WordPress for Law Firm Websites

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Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

Choosing how your law firm website will be developed is critically important to how effective it is likely to be. As anyone who has searched for law firm website development options knows, there are an overwhelming number of options from which to choose. Time and time again, we find ourselves recommending WordPress.

If you have never heard of it, WordPress is open-source web software. It is one of the most versatile, easy-to-use, and feature-rich web platforms out there. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.

Before we dive in, there’s an important distinction to understand between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. The WordPress I’m referring to in this article is WordPress.org.

More and more people, businesses, and news organizations have chosen WordPress for their websites. Even Lawyerist is built on WordPress!

There are literally thousands of plugins and free themes available to build a professional law firm website. Here are some reasons to consider WordPress for your law firm:

  • You own it. You will never be held hostage to using a proprietary system.
  • Easy-to-use. Creating a new websites including pages, sections, and blog posts requires absolutely no programming background. Further, you can manage your content and site updates on your own. Waiting days or weeks for a web developer to make site updates is simply unacceptable in today’s real-time web environment.
  • Community support. WordPress has a huge community of developers that provide excellent support and a vast repository of plugins and themes from which to choose.
  • Free. Did I mention that it’s free to use? The only costs involved are domain registration, hosting, and any premium customizations that you choose (i.e. custom themes and premium plugins).

Getting started with WordPress is as easy as it gets. Find a reliable web hosting company (I like hostgator.com), download & Install WordPress, select a theme, and start creating the pages and features of your website.

WordPress makes creating new pages very easy. Some basic sections that you should consider for your law firm website include:

  • Attorney Profile Pages
  • Practice Area Pages
  • Contact Pages

With regard to search engine-friendliness, the WordPress architecture is one of the very best. In fact, Google’s chief fighter of web spam uses WordPress. In an nutshell, the software handles most of the major technical seo aspects. And of course, if there is a technical seo feature that doesn’t exist out of the box, there is most certainly a plugin for it. On my last check, there were over 700 WordPress SEO plugins. The all-in-one-seo plugin is a good fit for most basic users looking for some simple on-page optimizations. I also recommend checking out Yoast’s WordPress SEO Guide.

My most negative observation about WordPress is that its versatility may be overwhelming for some users. We have received many inquiries from legal professionals for basic WordPress consulting. These requests range from simply setting up the software on their host, to theme and feature advice, to full-scale website designs, implementation, and custom theme consulting.

Obviously, the web needs of law firms vary wildly. Some firms are looking for basic website and blog solutions. Others want very high-end custom designs and features. The amazing thing about WordPress is that it can satisfy the needs of firms at both ends of the spectrum.

If you’re looking for some more information about using wordpress, I suggest looking here:

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  • Tim Baran

    Very informative overview, Gyi. Couldn’t agree more about WordPress as a website/blog platform. After testing out many of the others I’m a believer. Law firms, especially solo practices and small offices need to know that it doesn’t cost much to get started. However, I think a common concern is security. Any thoughts on that?

  • Hi Tim, thanks for commenting. I think the wordpress security is largely an overreaction. That being said, security in general should be a top priority. There are several steps webmasters can take for extra wordpress security: http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress

    There are also several security plugins that can further tighten wordpress security. In my opinion, if you follow the wordpress recommendations, you’ll avoid the most common security issues.

    In addition to taking reasonable security measures, the best protection against getting hacked is to do full backups of your database and your wordpress installation files.

    Webmasters should also use Google Webmaster Tools to periodically check for malware, etc. that could be lurking in the cyber-depths.

  • Hi!
    Thanks for the timely info on WordPress, as I plan to commit time to blogging. My website is built on ExpressionEngine and I think this is robust and flexible enough to use rather than import a WordPress blog, but thought I’d run it by you…Any experience w/Expression Engine for blogging purposes?
    Thanks!

    • Sorry, but I’ve never even heard of ExpressionEngine.

      • I haven’t worked with express much, but I understand that it’s released under a commercial license and, according their site, the least expensive option is $99.

        Several premium theme developers that we follow build for express engine.

        I can say one way or another which would be a better option for you without knowing a little bit more about what your project entails and what your experience level is.

  • I’m a big proponent of WordPress for law firms. I use it for my site. I’ll have to take another look at the hardening article on the Codex, which is an awesome resource too.

  • agreed on WP for law firm website, but perhaps i should note that I use it as a CMS (content management system) as opposed to a blog – by setting the homepage to a dedicated page, not just showing blogs – and having the navigation display pages, not posts – a blog can be integrated by putting up a dedicated page for a blog and having posts displayed there.

  • I love wp and think it is a very practical and easy to use way to get your ideas and services out on the web. Lawyers many times are tech-adverse but WP is so easy to use that a 6th grader could use it.

    • Ace

      “averse”