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GP6 – GP Website Development

Setting Up a WordPress Site for GP Practices Using the Nightingale Template and NHS Blocks

Creating a user-friendly and professional website is crucial for any General Practitioner (GP) practice. It helps in maintaining effective communication with patients, providing essential information, and streamlining administrative tasks. WordPress, a popular content management system, offers a variety of themes and plugins that can cater to the specific needs of healthcare providers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a WordPress site for GP practices using the Nightingale template and NHS Blocks.

Whitegrape Solutions have developed a 6 step process to help your practice create the required site for their patients – GP6!

We follow the standards and the requirments set out by NHS england to help you to deliver a userfriendly and informative site for your patients

https://www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/creating-a-highly-usable-and-accessible-gp-website-for-patients

Step 1: Setting Up WordPress

1.1. Choose a Hosting Provider

Select a reliable hosting provider that offers good uptime, security, and customer support. Some popular options include Bluehost, SiteGround, and WP Engine. Once you’ve chosen a provider, sign up for a plan that suits your needs

1.2. Install WordPress

Most hosting providers offer a one-click WordPress installation process. Follow the instructions provided by your host to install WordPress on your domain.

1.3. Basic Configuration

After installation, log in to your WordPress dashboard (usually found at yourdomain.com/wp-admin). Complete the basic setup by configuring the site title, tagline, and other general settings.

Step 2: Install the Nightingale Theme

2.1. Download the Theme

The Nightingale theme is specifically designed for NHS and healthcare websites. Download the Nightingale theme from the WordPress theme repository.

2.2. Install and Activate the Theme

  • Navigate to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Click Add New and search for “Nightingale”.
  • Click Install and then Activate.

2.3. Customize the Theme

  • Go to Appearance > Customize to start tailoring the Nightingale theme to your GP practice.
  • Customize the colors, typography, and layout to align with your practice’s branding and NHS guidelines.

Step 3: Install NHS Blocks Plugin

3.1. Install the Plugin

The NHS Blocks plugin adds custom Gutenberg blocks designed for NHS websites, making it easier to create structured and compliant content.

  • Go to Plugins > Add New and search for “NHS Blocks”.
  • Click Install Now and then Activate.

3.2. Using NHS Blocks

  • Create or edit a page/post where you want to use NHS Blocks.
  • Click the + icon in the Gutenberg editor to add a new block.
  • Search for NHS Blocks and choose the appropriate block (e.g., Service List, Staff Profiles, Alert Notices).

Step 4: Essential Pages and Content

4.1. Home Page

  • Use NHS Blocks to highlight important announcements, services, and contact information.
  • Include a clear navigation menu to help visitors find information quickly.

4.2. About Us

  • Introduce your practice, including details about your team, mission, and values.
  • Use the Staff Profiles block to showcase your medical professionals.

4.3. Services

  • Create a comprehensive list of services offered by your practice.
  • Utilize the Service List block to present the information clearly.

4.4. Contact Page

  • Provide contact details, opening hours, and a map.
  • Include a contact form using a plugin like Contact Form 7 for easy patient inquiries.

4.5. Patient Information

  • Create a section for patient resources such as appointment booking, prescriptions, and health advice.
  • Use relevant NHS Blocks to format the information.

Step 5: Additional Customisations and Plugins

5.1. SEO Optimization

  • Install an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO to optimize your content for search engines.
  • Follow SEO best practices to improve your site’s visibility.

5.2. Security and Backup

  • Enhance your site’s security with plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri.
  • Set up regular backups using a plugin like UpdraftPlus to protect your data.

5.3. Performance Optimization

  • Use a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache to speed up your site.
  • Optimize images with a plugin like Smush for faster load times.

Step 6: Launch Your Site

Before launching, review your site thoroughly to ensure all content is accurate, links are working, and the design is polished. Once satisfied, announce the launch to your patients through various channels such as email, social media, and in-practice notices.

Conclusion

Setting up a WordPress site for your GP practice using the Nightingale theme and NHS Blocks is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your practice’s online presence. By following this guide, you’ll create a professional, compliant, and user-friendly website that meets the needs of your patients and supports your practice’s operations.

If you need any advice, or you would like Whitegrape Solutions to create your GP site, contact us for a quote.

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