When to Use a Template Design vs. a Customized Design
Is one better than the other?
As with many questions, the answer depends on the needs of the client. In general, a custom website is built using HTML, CSS, and PHP to give the client full control over design. Top marketing and design firms often offer packages that will provide content and professional photography and videography to keep your custom design up to date. A template, on the other hand, offers hundreds or even thousands of frameworks that can be modified to suit your needs. You are likely to save money up front in exchange for your time and effort. Since templates are just guidelines, you will have to create or purchase all of the content on your site along with ensuring the site is optimized.
What are the benefits of a template design?
Quick and Easy Set-Up
Time is one of the biggest benefits. As long as you already have your content ready to go, a template design can be up and running quite quickly. Don’t forget; content includes videos and images. Template developers understand the templates will need to be functional and not simply aesthetically pleasing. Providers who choose templates to begin their chiropractic websites enter the process with varying levels of web development experience. It is for this reason that templates usually provide creative flexibility. Set-up ensures the site will function, possibly be mobile ready, and usually includes widgets and options to get you online faster.
When starting out, budgets are often tight. A template design runs anywhere from $30-$120. Keep in mind, you will spend time in development as opposed to dollars. Rather than wait an indefinite amount of time until you can afford an online presence, you may want to consider a template design.
What you see is what you get. With a ready-made template, you are choosing from a large number of designs that were created by professional web developers. So, in a way, you have access to high-quality design for a fraction of the price. Keeping your dental marketing strategies in mind when you choose a template will help you decide which template will meet your needs.
Even if you purchase rights to a specific template, you have no way of controlling the number of sites created by that template before your purchase. Hundreds of users may have websites that are virtual clones. Colors and fonts only change a cookie cutter design so much.
- Lack of SEO
Frameworks are just that, frameworks. It is up to you to provide the content and links that will ultimately improve search engine ranking. This lack of search engine optimization may be the difference between someone finding you or your nearest competitor.
Certain adjustments are easy to make within the confines of a template. Is it possible to tweak a template so that it feels like a customized design? Sure, if you have additional coding and web developing experience. Remember, some changes will alter the template so that it doesn’t fit screens properly.
- Additional Software Required
As template design evolves, this may be a moot point. Microsoft Frontpage allows you to customize, edit, and update many basic templates. If you hit a design wall, you will likely find yourself in need of software that requires you to understand coding principals, web building, and photo-editing.
Are there perks associated with customized medical website design?
Search Engines Love It
Medical marketing ideas that begin with a custom medical website design rank higher thanks to built-in customization. Web design professionals use both onsite SEO techniques and offsite techniques to boost rankings. As visitors find your website, activity to and from the site increases. With the sheer number of competitor websites out there, the higher you rank and the more links you acquire sets you up to outshine the competition.
Ongoing Support is Available
Since dedicated web designers and developers take the time to build unique websites, they are more invested in their product than the creator of a template design would be. Website companies like Optimized360 provide ongoing support to their clients. We view it as part of our job to build a site that stays relevant to your target audience over time.
Visitors View You as an Authority in Your Field
First impressions do count. Professionally designed websites stand out from cookie cutter template designs. Visitors make snap judgments based on appearance and functionality of your website, so it is crucial that your website represents the best you have to offer. Custom chiropractic websites provide visitors with a reason to come back for more information and to schedule appointments. When they arrive on a website after performing an online search, they need to see professional quality images and videos. It is also important that your website provides answers to questions they didn’t know they had. When your website takes care of patients before they set foot through your door, it helps establish you as an authority in your field.
Customization Highlights Your Brand
No matter where a prospective patient runs across your name online, your brand should stand out. A customized website allows your brand to stand strong. Investing in a custom site that helps establish your brand is brilliant in terms of medical and dental marketing strategies. Custom websites tend to last longer since they offer ongoing support and are easier to keep updated and relevant. As your brand evolves with time, custom websites also evolve to highlight your brand.
- Potential Delays
Detailed code requirements may challenge a predetermined timeline. With customization, everything is built from the ground up, so there is the potential for specific design requests to take longer than planned. When more than one person is involved in the approval process, this could also cause delays.
- Multiple Revisions
Even when a professional design team is on your side, miscommunication can result in multiple revisions. You will need to invest time during the planning process, so the results you hope for will be delivered. If you do not have a clear picture of your brand and overall design style, a custom design will take more time up front and could cause frustration for all parties.
Customization costs more regardless of the product. A customized website can range from a just over a hundred dollars, well into the thousands. Just like any product, it is wise to shop around to find a website company that will meet your needs within your budget. Optimized360 is one of the few companies that meets you in the middle. They entered the field of website design to specifically meet the needs of dentists, physicians, and a variety of healthcare providers at price points for just about any budget.
How do you decide which route to take?
Take a look at your budget and website goals. Many doctors and dentists who are just starting out want a medical website design up and running quickly, knowing they will customize as they become more established in their practice. If you have the time to devote to a customized design, it will be well worth your initial efforts and cost.