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A Great Dental Website Without a Hefty Price Tag

By September 14, 2021November 28th, 2023No Comments

My Social Practice - Social Media Marketing for Dental & Dental Specialty Practices - great dental website

The Affordable Path to a Great Dental Website

Prepare to rethink what you believe about website design.

In essence, great website design isn’t necessarily about custom design; it’s about exceptional photography. High-quality photography has the power to transform any dental website design into something truly unique.

Sure, there will be specialized dental website companies challenging the fine points of this article, but it’s a conversation that needs to be brought to the forefront.

Historically, dental websites came with staggering price tags – figures like $6,000, $8,000, $10,000, and even $15,000 were not uncommon. But these days of excessively priced dental websites should be a thing of the past. And yet, some website design firms continue to convince dentists that they need to pour thousands upon thousands into a custom dental website.

The reality is, while website design does come with a cost, it should be a far cry from those exorbitant figures of yesteryears.

At My Social Practice, we have reimagined the dental website design process to be more cost-effective. We aim to save our clients thousands of dollars, making professional website design more accessible and affordable to our valued clientele.

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Demystifying Custom Dental Website Design

When it comes to designing a custom dental office website, some common misconceptions can cloud our understanding. One might wonder if custom design involves a special aesthetic, if it necessitates some form of certification, or if only select designers or marketing firms provide custom site designs. However, the reality is different, and the answer to all these questions is a straightforward “No”.

The term “custom design” can often lead dentists to imagine a unique website that stands apart from any other dental website in existence. There’s an assumption that custom website design begins from a blank canvas, involving intensive creative brainstorming, detailed planning, and significant development time. This perception is what leads some dental website companies to charge excessively high fees for development.

The truth of the matter is more practical and approachable. In the contemporary world of website design, even the so-called ‘custom’ designs often begin with pre-designed site. With tens of thousands of pre-designed websites available today, there’s an expansive variety of starting points for unique designs. It’s not about starting from scratch, but about creatively adapting and enhancing pre-designed sites to meet specific requirements.

Therefore, if a designer suggests starting a ‘custom’ website without using a pre-designed site, it might not be the best use of your resources. The modern approach to custom website design blends originality and efficiency, providing individuality without unnecessary costs.

Harnessing the Power of Modern Website Design Tools

The landscape of website design software has evolved considerably, offering new levels of functionality that were previously unthinkable.

Over the past few years, companies like SquareSpace, Wix, and Themeforest have revolutionized the sector with their intuitive website builders. These platforms empower users with no coding skills to create their own websites, making it possible for you to develop an impressive dental website with just a modest budget and some time dedicated to learning the system.

Then there’s WordPress, arguably the most widely used website design tool in the world. WordPress’s open-source code has made it a favorite among countless designers, including many custom website design agencies that employ the WordPress platform or its variations.

Over the last few years, the digital marketplace has seen an influx of professional website designers offering a diverse array of website templates. These templates, far from being generic, cater to hundreds of different industries, including dentistry, and typically cost less than $100. Themeforest, a marketplace for dental website templates, is an excellent resource to explore.

If you spend enough time perusing dental websites, it may start to feel as if you’re seeing the same designs over and over again. That’s because the range of variation in dental website design is surprisingly limited, with most concepts already explored and incorporated into the vast array of available templates.

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Reinventing Great Dental Website Design

There has been a massive amount of research done on consumer online search patterns. Understanding exactly how website visitors interact with your website is a science. There has been as much focus into how people behave on a website as a dentist has on an upper second molar root canal procedure.

And, all of this focused research and information has gone into developing very sophisticated website templates. If you’re out there looking for one of the best dental website designs one that doesn’t look like anything else, you’re off on the wrong foot. It would be like looking for a dentists who can do a full mouth restoration and promises your smile is not going to look like anyone else’s.

There is a reason that dental website designs look similar and it’s because they’ve been developed with a massive amount of research behind them. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 

For example, you don’t want to remove your phone number from the upper right-hand side of your home page. That is the place the people’s eyes are trained to look for a phone number.  If you remove it for aesthetic purposes, you’re not going to impress website visitors with your design, you’re going to frustrate them. A website visitor will stay on your website looking for your phone number for approximately 3-5 seconds. Don’t get caught with the idea that you’re going to come up with something amazing that hasn’t already been done.

Website design and current website templates are backed by massive amounts of research.

Pre-designed Sites are Great Dental Websites

How much easier does it become to decide what you want when you have a visual reference? Using a pre-designed site enables a designer to present the dentist with an initial draft almost instantaneously. Following this, open and quick iterations, coupled with consistent communication, greatly streamline the design process.

In the past, website design used to take months; now, with these methods, it takes mere weeks.

Numerous companies out there, including My Social Practice and Great Dental Websites—a website design company I deeply respect—utilize templates and processes that significantly reduce the development timeframe.

We adopt a flexible design methodology that centers on promptly and continuously delivering a website that aligns with the dental client’s expectations. This approach, when combined with the efficient customization of templates, allows us to drastically lower development costs. Our commitment is to build you an excellent dental website without the hefty price tag.

