We get a lot of questions about the differences between using templates vs. using custom designed websites. So for this blog post, we thought it would be a good idea to break down the differences between dental website templates and custom dental websites. When considering which path to take for your next website, consider the pros and cons of template vs. custom.
Templates (or themes) vs. custom website design
Let’s start by explaining what exactly a template or theme is. A dental website template is a pre-designed set of web pages that is ready to go “out-of-the-box.”
What constitutes a template and how can I tell the difference?
Templates can be built using standard HTML/CSS or they can also be built for content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress. Think of picking out a template in the same manner as buying a new car. When you walk into a Jeep dealership for instance, you know that a Jeep Grand Cherokee will have many different color options, wheel options, interior packages etc. But the model (or template) is still the Jeep Grand Cherokee. You can then tell the car dealer that you would like this model with options “X-Y-Z.” The same is typically true of website templates. Each template should be customizable to include color variations, different layouts or options and special features. Template customizations can be made very quickly and set live much faster than custom web designs.
Quick and easy are generally not terms used to describe custom web design and development. Custom design generally involves building something from the ground up. This is why custom websites are more expensive to build and maintain. Every change and edit goes through a longer production process than with templates.
Why custom WordPress themes are great for dentists
So what are these themes I speak of? A theme is a term used to describe WordPress CMS templates. WordPress templates are referred to as themes because it better embodies what these templates actually represent. Themes tend to have many more design layouts, with more options and built-in functionality. Themes are much more customizable, to the point that 2 websites using the same theme can look nothing like one another.
1. Themes are more cost effective
Because our themes are already pre-developed, the cost of customization and implementation is much less than custom development. By designing a WordPress theme once and using it for multiple doctors, we can spread the cost of development across multiple clients. This allows for a more cost effective end product than if a dentist were to pay for custom development all by themselves.
2. Themes are fully customizable
Just because we are using a theme, does not mean that every client’s website will look the same. This couldn’t be further from the truth actually. As mentioned above, all themes have multiple layouts, various homepage sliders or images and completely custom color swapping. At Elevate DDS, we fully customize every client website with personal photography, color schemes, content and office photos. We also won’t work with more than one dental client per city, so our clients will never have to worry about having a similar site as a competitor.
3. They are quick and easy to update / change
WordPress is also much easier for dentists to use than most other platforms. WordPress is by far the most used content management system on the planet and probably the most used web platform period. It’s estimated that 25% of all websites globally use WordPress (source). It is the most used platform because it is the easiest to use platform. Dentists or office managers can add blog posts and edit pages with ease on WordPress CMS. Of course, if you never want to touch it, Elevate DDS will always offer instant updates for FREE.
At Elevate DDS we use responsive design when building both custom designs and WordPress themes. Because of this, we only have to make an update or change on one platform and the change renders on all mobile, tablet and desktop devices instantly. Whereas with separate mobile websites, you would have to make the change multiple times on the different website versions.
4. Elevate DDS themes are SEO & conversion optimized
All of the themes that we design and develop are SEO optimized out of the box. We then spend countless hours optimizing them for search engines and usability. This involves tweaking each theme several times to make them more user friendly. In the end we have tightly designed themes that rank well in search engines, and convert visitors to new patients.
Elevate DDS dental website templates
If you’re interested in a tour of the administrative panel or dashboard of any theme, we would be glad to walk you through it. We can also explain in detail our process of design and how we can elevate your business!
Contact us today: (888) 300-8994