Starting up your own law firm isn’t for everyone. In my case, I was happy I did. Starting my own law firm had many appealing aspects: more independence, more time and flexibility, and more control over work. For me, this was the opportunity for me to do exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.
As time is rapidly changing and everyone is turning to technology to look up searches, it it extremely crucial to, evolve with the times and build an online presence. Yellow pages? The last time I saw one of those advertising books was during my high school days. Even if you are not interested in the law firm website design process, the truth is, it is still necessary for you to get a website. I know I needed a website but didn’t know where to start and who to trust. In order to become successful, I had to do extensive research on my part. Looking it up on Google alone definitely would not have cut it. I know many of you are in my same shoes so I’m dedicating some time to provide some background about how I began my law firm with the help of finding a good law firm website design company to help market my start-up.
While researching online, some issues caught my attention that made me really want to hone down on some qualities that separate what makes a good law firm website design company good and what makes it bad. If you are going to spend, invest in something worthwhile that will drive your business, not put it in the dumps.
As a start-up, budget and expenses were my main concerns. I called and inquired with an exhausting number of website design companies who claimed they were the “best”. Not only were these companies confusing on their pricing plans and renewal agreements, some were willing to charge me an extraordinary amount of $10,000 in addition to monthly maintenance fees! How absurd is that? Not only do I not have that kind of money to blow, I knew I would be paying for all kinds of unnecessary features. Then I found some law firm website design companies that were on the extreme opposite. These website design companies offered their affordable and “cheap” price around a few hundred dollars to develop a website. I thought, wow that’s ideal for me – start a website and stay on my budget. To my disappointment, when I visited their portfolios I was immediately turned off by how cheap looking and unprofessional their websites looked. Since looking for a law firm website design company took more than a click, I’ve compiled some important components that distinguishes the good from the bad from the ugly. Hopefully some of this advice will be helpful and will save you some time!
All good law firm website design companies should:
– have an experienced team of specialized website designers to help brand your start-up
– have a reliable content management system to build and update the website
– have client testimonials to showcase their satisfaction in company services
– excellent customer support service. Running my start-up firm in itself will keep me busy. A good support team should keep me headache free if I have any questions or concerns about my website.
– charge on a one time basis without the extra fees to access the unnecessary bells and whistles.
And well, what if they possess all these qualities but you’re still unsure you ask? That brings me to some bad qualities you should especially be on the look out for. I believe a website should always bring a good return of investment so spending extra money doesn’t mean it’s going to be better.
The bad law firm website design companies:
– includes a contract that forces you to pay an overpriced rate for a law firm website design on a monthly basis. Contracts just flash a big red flag in my face. It simply limits my control in what I want.
– locks you down to pay for renewal agreements, maintenance fees, and unnecessary features after the initial launching of the website.
– is able to deliver a decent website design layout but still can’t get away from the cookie cutter design elements. This means your website will lack the uniqueness that it truly needs to help separate your firm from others!
– shows poor SEO track records that give your law firm a slim chance to rank at the top of major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
As for start-up solo practitioners like me, be extremely careful and cautious. Remember, you DON’T have to pay the most expensive fee for a great website. Bottom line is: don’t get suckered into (over)paying for a bad template-looking website!
And finally…what separates the bad from the ugly. The ugly law firm website design companies are pretty self explanatory. No matter how much you pay for the website – or even if it’s free! – the ugly will make your firm appear “unprofessional”, “out-dated”, and “inexperienced”. Yep, these words would scare me away too, let alone the potential clients who are coming to your website looking for the opposite. Building an online presence is important for solo practitioners but just going with ANY website design company for this matter could be harmful for your business in the end.
In the legal industry, first impressions are extremely important and should be considered when building a website. If the website design is difficult to read, hard to navigate through, or poorly signposted, your visitors will not hesitate to go elsewhere.
Ugly law firm website design companies would consist of:
– bad formatting of text and text that is too small to read
– excess usage of generic graphics. Things found in clip art like Lady Justice or gavels are overused and cheesy!
– multiple items that blink or animate – again, it’s cheesy and way too distracting
– poor color combination of text and background that make the text hard to read
– orphan pages that do not link back to where they came from and have no identification
The list can go on and on, but the main point to get across is that law firm websites should look clean and professional. Don’t let an ugly website design company act like a parasite and harm your business. I did my part on researching for a law firm website design company suitable for my needs and urge you to do the same while keeping some advice in mind. I was lucky enough to have stumbled upon LawPromo during my search and I can definitely say they are a law firm web designer who actually understands the elements of social media and what makes a good web design. Their company impressed me based on their design skills, SEO capabilities and boasted customer service.