In the past few decades, it's become crucial for every business to have a website. Social media accounts are also important, but having a Facebook Page and Instagram account won't provide the full benefits of a website, since even with the easy access and communication of social media, customers are still often suspicious of a business that doesn't have a website of its own. After all, a website shows that the business has made a commitment toward building a brand, and many experienced online customers feel that a business that hasn't made this effort is probably not a real business. Creating a website is a step toward professionalism and trust for all types of businesses, including personal trainers.
Besides the establishment of trust, a website also provides you with much more freedom than social media platforms will allow. Rather than having limited control over your profile — usually only the ability to add a profile picture, banner, and other minor branding — a website can be fully customized to reflect your brand and its ideals in every way. Full branding in this manner will help you stand out in the minds of customers and assist in communicating your ideals to potential clients. A website also gives you more opportunity to be discovered by people looking for the services you offer, especially through search engines like Google.
In this guide, we'll explain the needs of a personal trainer website and how to build one, along with the most popular tools for doing so.
To understand what your website needs, you first have to understand its purpose. Your site will serve to attract new students, put the spotlight on your achievements and education, and help establish you as an authority in your field. These are all important for your branding, but don't forget that your website also needs to provide visitors with the information they're looking for, whether they're already a client of yours or a potential one. To summarize, the purpose of your website is to attract and inform.
The following features will help your website accomplish these goals.
News articles and blogs begin with an image to catch the reader's eye and provide an establishing shot for the content of the article. For websites, the idea is similar — by greeting the viewer with an image, you're immediately capturing their interest and giving them a sense of what your site is about. Prospective students will want to know what your studio space is like and what kind of atmosphere they can expect, so use plenty of well-composed photos showing the highlights of the studio and classes in session. A carousel or slider on your homepage is a great way to display multiple photos.
Since one of the primary purposes of your website is to inform, you'll want to include all the details a visitor would need to become your client. This includes both the "how" and the "why" — how to contact you, and why you're the best choice. Make sure your website includes contact information, details about scheduling, frequently asked questions about your training, and everything else that can help a new client set up and prepare for their first session with you. As for the "why," you understand that as a personal trainer, the physical health of your clients becomes part of your responsibility. Include your credentials, testimonials, and other supporting information to let your potential clients know why they can trust you to help them with their fitness goals.
Some information on your website is unlikely to change, or at least will only need to be updated in special circumstances, such as relocating your business to another address. While static information like your location, contact info, and credentials should have its own dedicated pages on your website (About Us, Contact, etc.), the best way to update your site with news and other interesting content is via a blog. Besides news about your business, you can also post interesting and useful articles like product reviews (e.g. for exercise equipment), training tips, healthy recipes, and more. This will help your current clients, who already trust you for this type of advice, and can also attract new visitors who find your content through a search engine. Regularly updating your website with unique, valuable content is a crucial part of SEO.
As a personal trainer, you may want to sell products on your website that relate to the services you provide — for example, nutritional supplements, fitness equipment, or apparel. You may also want to allow clients to register through your site or purchase gift certificates. In this case, you'll want to build your website with eCommerce software that includes features like product pages and a shopping cart.
We've gone over the essentials for your website, so let's take a closer look at the tools you can use to build it. Thankfully, the growing popularity of eCommerce has led to the development of numerous easy-to-use platforms for creating a website without needing to understand code. Of course, if you do understand some HTML and CSS, it will help, but it's not required.
While the large number of available website builders means plenty of options for you, it can also make it harder to choose. This can also be stressful, especially if you're aware how strongly your early choice can affect your website in the future. All too often, a business owner creates a website using a popular tool, only to find out later that it's missing crucial functionality that prevents them from reaching their goals or building the site they'd envisioned.
