Thursday Medical Tip: Plugins vs. WordPress Themes

Do you know the difference between WordPress themes and WordPress plugins? When should your medical practice website use a theme vs. the use of a plugin to solve a problem or add functionality?

Today, I hope to clear the confusion that you may have.

WordPress Themes vs. Plugins: What is the Difference?

People are often confused about the different purpose between the two. It’s easy to see why the confusion arises since daily it seems, newer themes are including functions that are typically associated with plugins.

Inspect all the features that a theme has when selecting one in WordPress. If you are starting a new website or revamping an old one,    knowing  WordPress themes vs. plugins is key.



  • Themes give the “look” or appearance of your site. This would include the design, layout, color schemes, and  templates.
  • Plugins provide your website with additional functions. While WordPress provides many functions,  plugins enable you to do even more with your website.



There are times when using a theme with built-in functions makes sense for you. However  if you change themes down the line, then you will have to make sure your new theme also has that function, or solve that function with a plugin.

One of the biggest advantages WordPress offers is its scalability. It can evolve as your practice and website grows.  There may be great themes available but I suggest using themes to give your website the appearance and feel that’s right for you, with plugins to make it function the way you want!


WordPress is wonderfully flexible by adding/changing themes and plugins, which were meant to perform different functions. See this post on the 6 things to ask yourself before picking a WordPress theme

A big downside of a using a theme function that should be the job of a plugin, is that you can’t change the theme later without losing these functions. For example: let’s say your theme has some event calendaring functions and you already entered/collected some important data using those functions. Well, if you decide to switch that theme later, you might just lose all that… But if you were simply using a stand alone plugin to handle the event calendaring instead, switching themes should not create an issue for you.

Check out Divi which is part of Elegant themes.
It is both a WordPress Theme and Visual Page Builder using an intuitive editor that updates and designs instantly whenever changes are made.   It is customizable for fonts, colors and sizing. As a matter of fact, Divi is the first WordPress page builder to offer a truly customizable interface. It adjusts interface elements to compliment your screen and your content with 46 content elements to choose from.


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