have any questions or need any help with the development of your Custom Coaching Website, let us know. We will be happy to help you meet your business needs with a stunning Web Product!