Whether you are a personal trainer or just a fitness buff like us, you NEED a website to stay current and relevant in today’s rapidly growing fitness industry.
Sure, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are all useful in establishing a personal brand and for marketing your content or training services, but you still need a website to funnel all that traffic to so you can maintain communication long term.
Importance of a Dedicated Website
Websites, although not as “viral” as social media, are critical today for growing your business in the long run.
Social media sites and apps are generally considered marketing medium, meaning they are great for promoting yourself as a personal trainer or gym owner.
However, after leaving your Instagram or Facebook page people are liable to forget your name.
Furthermore, managing business inquiries via Facebook chat or direct messages is far from the most efficient or professional way to run a business.
By creating your own website you can use it as a central hub for collecting all potential client leads. Think of your website as your “home base”.
With a website you can also:
- Publish news and educational blog posts for your readers
- Publish your training schedule
- Get emails for a newsletter
- Collect payments
- Create a community or forum for your clients
- Link up all your social media accounts
- Establish yourself as a reputable business
Needless to say, all professional personal trainers in 2018 should have their own website. While it may sound a bit daunting, creating your own website isn’t actually all that difficult.
Building Your Personal Trainer Website
You basically have two options when it comes to building your own PT website or gym site. The first is to outsource the work to a web design agency. The second is to do it yourself.
Outsourcing may sound like a practical solution but unless you have a local friend, can become quite cost prohibitive quite quickly.
With WordPress, a complete website builder designed for laymen, you don’t really need to be paying hourly rates to a designed to have a professional, functional PT site.
There is WordPress.org and WordPress.com. It is important to know the difference.
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform for amateur bloggers, similar to Tumblr or Blogspot.
WordPress.org is a open self-hosted website management solution for serious bloggers and small businesses.
You want WordPress.org for your personal trainer website.
The first step now is choosing hosting which is where your website is “stored” so to speak.
Choosing a Hosting Provider
Choosing a hosting provider is a lot like trying to buy a used car: if you’re on a budget and just randomly searching you are bound to get confused.
If you Google “best web hosting” you will find endless conflicting reviews and service comparisons. A lot of these reviews focus solely on price.
However, like car shopping, you get what you pay for with hosting, so it makes sense to evaluate other criteria, like reliability, scalability and customer service.
Having run the Skinny Yoked blog for over 3 years now, along with a few other non-fitness related blogs, I’ve tried a bunch of different hosting providers.
A few that I do NOT recommend, based largely off of very poor customer service are:
- A Small Orange
While cheap, the above hosting providers either nickel and dimed me whenever I had an issue or needed help, or they simply didn’t reply to support requests, OR their support staff were incompetent.
After endless searching and trial and error testing, I eventually found Peopleshost.
Why do I use, love, and recommend Peopleshost to everyone who asks? Because they provide best in class customer support.
Sure, their prices are extremely fair, they offer scalable hosting solutions, they offer free SSL (https vs http) for your site, and many other great services, but what I love most is their customer service.
Unlike most hosting companies they don’t seem to offshore their support. Every time I contact them via their instant Livechat function I feel as if I’m talking to a highly skilled, professional American tech wizard. They always solve my problem, and often for free.
So, when setting up your personal trainer website or fitness blog save yourself the hassle and just go with Peopleshost. They are the best hosting solution for beginners bar none.
Choosing a WordPress Theme
Once you have your hosing sorted out, you can then install WordPress (.org, NOT .com!) on your hosting account. WordPress is the “framework” of your website, the foundation so to speak.
Now you need walls, a roof and all the interior work that makes a website look attractive!
The design and function of your WordPress site is dictated by which WordPress theme you use.
There are hundreds of thousands of different themes out there that come in all sorts of configurations for all sorts of specialized uses.
There are themes for banks, themes for e-commerce companies, themes for plumbers and of course, themes designed specifically for personal trainers and gym owners.
If you are building a website for your gym things are pretty simple as pretty much any “business” focused theme will work.
If you are are building a personal trainer website though you will need to be a little more picky as you’ll need more functionality than that of just a corporate website.
We’ve sorted through the thousands of fitness-specific web designs for WordPress and found what we feel provide the best mix of quality and value for dollar.
Best Personal Trainer Themes 2018
(Note: these are not listed in any particular order, they are all quality. Also, if you do purchase one of the recommended themes I earn a small referral commission. This does not impact the price on your end, it is simply how companies reward loyal customers.)
