Website Development CycleThis is the first post in my series on how to choose between various website options available to lawyers. I recently participated in a discussion through the Lawyer on G+ Google Plus community which dealt with the merits of different website options available to lawyers. Given the interest attorneys displayed in the topic I decided to write this series.

Picking the right option for your site is crucially important to your law firm’s marketing. How and by whom your site is built will have a huge impact on search performance which, in turn, impacts the success of your practice. This series will look at options for building a website yourself as well as companies you can employ to construct your online presence. After gauging feedback as to what options attorneys wanted reviewed, and after having paid attention to what platforms many attorneys use, I’ll be reviewing the following services:

  • WordPress
  • Blogger
  • Findlaw
  • Justia
  • Scorpion Web Design

Obviously which of these services is best for your firm is going to be somewhat dependent on your situation. The criteria by which we’ll rank these services should account for different circumstances of various lawyers and law firms. This series will consist of an individual article regarding each service and will provide an article on “other services to consider.” I’ll wrap it up with a discussion about which services are appropriate for which circumstances.

Why picking the right website option matters to your firm

Attorney discovering SEOPicking the right website option will directly impact the success of your law office. When I started my family law practice in 2006 I found that many of the other family law attorneys in Las Vegas didn’t even have a website yet. A firm’s website could be less than stellar during that time frame while still rising to the top of search due to a lack of competition. In today’s world your site needs high all-around quality if you want your online marketing to succeed.

As I mentioned in my discussion as to why SEO matters for lawyers, your site needs to perform well from a technological standpoint, and have high quality content, if it is going to do well in Google searches. Obviously the do-it-yourself platform that you pick or the service you employ will be the key factor in how your site performs on a technological basis. If you are employing a service then the level of content assistance they provide will also be important to your performance in search results.

Factors attorneys should consider when choosing a website service

Every option I review in this series will be measured by the same criteria. We’ll be looking at “real world” situations regarding what attorneys want from a web service and will do our reviews based on the following:

  • Cost
  • Ease of use
  • Potential of the platform or service for search engine optimization
  • How well suited the platform seems to be for the quickly changing web environment, including the new and different devices that are being used to search and view web pages

At the end of each review I’ll give my thoughts on that particular platform and service in areas such as quality and what use cases it may be appropriate for. What website platform or service do you currently use with your firm? Are you happy with it? Why so? Feel free to chime in through the comment form below.