That's where research comes in, and we're here to help you get started with 5 of the best platforms for a personal trainer website. We'll cover each one with a short summary, but keep in mind that many of them are going to have similar features to help meet the needs most personal trainer websites have, like registration and scheduling management. For software that includes a similar list of features, the main differences are going to be how it works, how it looks and feels to use, pricing, and any advanced functionality. In most cases, the software you use will come down to your personal preferences and budget.
You should also be aware that most personal trainer software doesn't come with a website builder, meaning you'll need to use a different platform to create the website itself. Keep this in mind so you don't end up choosing software that won't integrate with the website builder you want to use.
Now, let's check out our selections of the best personal trainer software!
My PT Hub is a powerful software and mobile app combination that includes tons of features personal trainers need most. You can create programs, workouts, classes, nutrition plans, and more, and accept online payments for your services. A live chat module makes it easy to keep in touch with your clients, and you can even hold remote classes through a livestreaming feature. Pricing is straightforward (visible on their website, rather than requiring you to contact them for a quote), but naturally there are limits on the lower-tier plan. My PT Hub does not have a website builder but can be integrated into an existing website.
TrueCoach is strongly focused on streamlining the process of bringing multiple fitness resources to your clients. Like My PT Hub, it includes both online software and a mobile app, with many similar features. TrueCoach also puts a little more emphasis on monitoring your clients' progress and keeping them accountable through compliance and nutrition tracking, which helps you coach them effectively. It also has live chat, branded video uploading, and more. Pricing is openly available on the website although limits exist in every plan. Unfortunately, TrueCoach doesn't seem to integrate directly with websites, instead requiring you to add new clients manually after getting their contact information (and permission) through other means.
Upper Hand is another solution that includes a mobile app for your clients, as well as many features similar to those in My PT Hub and TrueCoach. The main difference is that Upper Hand focuses more on scheduling, registration, and marketing. It includes a smart booking module to help ease schedule creation, which some users prefer for its easy-to-use interface. Upper Hand also has its own payment module for both online and face-to-face payments. It does offer limited website and online store creation, but it's much more expensive than other software (especially if you want the plan that includes eCommerce).
PT Distinction also offers similar features to other software on this page, but focuses more on automation to help you run your business more smoothly — for example, you can automate the creation of training packages for sale on your website. You can also offer a fully branded mobile app that integrates with FitBit and other tracking tools, communicate with customers easily, and more. Pricing is straightforward and about average for personal trainer software, although to unlock custom branding for your app and integration into your own website, you'll need to upgrade your plan.
PTminder is our 5th selection, but don't take this to mean it's not as good as the others we've covered. It offers powerful functionality that makes it a solid competitor to other personal trainer software. Online payments, virtual bookings, and remote workouts are all included, as is a mobile app for your customers — but custom branding for your app will cost extra, regardless of the plan you choose. Pricing is straightforward, if not the most affordable, and you can integrate PTminder into your website (although you'll need a bit more HTML knowledge than you would with some solutions).
Our examples have shown that most personal trainer software is focused more on selling classes and providing resources to your clients, with only rudimentary support for selling products (if this functionality is offered at all). If you want to open an online store on your site, you're better off going with a dedicated eCommerce platform. Your best choice here is Shift4Shop.
Shift4Shop has been leading the eCommerce industry since 1997 and offers the most feature-rich online store software available today. While popular alternatives exist, like Shopify, 3dcart is more flexible and cost-effective. This is because Shift4Shop doesn't have the limits Shopify does (such as a cap on the number of options like size or color you can have on a single product), and includes many more features so you won't need to shore up missing functionality with paid third-party apps. And even better for your budget — with Shift4Shop, you can access a completely free plan that includes all our features (a $229+ per month value) if you use Shift4 Payments as your payment processor. Shift4 Payments sets up in minutes and allows you to accept credit cards and several popular alternate payment types. Shift4Shop also integrates with over 160 payment processors, so you can accept everything from credit cards to Amazon Pay to Bitcoin and more. We also don't charge extra transaction fees on your sales no matter which payment processor you use, which is another advantage over Shopify.