What are you paying for hosting—and are you getting your money’s worth?


4-Step Computer Security Upgrade

Learn to encrypt your files, secure your computer when using public Wi-Fi, enable two-factor authentication, and use good passwords.

Website and e-mail hosting are services for which you can pay a little or a lot with little difference in service. And sometimes you actually get more when you pay less.

For example, I pay $10/month for hosting for my firm website, three blogs (this blog, Caveat Emptor, and Lawyerist), and unlimited e-mail accounts. I get 2 GB of storage—more than I need at the moment—and plenty of bandwidth.

You can find cheaper hosting or more storage for less money, but I like my hosting provider and do not see any reason to move.

On the other end of the spectrum, I know of attorneys who pay $250 per month for hosting from “specialized” hosting providers like LexisNexis/Martindale-Hubbell and Findlaw. These services supposedly offer more traffic, but I am dubious. Basically, they offer a directory listing and a few web site templates, but little else that I can discover.

For about $1,000-2,000, or four to eight months of Martindale hosting, you could instead hire a professional website developer to build a beautiful, dynamic, search-engine optimized, and easy-to-update website, probably with some new stationery to match your new look, as well.

From time to time, take a good, hard look at what you are paying for, and make sure you are getting your money’s worth.


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  • Great article! I paid a reasonable fee (about $7/mo) for my hosting and I can host multiple sites no problem. I also found an affordable designer to help me out!

  • Cliff Lange

    I think the benefit from a company like Lawyers.com is that they invest a ton of money in their own advertising which will lead people to go directly to Lawyers.com and then find your firm there if you are a subscriber. The name Lawyers.com is much like Hotels.com, Cars.com, etc. and I don’t think you can build that kind of name recognition on your own.

  • It’s true that Lawyers.com has something nobody else can offer: the domain lawyers.com. Whether that is worth what they charge is a completely different issue. I don’t think it is.

  • I’m with you Sam. Lawyers.com “hosting” bundles in placement in their lawyer directory and other marketing channels that make it hard to figure out what you’re paying for. To make matters worse, legal research subscriptions are often in the mix and complicate things even more. We are constantly analyzing where web traffic and calls are coming from and find that in many cases, once it’s all averaged out, lawyers.com/findlaw.com often have some of the highest cost-per-click / cost-per-retained-client figures out there. The sales pitch of “well it just takes one or two clients to pay for it” is wrong and out-dated because with that money you can get way more bank for the buck.

    @Cliff Lange: You nailed it, they invest in their advertising and web placement. All the tools and support are out there for lawyers to invest in themselves and turn their websites into a real assets.

  • I have to put in a plug for my host: Squarespace. For just over $12/month I get my own domain name, plenty of bandwidth and storage, free (and fast) technical support, and a fantastic interface that allows me to build or tweak my site in the best WYSIWYG interface I have seen yet. I would really recommend it to anyone who is looking to try to keep costs down on the website production, because it’s easy to build the site yourself, and Squarespace takes care of all the back-end concerns (like search engine optimization, for instance).