Every business needs a website these days. While it's important to have a social media presence, your business's Facebook Page is no substitute for a complete website of your own. In today's connected world, customers are often suspicious of businesses that don't have their own website, and will sometimes think it's not a real business or that it's run by amateurs. Building a website will establish your presence in the virtual world and show professionalism to your customers, and this holds true for all business types including yoga studios.
In addition to making your business seem more professional, a website will also allow you much more freedom than you can have on social media. Layout, colors, and other aspects of branding are under your control, unlike on social media where profiles look mostly the same except for a few images. A website will also help your yoga studio get discovered by more potential students, including brand new visitors who find your site through a search engine.
In this guide, we'll discuss how to build a website for a yoga studio and the most popular tools for doing so.
Your website will serve a few purposes: it needs to help you attract new students, showcase your achievements in your field, and help establish you as an authority on yoga. It also needs to provide visitors with the information they need, whether the viewer is already your student, or looking to become one. In short, your website needs to attract and inform.
To accomplish these goals, your website should have the following features.
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.
Your website should include information that helps visitors decide to become your customers. For a yoga studio, you'll want to present your credentials and a bit of your history to show the value in your lessons. You'll also need general business information like your hours, class schedule, upcoming special events, and more. Instructions for new students, like what to wear and bring, will help them prepare for attendance (and make taking on new students a smoother process as well). Contact information is also crucial for establishing trust. All of this information needs dedicated space on your website, with each topic preferably having its own page for better organization — About Us, Schedule, Instructions, and other topics should all have their own pages.
While the more "permanent" information should have dedicated pages on your website, a blog is ideal for posting news and other updates about your business (even if you also intend to update other parts of your site as well). You can also use your blog to frequently publish interesting, useful articles such as yoga tips, product reviews, and other related information. Customers can find your yoga studio's website via an online search for topics that come up in your blog, and search engines prefer websites with valuable content that updates regularly. A blog is perfect for increasing your SEO ranking.
If you want to sell products on your yoga studio's website, or accept paid online registrations, you'll need to build your website with eCommerce software that includes features like product pages and a shopping cart. Products to sell on a yoga website can include mats, exercise gear, apparel, and anything else you deem appropriate for your brand.
Now that you know the essentials for your website, let's look at your options for building it. Fortunately, since websites have become vital for businesses everywhere, a variety of tools have been developed to allow you to create your site without needing to understand HTML or other code. A basic grasp of HTML and CSS will always help you, but it's usually not necessary.
The wide selection of available website-building tools can also make it harder to decide which one to use, and it's easy for a new website owner to get overwhelmed. Worse, if you choose carelessly, you can sink a great deal of time into building your website only to discover you may have chosen the wrong platform — for example, you could finish most of your site and then be ready to add an online store, only to discover severe limitations that prevent you from doing what you'd envisioned. This is why you should research website builders before you proceed.
We'll help you get started! Here are 5 of the best platforms for a yoga studio website. We're going to summarize each one, but keep in mind that most yoga studios are going to need similar features (like class scheduling and customer registration management), so the most popular yoga studio software will all include similar features. The difference lies in the specific way these features work and how the interface looks, as well as any more advanced functionality — and of course, pricing. Most of these variables come down to your personal preference, the needs of your business, and your budget.
Another important consideration is that not all yoga studio software solutions include a website builder, with some being intended to integrate with an existing website. Others are meant for use with only a specific website provider. Keep this in mind, as if you're looking to add features to an existing website, you'll want to avoid choosing software that won't integrate with it.
Enough introductions — let's get on to our selections of the best yoga studio software!
Glofox is a great solution for adding schedule management, customer registrations and membership, payment processing, and other features needed by a yoga studio. There's even a customized mobile app your students can download to receive push notifications, make payments, register, and more. The biggest downsides of Glofox are the purely quote-based pricing (making it hard to budget without contacting them first), and the fact that you'll need to embed their features into an existing website. The embedding code may not work well with all platforms and doesn't appear fully responsive, so mobile visitors will need to download the app on their device.
WellnessLiving provides a robust solution for yoga studios that need scheduling tools, customer registration and membership management, marketing tools, and more. It offers similar features to Glofox (including a mobile app) with some additional functionality covering more advanced business features, like payroll. The company also maintains a directory of yoga studios using its software. You can add its customer-facing features to your existing website via widgets. WellnessLiving also has basic eCommerce functionality for selling products, but it's a much more limited online store platform than you'd get if you used dedicated eCommerce software like Shift4Shop or Shopify.
EZFacility is another great option for a yoga studio and includes similar tools to the other solutions we're comparing here, including advanced functionality like an attendance tracker, Smartwaiver integration, and more. EZFacility is packed with features for yoga studios of all sizes and also offers an integrated website provider called 97Display, so it might work for you if you need to start from scratch on a website. However, pricing is invisible and you'll need to request information to find out how much the website will cost you. Template designs and other included website features are also short on information.
Vagaro includes all the essentials like customer registration and memberships, class scheduling, a calendar, and more — plus advanced reporting, marketing features, and a mobile app. It also includes basic shopping cart functionality for selling products, but like WellnessLiving, this is a more limited type of online store than you'd get with a full-fledged eCommerce platform. Some of the best features of Vagaro include the ability for students to register through Yelp and Facebook, but what really makes it stand out is its livestream integration. This lets you create virtual classes that customers can attend from around the world.
Acuity Scheduling is a scheduling app developed by Squarespace. It has fewer built-in tools, but integrates with more outside software (e.g. MailChimp for email marketing and Zapier for thousands of other app connections). Pricing is also much more straightforward than the other solutions we've covered, being available on their website. Although Acuity Scheduling is owned by Squarespace, you don't need to have a Squarespace website to use Acuity, and can integrate it on an existing site.
As you've seen, some of the available yoga studio software comes with basic functionality for selling products. We've also mentioned that the built-in shopping cart features aren't as good as those available in a dedicated eCommerce platform, meaning you should use different software to run your online store. Now we're going to cover the best solution for selling products on your yoga studio website: Shift4Shop.
Shift4Shop is the most feature-rich eCommerce software available today, and has been leading the industry since 1997. While other software like Shopify is also popular, Shift4Shop provides more freedom and is more cost-effective than Shopify. This is because Shift4Shop doesn't have the limits Shopify does (such as the number of options like color and size you can have on a single product), and includes many more features than Shopify so you won't have to pay extra for third-party apps just to get necessary functionality. 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. You can also select from over 160 payment integrations covering everything from credit cards to ACH to digital wallets and even Bitcoin — and beyond. And further differentiating us from Shopify, we don't charge extra transaction fees on your sales, regardless of which payment providers you use.