For eight years, we have been finding the best examples of law firm website design from numerous nominations. Our selection criteria include best practices for website design, basic search engine optimization, and website security.
Here are the top ten for 2017:
The Top Ten Best Law Firm Websites, 2017 Edition
Firm name: Yeti Law
Location: Toronto, ON
Practice areas: Business services, real estate, and estate planning
We liked the way this firm used its website to communicate a strong narrative theme.
About the Best Law Firm Websites
The best websites are designed to be responsive. In 2017, people look at websites on computers, tablets, and phones, and we look for websites that adjust their layout to the screen on which they are displayed. Non-responsive websites are non-starters.
The best websites follow search engine optimization guidelines. While we can't do a detailed SEO comparison of 200+ websites, one of the most basic elements of SEO is the homepage <title> tag. If it showed no evidence of customization (i.e., it was left as the default "Home" or "Home — Law Firm, LLC"), we removed the website from contention.
Interstitial pop-ups that block the website are bad for users and for SEO. We didn't specifically remove websites from contention if they had an interstitial pop-up, but it's clear from the scores that law firm websites with pop-ups are at a serious disadvantage.
Finally, websites collect information about visitors, with and without their knowledge, which is why law firm websites in particular should be secured with SSL. About 18% of this year's nominees were secured with SSL. We didn't give these websites a boost, but it's encouraging to see law firm websites taking security seriously. Unfortunately, two websites were improperly configured for SSL, which is probably worse than not using it at all.
For next year, we plan to take website accessibility into account. According to the US Census, nearly 1 in 5 Americans has a disability, and it is safe to assume many of them hire lawyers for many of the same reasons the other 4 in 5 Americans do. Unless a law firm intends to exclude 20% of potential clients, it should be accessible.
Last year we said it felt like law firm websites had reached a tipping point, and the 2017 nominees bear that out. While not all the websites can make the top ten, over 80 made it to the judging round, nearly twice the number the judges saw last year.
Thanks to this year's judges: Karin, Gyi, Andy, Cari, Aaron, and Sam. ((Some of the judges designed some of the websites nominated, but obviously we didn't let anyone judge their own designs.))
Get the Law Firm Website Design Guide
To get a better website for your law firm, start with our guide, 10 Things the Best Website Designs Have in Common. In it, Sam condenses what we've learned from years of rating the best law firm websites into a clear, easy-to-follow set of best practices.
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- Best Law Firm Websites, 2016 Edition
- Best Law Firm Websites, 2015 Edition
- Best Law Firm Websites, 2014 Edition
- Best Law Firm Websites, 2013 Edition
- Best Law Firm Websites, 2012 Edition
- Best Law Firm Websites, 2011 Edition
- Best Law Firm Websites, 2010 Edition
Interested in submitting your website to next year's contest? Look for our call for nominations the first week in January.