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Custom WordPress Website or Template Website?

Custom WordPress Website or Template Website?

The most important things to be sure of when creating a website are great content, intuitive navigation, website usability, fast loading and SEO friendly.

But which to choose –  a template website or a custom website? Here are a few things to think about …


Templates, or “Themes” as WordPress calls them (we build WordPress websites here at Dayzign) are increasingly popular because they are less expensive and faster to build.  The colors, layout and features are ready-to-go, and we add your own content and graphics to make it your own. There are many attractive themes out there, you just have to be sure the one you choose meets current web standards, is responsive, editable and SEO friendly. At Dayzign we generally suggest several themes to our clients to choose from, so we can be sure we start with a good product from the get go. Themed websites are great if your budget is lower, or you just need a “business card” website, and your functional needs are lower.

A website template is perfect for a nonprofit like the Ridgway Fire Department

A website template is perfect for a nonprofit like the Ridgway Fire Department

Personalizing your website theme

With so many folks using templates today, a lot of website designs are starting to look the same. If you’re going to go the route of a website template, be sure to personalize it with custom graphics to distinguish your brand and make it enjoyable for your viewers. We can create a great custom header that goes a long way in capturing your viewers’ attention, and add it into your template. This will HIGHLY distinguish your look from everyone else. Of course your logo design is a big part of that. We can also add some cool fonts for EXTRA pizzaaz!

Dayzign created a custom header and logo, along with using fun fonts on the Axel Project template

Dayzign created a custom header and logo, along with using fun fonts on the Axel Project template

Dayzign created a custom header and logo, along with using fun fonts on the Axel Project template


If your branding is intact and you don’t want to compromise that or your requirements for your website, then a custom website is the way to go. Additionally, if you have a lot of content and architecture, or want greater flexibility with your design and functions, then a custom website is also the way to go.

Greater design control

Most recently, we have been thrilled to work on several different custom websites for various departments at Northern Arizona University. With a custom site design, NAU can have complete control over the entire page layout. This is important to the University because they need to integrate university-wide design elements such as the header, footer, fonts and colors.

Fun features where and when they want them

Guess what? One of the benefits of WordPress is the many “plugins” or add-on features that can be popped into your wordpress site. From fun social media plugins to blog feeds to weather updates, music playlists and many, many, MANY more, you can make your website interesting to viewers by adding on great features. That’s the beauty of WordPress. For NAU, we’ve included such features as Event Booking, Social Feeds, Photo Galleries and more. If a custom design and greater control is important to you, then a custom website is the way to go. It’s fun to be able to have your website design at your fingertips and work with Dayzign to create the features you want, the way you want.

Whether you’re up for a WordPress Theme or a Custom Site, give us a call to discuss your project: 970-275-5186 or email Kellie.

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NEW Ouray Hot Springs Website Makes a Splash

NEW Ouray Hot Springs Website Makes a Splash

 Splish splash! The Ouray Hot Springs is promoting not just itself, but the Ouray area.

Much like the Ouray Ice Park, the Hot Springs understood that by promoting the Ouray area, the springs itself would increase visitors.

Through a newly designed wordpress website, Dayzign Graphics developed the components that were important to the Hot Springs. This included a Call to Action on each page, driving visitors to site goals, along with links to the Ouray Chamber and the Ouray Resort Association.

A Seasonal Experience

An interior page on the Ouray Hot Springs website, newly designed by Dayzign Graphics

An interior page on the Ouray Hot Springs website

It was also important to the City (the Hot Springs are a city entity), to highlight the rich history of the area, and the different experiences visitors have in summer vs. winter. For example, summers are busy, colorful and more family-oriented. Winters can be quite, steamy, and even romantic.

What Functionality Do You Need in a Website?

The Hot Springs needed not only an attractive website, but one that allowed online swim lesson registration and employment application. Dayzign’s developers incorporated an event sign-up component that allows visitors to register their children for different swim lessons, check availability, and pay online.

Job postings are listed through a separate plugin, where potential applicants can view job descriptions and fill out secure online applications. Job availability can be turned on or off by the Hot Springs.

A Site That’s Easy to Edit

As always, our clients can edit their own site, through the wordpress dashboard.

If you haven’t experience the amazing Ouray Hot Springs and the view that goes with it –  you can take a peek on the new website here.

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Maya Nut – A Website with a Library

Maya Nut – A Website with a Library

Maya Nut Institute is a gem that empowers women in Latin America economically and nutritionally through harvesting an ancient nut known as the Maya Nut.

Founder Erika Vohman learned about the Maya Nut while visiting Guatemala on an animal rescue mission in the 90’s. The Maya Nut tree is an ancient staple of Latin America, but long forgotten.

An interior page of the Maya Nut Institute website

An interior page of the Maya Nut Institute website

Vohman’s organization supports women to produce and distribute Maya Nut as a means for nutritional and economical sustenance.

A Website with a Library

Dayzign Graphics was the lucky firm chosen to develop a new website for the Institute this year. The undertaking was large due partly to an extensive, open- access library of documents and photos collected or written by Vohman. Students and researchers from all over the world can access the new library, with over 300 documents written by Spanish and English scientists.

The Language Component

The site also needed to be bi-lingual. Thus a wordpress feature was installed that allows each page to have a Spanish version. Viewers can click back and forth between English and Spanish pages as desired. The feature also detects the primary language of the user’s computer, and automatically displays the website in their native language.