1. JustFit by Mythemeshop
For the first 2.5 years of Skinny Yoked’s life I used the WordX theme from Mythemeshop. Since the focus of this particular blog is to share articles and not promote training the WordX blog worked perfectly.
Mythemeshop has however created a theme specifically designed for fitness-focused clients. Called “JustFit” the theme comes fully loaded with all the features a personal trainer or gym owner could need.
The JustFit theme comes with a whole bunch of pre-determined layouts built-in so you don’t have to worry if you aren’t good with web design or configuration, you simply install the demo and swap out the words and images and you’re ready to rock!
They have pre-built layouts specifically for:
- Personal Trainer sites
- Nutrition sites
- Yoga sites
- Gym/Business sites
- Fitness blogs
- Fitness/Nutrition e-commerce stores
Besides the nicely designed, industry-specific theme, I love Mythemeshop for their ease-of-use, especially for beginners.
The backend controls are always intuitive and simple to use so you can spend less time configuring your site and more time promoting it.
I’ve been a happy paying customer of Mythemeshop for over 4 years and have owned 3 of their themes (Writer, WordX and Socially Viral). You can’t go wrong with these guys.
2. Wellness Pro By Studiopress
Sudiopress has become famous amongst website DIY types because of their legendary Genesis Framework.
Genesis is a proven dependable, highly customizable underlying theme framework that is both fast and easily customizable.
The ease of customization is what makes this theme so powerful as it can be adapted and changed depending on your individual needs.
For example, you can start out now with a small personal site and apply a different child theme later if you happen to grow into a bigger business.
Studiopress also has one of the easiest to use and intuitive interfaces within the theme ecosystem, which is saying a lot.
With their drag-and-drop page builders and logical backend, all Studiopress themes are very beginner friendly, while sporting all the features and options of more complicated themes.
The Wellness Pro product is a “child theme” of the Genesis Framework. This means it’s built off the lightweight and powerful Genesis frame, but has also been customized specifically for health and fitness professionals.
Minimalist and image heavy, this theme is best for nutrition-oriented businesses, health bloggers and fitness branding. The greatest strength of the Wellness Pro theme is it’s customization options.
This theme is a little more complicated than Mythemeshop’s JustFit, but still much easier to use than other less reputable themes.
3. Symetrio Theme from ThemeForest
The Symetrio theme is the best selling fitness-specific theme on Theme Forest, which is the world’s largest online theme repository.
This means this theme has not only outsold hundreds of other fitness themes it is also earned the highest average review from people who have purchased it.
One look at Symetrio and it is easy to understand why it is so popular.
The theme comes with custom, pre-built layouts for a wide variety of fitness-specific business types, including:
- Personal training
- Hardcore gyms
- Marathon events
- Martial arts studios
- Simple/Boutique gyms
- Extreme events (think ToughMudder and MudRunner)
The coolest part of this theme is it has both built-in Paypal support, so you can invoice and collect your monthly payments from your clients as well as a built in calendar for scheduling training!
On top of all of these trainer-specific functions you still have the same WordPress core, which means you can integrate with other services via WordPress plugins for collecting emails, for selling merchandise, or for creating things like forums or members-only sections.
When theme shopping it pays to have a “go with the flock” mentality, as this means the product is generally robust and well-received.
Being popular also means there is an active support community where you can ask questions and get help with configuring your site.
Non-Wordpress Pre-Hosted Solutions
If all of the above WordPress talk about hosting, child-themes and configuration panels scares you and you just want to buy a one-stop solution, there are companies that can help you out.
We are currently looking into these out-of-the-box ready to go web platforms and will update this post with our findings once we have identified an alternative to WordPress we believe in.
So there you have it, the best WordPress themes for health-specific businesses. Whether you are a yoga instructor, pilates fiend, bodybuilding bro, or just the average run-of-the-mill nutrition nut, there is a website solution to suit you.
The most important takeaway from this post though should not be which solution is best, it should be that you need a solution.
A trainer or instructor or blogger without a website lacks legitimacy in today’s competitive marketplace.
Don’t let fear hold you back, there are plenty of simple, easy-to-use solutions out there and with a little research and a little patience you can get a professional looking website up in no time.
After completing your website the sky is the limit in terms of promoting it, growing it, and ultimately taking your personal business, whether it be training or blogging, to the next professional level.
If you have any questions about the solutions recommended above, or have your own solution that you think deserves mentioning, let us know in the comments below, we’re looking forward to hearing from you!