Creating a website is easier than it’s ever been before. Modern websites are CMS tools. CMS stands for content management system. And, it means what it sounds like: you pick your template, you add content — usually text, pictures and videos. The most popular website creation module online (WordPress) has a free option. Other products are also free, or cheap.
Ancillary costs related to the ownership of a website are not going to break the bank or your back, either. Domain names can be purchased for about $10/year, and can be scheduled for automatic renewal. Costs for website hosting (how your website gets published online) are around $10/month. And, that’s about all you need.
That all sounds simple, and it is; but, there are some other considerations related to website design, that may (and probably should) lead you down the path of having someone else design yours.
First, when you’re starting a practice, it makes sense to focus your time on converting your existing network to your new brand and performing the best possible work for your new clients. If you’re experienced in building a website, it’s gonna be a frustrating drag on your time. Assuming you finalize the content quickly enough — which is always the biggest issue for completing and publishing a law firm website — your new website will be published in short order, if you’re using a reputable vendor. Second, you’re not likely to have the up-to-date skill set to be able to optimize your website for SEO/SEM, and you may want a vendor to manage that for you, as well. Third, managing updates to themes and plug-ins can be a pain; and, contracting with a vendor will allow you to offload that responsibility. Fourth, if you’re using a specific theme to build your law firm website, there’s a bunch of other business who will be using the same theme, such that having a vendor code and build a website just for you will differentiate you from the crowd. If you do choose a vendor to work with, just make sure to buy and renew your own domain name, because unscrupulous vendors will attempt to buy it for you, and then to sell it back to you at an exorbitant rate before releasing you from a contract.
Your website should be the hub of all of your online activity, and to where you funnel all your clients. Make sure you take the time to do it right or hire right, to get the best online home you can.
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If you want to start your own law firm, join me for an exclusive workshop, coming up in Boston (August 24-26) and New York (September 7-9).
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