Design Steps for Building a Great Dental Website

Here’s a delineation of a professional approach to a website design campaign, which can be utilized by various dental professionals, including general dentists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists, endodontists, and oral surgeons:

The process begins when the dental professional collaborates with an experienced website designer, providing examples of top-tier dental websites that align with their vision. In response, the designer conducts a thorough review of hundreds of pre-designed websites, identifying two or three that closely mirror the professional’s aesthetic preferences.

Once these options are presented, the dental professional offers specific feedback, outlining the elements they favor and those they would like to alter. The website designer then modifies the site’s code, effectively tailoring the chosen template to align with the professional’s specifications. In a relatively short span, an initial draft is developed and presented for the client’s assessment. The strategic use of pre-designs and a flexible, iterative development approach enhances efficiency, accelerates the process, and allows for continuous revisions.

Experience shows that a single round of modifications can often advance the website design to about 80-90% of the final goal. A few more iterations based on the client’s feedback will polish the site to its final form, ready to serve its purpose online.

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How You Can Get a Great Dental Website Design

There’s delicate balance when distinguishing between website design and photography. Website design refers to the structural aspects of the site, akin to the frame of a house. This includes considerations such as the size of the header image, the appearance of the footer, the inclusion of images on service pages, the decision to add a blog, the choice to use animations, and the preference for circular or square images, among other factors.

Photography, conversely, is exactly that – photography. While it doesn’t dictate the design of the site, it significantly influences the overall aesthetics.

The prospect of achieving a top-notch dental website for at an extremely low cost is quite feasible. This can be accomplished by selecting an outstanding pre-designed site with professional guidance and then contracting a local photographer for the visual elements.

Pay For Great Photography, Not Custom Website Design

We recommend that dentists and dental marketing managers find a local photographer . Why is a local approach recommended? Because there’s no need to have a dental marketing team flown across the country to take photos and videos. This can inflate the cost of your website development by thousands of dollars, an investment that may not be justified.

Almost any local professional photographer will be equipped with the necessary cameras, lenses, lighting, and sound equipment to create stunning photos and videos. A good starting point for research might be local wedding photographers. Once a suitable professional is identified, they can collaborate with the website designer, who can provide them with a photography and video shot list.

A brief analysis of dental websites will reveal striking similarities. They are typically easy to navigate, appear modern, feature patient reviews, provide calls to action, offer online appointment scheduling, and are optimized for search engines. The overall functionality of these sites tends to be almost identical. It’s the quality of photography that can set a practice apart from the competition.

However, those one or two sites that truly resonate and inspire the desired feeling for a practice’s online presence will likely stand out because of exceptional photography.

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The upshot is this; there isn’t anything custom about websites for dentists apart from custom photography. Invest in a great local photographer.

If they’re local, you can have them come back once a year and shoot a few hundred photos on the cheap. You can update your website photos and use the pictures in your dental social media marketing efforts.

If you require a new dental website, take advantage of our dental website development and get a website for free. You can learn more about that here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make a dental website for free?

Absolutely. Pediatric dental websites don’t have to be expensive to be aesthetically pleasing and functional. Many hosting sites like Squarespace and Wix offer free options if your practice is just getting started. Once you want to level up your website and own your own domain name, you will need to pay a small fee, but even then a great website can be very affordable! And if you don’t want to deal with the logistics at all, leave it up to a dental marketing agency like My Social Practice.

What’s the most important thing to have in a dental website?

The most important aspect of a dental website is functionality. Try this free website grader to find out where your site needs work. 

Your website must be technically sound, up to current standards, and run smoothly. If your website is decades old, contains broken links and images that won’t show up, or is not mobile-friendly, this hurts not only your SEO, but your reputation as a competent practice. Websites for orthodontists and other dental professionals should be functional but also attractive. Be sure to include high-quality photos as well.

How should I design my dental website?

Designing a dental website can be as affordable and simple as you want it to be. The best website design for endodontists, orthodontists, and general dentists involves real photos of yourself and team members, short text blocks, a consistent color scheme, easy-to-find links for contact info, and a mobile-friendly design. Choose a theme, and stick to it. If your website needs a redesign, hiring a dental marketing agency can save you time, money, and a lot of headache.

What is the best color for a dental website?

If you’re deciding on what color to make your dental website, there’s really not one right or wrong answer. Some people associate the color blue with cleanliness, while others associate green with health and nature. Purple is also known to be associated with dental professionals, but as long as you’re consistent, any color scheme will do. Dental website designs often feature a color scheme that relates to a mascot, a symbol, or a theme like tropical, ocean, sports, etc.

What information should a dental website include?

What dental websites should include depends on your specialty, region of practice, and team. However, there are some basic guidelines everyone should follow. Your website should include photos of your team, updated “about us” bios, contact information, a list of services offered, and anything else that sets your practice apart from the competition. It’s also a good idea to include some glowing patient reviews, a list of your practice’s values or goals, and a “book an appointment” tab.

About the Author: Adrian Lefler is the Vice President of My Social Practice. He’s been involved in dental marketing for 13 years. He speaks and trains on digital marketing topics; social media marketingdental websitesreputation managementSEO for dentistsFacebook marketing for dentists, and social paid to advertise. If you’d like to book Adrian or one of the other dental marketing experts, please do so on our dental speakers page.

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