If you are thinking about getting your first web site for your law practice (or even looking to redesign it), you may be asking yourself this question: Why pay big bucks for a website management system when a viable, free alternative exists? Why not use WordPress?
Where do I begin in saying, No!
WordPress is not a free option for your web site and shouldn’t be looked upon as such. If you go with the free version, you get what you pay for. That said, here are some specific reasons why you shouldn’t.
1. Your Web Site Won’t Stand Out
The free version of WordPress offers lots of templates and themes to choose from. However, those same templates and themes are available to every other law firm looking for a “free” web site. You will be one of the many firms with a site that features a gavel, scales of justice, and a wall of law books.
The only solution to this is to pay a designer to develop a custom WordPress theme. But the, the site is no longer free, is it?
2. You Need Lots of Plugins to Get What You Need
Design and written content are only the beginning when it comes to what you will need from your web site. You will need other features that are added to a WordPress site through things like plugins. These are separate programs that “plug in” to your site to add additional functionality. You will need them to
- Build forms for visitors to fill out to get into your marketing list
- Integrate with your Contact Relationship Management (CRM) platform (like Keap or MailChimp)
- Block Spam and provide security
3. Plug-Ins Can Cause Problems with Your Site
Although there are literally thousands of plugins to choose from that do all sorts of things for your site, they vary widely in compatibility and quality. They can:
- Degrade site performance and download speed (something Google watches closely)
- Create security problems for you (you are a law firm dealing in confidentiality) if they aren’t constantly updated.
- Fail to work properly with your template
4. You Have Better Uses of Your Time
In addition to wrangling plugins, making sure they are secure, compatible, and updated, WordPress also needs to be updated regularly (just like your other software and operating system) in order to be at its best. Do you want to be in charge of that?
Do you really want to spend all that time doing that just to have a “free” web site? Shouldn’t you be practicing law and making money? So no matter what, you will have to pay someone to maintain your site for you.
5. WordPress Really Isn’t Free
So as you can see, that “free” web site isn’t all that free because in order for it to be effective for you, you will have to:
- Pay for a designer to create a custom theme and template, so that your site stands out
- Pay for someone to oversee your site to make sure all your plugins are updated, secure, and compatible with your theme
- Pay someone to make sure that WordPress itself is updated
- Pay someone to make sure that your site is optimized from an SEO standpoint and works well with the constant changes Google makes to their algorithm, so that you continue to be found in the search results
So What’s The Better Solution?
There are lots of companies that can design a distinctive, powerful, secure, and feature-rich for your law firm. Many of them specialize in law firm web sites. You can go with whatever company you wish (as long as they don’t use WordPress, SquareSpace, or one of these other canned site platforms), but I would recommend Foster Web Marketing in Arlington, Virginia. They are a strategic partner of mine and have been handling my web site for over 10 years! They offer a free web site analysis, so what do you have to lose?
If you already have a great web site that integrates well with your CRM and want to take it to the next level, then give me a call at 856-345-9699 or e-mail me to schedule a free, no obligation phone call.