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Starting a website that would connect animal therapists in the UK

Written by Dana Breen
Last updated Jul 24, 2021
Helen and dogs

Helen Leach

Line of Work

Holistic Animal Therapist

Helen’s Gifts

The Holistic Pet Directory is a totally new way for pet owners to find the holistic help they need for their pet. Simply enter your location, type of pet and the service you are looking for and the Directory provides a selection of local practitioners to choose from. Plus, you get customer reviews and clear explanations of the services available. Giving pet owners confidence in the services they use.

Key outcomes

Once Helen set up her basic business website, Vicky taught her how to expand it. She learned how to look at other pieces of software, like plugins, to spot which ones were good and which ones to avoid. This was key for her project because it was more than just a straightforward website. It had to have a members area, a shop, a directory with a map, and a way to rate the various businesses. Helen found that once she understood the mindset of WordPress, she could bring any piece of software that she wanted into the project.

“I know a lot of people get very panicked with technology, especially with something that’s perceived to be a monster like WordPress. But the way that Vicki breaks it down makes it seem very straightforward. It’s very easy. I felt so comfortable and Vicky gave me the confidence that I could do anything with my website.”

When I first came up with the idea and realized that I was going to have to do it myself, I was absolutely scared witless. This is something I’ve never done before. I hate computers. I could just about use Microsoft and that was it. So the prospect of being able to build a website was completely daunting.

But now I’ve got to the stage where I actually help other animal therapists build their own websites. I don’t train them like Vicki does. If they want to learn, I send them all to Vicky, but if they just want a website quickly made up, I provide my services for them, which is something I never actually imagined I’d ever be doing.”

Summary

Helen is a holistic animal therapist, offering services like canine sports massage, animal Reiki, and natural food remedies to help improve the lives of our animal friends.

She had the idea to start a website that would help other animal therapists in the UK connect with clients by sharing what they do and how they can help.

When a web developer friend told her he was too busy to take on the project, Helen had the crazy idea that she would build it herself.

After finding Vicky on Facebook, Helen signed up for the free Confident Website Creation Challenge and put the basics of a website together in five days.

She discovered Vicky’s process was so simple to follow, and she enjoyed it so much, that she signed up for Rock That Website immediately after to complete the remainder of the site.

Holistic Pet directory - Homepage page
Holistic Pet directory - Articles page

Challenge

Helen’s idea for the website was complex.

She wanted it to be like TripAdvisor where someone could list their business, get verified, and then collect reviews from clients and colleagues.

She wanted it to be map-based, so potential clients could search their local area for available practitioners. At the time, she didn’t realize how big a monster this little idea of hers would be!

Her biggest challenge was knowing where to start. She had heard that WordPress websites were very complicated, huge endeavors.

She needed to be shown basic stepping stones of how to build a website. That’s exactly what she found with Vicky in Rock That Website.

Solution

When her friend was too busy to help build the site, Helen decided it would be a lot easier for her to do it herself. She could build exactly how she wanted it.

She would actually understand how to update, change and edit the site, as well as fix any errors or bugs. She wanted it done to her schedule rather than being held to somebody else’s.

She was ready to empower herself with her own website and a thorough understanding of it. Initially, the thought was very frightening.

But having gone through Rock That Website with the help of Vicky and her group of peers, she realizes it’s not scary at all.

 

Holistic Pet directory - contact page
Holistic Pet directory - about us page

Outcome

Rock That Website gave Helen all the foundational steps to set up her website. She learned how to think about content and branding. She learned how to choose the software she wanted to use to build her directory.

She also learned tools to expand the website beyond basic functionality so it could facilitate all the many ideas Helen had to help other practitioners of holistic animal wellness.

Even though the website was not complete at the end of Rock That Website, Helen pressed on to complete her vision.

She would sometimes reach out to Vicky for an expert opinion, and with the skills she had learned in the course, she felt confident doing her own research and trying new technologies. Her hard work paid off.

Helen’s site has recently been nominated as a finalist for the Animal Star Awards in the UK.

I found Vicky was helpful, open, friendly, and full of so many hints and tips. If you had a question, she would have an answer. If you wanted to bring in an extra feature she would always have a piece of software to recommend. We also had a community within Facebook where we could share experiences and help each other. If someone got stuck,you had a community to help you. It was very friendly and it felt very easy.”

If you’re coming from a background of very little technological know-how, especially with computers,it can be daunting to even consider building a website, let alone a website on WordPress. Helen says that working with Vicky took all those worries away.

Vicky leads you by the hand through the whole process. At the end of the course, you will have a website that works, you’re proud of, and that you have full control over. There’s nothing more empowering than that!

If you want to accelerate your own website journey, side-step all the tech meltdowns, and create your own  client-attracting website from scratch, join my Rock That Website. You’ll get a proven step-by-step roadmap to build your own successful site with confidence.

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