A Design that Fits

The colorful, bright design gives a jungle feel with green bird and plant graphics. A media section chronicles CNN and other videos from around the world, on the Institute and the Maya Nut.

The Maya Nut Institute has created substantial Programs that include Reforestation, Children’s lunch programs, and Green Ranching, and many more, which are organized in an intuitive navigation.

Needless to say, Erika Vohman has made incredible accomplishments in young her life to date, helping many people and countries of Latin America.

You can enjoy reading more about the Maya Nut Institute here.

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Flagstaff Snowshoe Company – Running it Right

Flagstaff Snowshoe Company – Running it Right

The new Kahtoola Home page, with the San Francisco Peaks in the background

The new Kahtoola Home page, with the San Francisco Peaks in the background


Kahtoola sets a  business example by doing good things, supporting the environment, and keeping it as local as possible.

Handcrafting many of their products in house, and deeply tied to their geographical region, Kahtoola’s snowshoes, hiking crampons and Microspikes are a proud product to work with.

Looking to sculpt the company’s brand even more locally, and gain greater hands on with their website, the Kahtoola team came to Dayzign Graphics for their new online image. Keeping it locally tied with Flagstaff’s prominent San Francisco Peaks in the background, Dayzign sculpted a clean look that shows off stunning product photos, in use in our southwest mountainous region.

What was important to Kahtoola?

The "mega-navigation" gives viewers quick access to all products and enough info to make a quick decision on where they want to go

The “mega-navigation” gives viewers quick access to all products and enough info to make a quick decision on where they want to go

In order for viewers to gain quick access to the variety of products, Dayzign suggested a “mega-navigation”. On rollover, instead of the typical page listings of typical drop down menus, photos of each product are shown, with price and key info. This allows viewers to make a quick decision about where they’d like to go, without having to navigate through pages.

Responsive/Mobile-Friendly Design

Our partner SOF Inc of Durango worked diligently with Kathoola to get their site to look as appealing as possible on a variety of mobile devices, including phones and tablets. Although sites get bumped around from screen size to screen size, SOF incorporated parameters to keep the site looking clean in all formats.

Online shopping that ties into company software

As with all of our wordpress sites, shopping carts can be readily integrated. In this case, Kahtoola wanted to tie their online shopping into their in-house accounting.  Working together as a team with a variety of players, from custom design to final product, Kahtoola  has the business flow, information and look they wanted. Shopping pages feature great product photography,  tabbed tech specs, reviews, and “how-to” videos, along with other suggested products.

Bells and Whistles?

Lots of other great features went into this site to give Kahtoola exactly what they wanted. From a Dealer-only log in, to Pro-sales forms, a media “Clip Book”  and blog, Kahtoola now has greater access to updating their site, the look they desire, and a updated shopping flow. With wordpress, the site will be easily updatable and technologically current for  years to come.

If you’re looking for mountain footwear that travels well from rock to ice to snow, or just something stellar to slip on for an icy driveway, we highly recommend checking out Kahtoola.

Thanks to John Burcham and Paul Berg for their excellent photography and touch up!

To inquire about your new website design and build, email Kellie at Dayzign Graphics, or call (970)275-5186

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Energetics: One Woman Grows a Natural Healing Business

Energetics: One Woman Grows a Natural Healing Business

Carmen Tucker shows how its possible to blossom, and just keep growing.

Sharing valuable content is a key component to building  business through your website. Make your reader’s lives better, and they’re likely to return – and therefore more likely to become a loyal customer.

Carmen Tucker is doing just that. Her natural healing business has taken a turn out of her home and into the world wide web. Dayzign created a website for the business where Carmen can grow her customer base by sharing valuable content in her new Resources section.

Along with a “Health Tips Blog”, where Carmen can share natural healing advice, Dayzign created a Resource section of the website where Carmen can share videos, books, websites and other health resources she finds valuable. All of these tools are easily integrated into her WordPress site, and serve to reinforce her clientele.

Carmen came to Dayzign with a simple business card that she loved. We took the colors and sunflower image and built the visual brand for her website – bright and cheerful, just like Carmen!

If you’d like to explore an alternative healing practice, visit Energetics and take a look at what Carmen has to offer. Her energy alone will inspire you!

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NAU News

NAU News

NAU news website, designed by Dayzign GraphicsThe  new NAU News site allows several key departments to feed news articles into one succinct site.

Following University branding guidelines, Dayzign took the client’s requests and built one snazzy site, all editable by the news department staff and students.

Website highlights include:

  • An attractive and highly organized design that’s in sync with the rest of NAU’s sites.
  • Featured writers such as the University President and guest columnists share their thoughts in regular columns.
  • A Home page slide show brings attention to important articles  – all clickable to the full articles.
  • Google photostream is fed into a snapshot view, clickable to larger photos.
  • Each department, such as “Campus & Community”, “Faculty & Staff”, “Athletics” and more, has their own blog page where are articles are automatically archived.
  • Campus & Community Events Calendars
  • Subscribe option
  • The NAU News site is tied in with the entire NAU University site, via a consistent header and footer that leads to the main University links.

Dayzign Graphics designed the site based on the needs of the News Department, and their desire to update the entire site from one office.

All of the above elements were organized with precision and built on a WordPress platform, making this site in sync with the main NAU website, and easily searchable.

Thanks to NAU for the opportunity to work with such a great team! Click here to see the new NAU News site!

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