Sarah Hartsell
By Sarah Hartsell |
IN Technology IN Back End IN Case Studies IN Wordpress IN Development |

Speed & Scalability: Building Phreesia's Custom WordPress Theme


We love working with Phreesia, a company that helps healthcare facilities manage patient intake information. Since 2005, we have been hosting and maintaining their website, making sure it is secure, reliable, and up-to-date.

But we also care about their website performance. We know how important it is for a software company to have a fast and user-friendly website that showcases their products and services. That’s why we decided to take on the challenge of creating a custom WordPress theme for Phreesia, using our expertise and experience in web design and custom WordPress development.

In this case study, we’ll share with you the story behind how we built a custom WordPress theme for Phreesia, what challenges we faced along the way, and what benefits they gained from our work. We’ll also show you some examples of how the new theme looks and functions on their website. You’ll be amazed by the difference it makes!

Project Goals: Efficiency, Scalability, Accuracy

We had a big challenge to overcome when we started working on this project: the Phreesia site was built using drag and drop or WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) tools. These tools are great for some projects, but they are not very good for creating a site structure that is as big and complex as Phreesia’s. These tools added extra elements that were not needed to make the website look nice, but they also made the website load slower.

Another goal of this project was to make the site work with Gutenberg, the new (at the time) WordPress block-based editor. Phreesia’s site already used blocks well, but we wanted to make them even better written, more clear, and more reusable from a development point of view. This would make the project easier to scale and allow for more content growth in the future.

Besides these goals of efficiency and accuracy, our main priority was creating a theme that the client could easily change and build on in the future. We wanted to give them more flexibility and control over their website design and functionality.

Building from Scratch: What Went Into Our Custom WordPress Development

With a project of this size, our best approach was to start with an essentially blank canvas and build to Phreesia’s specifications. We began with a boilerplate WordPress theme and created everything from scratch, including image carousels, responsive image blocks, large dynamic menus, cards, buttons, navigation bars, and nearly everything else included on the site. While building each of these components, we questioned where and how we could make improvements to the Phreesia site, aiming to create a reliable, sleek, and scalable site. 

To save time and keep the project running as smoothly as possible, we used a few helpful tools and plugins along the way, including:

We used these tools and plugins to create a custom WordPress theme for Phreesia that was tailored to their specific needs and preferences. We wanted to make sure that the theme was not only beautiful and functional, but also fast, secure, and responsive. We also wanted to make the theme easy to update and maintain in the future.

Project Takeaways: How Our Custom Theme Made a Difference

During the creation and implementation of this new theme, we were able to build trust with the Phreesia team, collaborate well, and work together to learn and utilize best practices. Though the Phreesia team had a different approach to writing code, we provided training and direction to help them understand our process and to ensure that they can use best practices when making any future changes. 

Our experience working with Phreesia helped us to realize that we should implement standard training for all of our clients to make sure that once our work on their site is finished, they will be able to effectively take over the project, make changes in the future, and follow all best practices for their sites. 

This project also revealed the importance of building to an organization’s unique specifications. One size does not fit all, and we were proud to have created a custom theme that best suited Phreesia’s needs and that they can continue to build upon for years to come. 

Are you looking for a team that understands and builds for your organization’s unique needs? Reach out to us today, and let’s build something incredible together, and be on the lookout for part two, where we go more in depth about each of the four tools we used.


Let’s talk.

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