Content Management Systems and Dental Practices
A Content Management System is the platform and code that controls and runs approximately 9 out of the 10 of the world’s websites. There are many reasons why Practices Managers use Content Management Systems (CMS) to run their website, but the most common ones are those that are simple to use - even for the technically challenged - and put the owner of the site in control.
Benefits of CMS Integration
Integration today between software through dental practices today can totally transform the way that the practice runs, interacts with patients and markets themselves.
- It can streamline authoring processes, as website can be updated remotely and by multiple users
- It ensures consistency in the appearance; the look and design of the site, and makes changes in design manageable
- Eliminates the need for professional developers for simple updates: non-technical staff can be trained to make them; which means reduced costs
- Auto scheduling of updates can be implemented
- Archiving can be used for storage of old content for reuse or referencing
- Content management is simple to stay current
- Optimisation of website content for search engines and mobile view.
- Marketing can be automated to improve patient engagement and satisfaction
- Ability to integrate with other applications like CRMS and financial software.
How to Determine the Right CMS Tool for your Practice
Before we look at what are the most common, there are considerations that you will need to factor in if you are considering upgrading or transitioning to a new system. While this is not the main objective of this article, we thought it would be something that we should include for context.
Cost & Support
Factor in value for money rather than going cheap. Best practice these days are online programs for a monthly fee, that actually have back up and upgrades included in the fee. You only pay for parts of the software you need, and there’s no need for onsite IT and tech specialists as they often come with online training and support to get you started and keep you running.
Integration & Flexibility
Most systems today ‘talk’ to each other through integration. What you need to consider here is what you require to minimise data entry, and maximise data integrity. You should also think about moving ahead and if the software you are using is flexible enough to link with other systems and modules for business growth.
Will the software you acquire and use have the ability to assist you in your practice management; will it integrate with modules to manage digital imaging, 3D charting and other specific technical practices as well as manage your administrative processes and communications.
What are the Most Common CMS
The 2 front runners for dental practitioners in Sydney are Wordpress and Squarespace.
Fundamentally, Squarespace allows creation without coding skills, while WordPress gives those with technical skills more freedom in design and functionality. Both create stunning websites. Like any businesses, dental practices are different too; the way you engage patients and manage your social media marketing should also be a consideration when deciding what’s best for your practice.
There are 2 types of Wordpress websites. WordPress.com is a hosted platform, with limited flexibility but you they host and supply a domain name.
Wordpress.org has more flexibility, but you will have to register your own domain name and find a host for your website once it’s built. While there is a bit of learning involved this is the most popular. You can see comparisons of the two in this infographic.
When we talk about flexibility we mean customisation, plug-ins and access to all it’s features to build the site exactly how you want it to look and behave. Think of it like buying a home (you can do what you want) versus renting (limited alterations with rules applying.) For both options, some coding knowledge may be required, but not absolutely necessary. According to Wordpress themselves, in 2019 they were hosting a third of the top websites in the world.
Squarespace has the highest quality designer templates on the market. It’s drop and drag ability also makes it the most user friendly. You don’t need to know the code, but the option is there if you want it.
It’s hosted for you so you don’t need to worry about updates or paying hosting fees, it’s included in the cost. You have a 30 day trial period to build your site before the fees kick in when your site goes live.
Wordpress Vs Squarespace
While Squarespace is a typical drop and drag website builder, it takes care of complex design and functionalities, so you can get creative. WordPress is a CMS that has more in-depth functions than a general builder, so you can be more technical for customisation. There are many comparative sites for these two, so you’ll need to do your homework.
Some Other Options Outside of the Big Guns
WIX is an up and comer, but might be suited to smaller practices. It’s easy to use and it’s been making improvements in regards to it’s SEO features, but for major design and functionality changes, a developer would be recommended.
Joomla!, although it rose in popularity for health practices, had some major issues with hacking problems. It’s plug-in issues are similar to the ones in WordPress.com, and it’s also difficult to use without experience. However, Joomla! is the second most common CMS in the world for websites (outside of Dental Practices) because of its functionality and versatility. It requires the purchase of a custom domain and hosting for setup.
Drupal became popular as it’s versatile and is good for large complicated and varied types of websites. It’s difficult rating is HUGE - not for beginners by any stretch - you’ll need a developer to handle it.
Concrete5 is similar to Drupal in that it can be used to create complicated, versatile yet customised websites. It’s advantage is that it has an inline editing interface, making it easy to change content etc. It also has all the frameworks for security, menus, SEO and other tools for optimisation of your site.
How Can Skypoynt Help?
At Skypoynt we can recommend best practices and help you make your decisions based on your business model through our Software Stack Assessment. That’s what we do; help you integrate your systems for optimisation and sustainable growth for your business.
“We’re here to make the web a better (more human) place” is our motto, to streamline your processes, so you can get down to business.