So you’re building a new law firm website…For many law firms, it’s a great step in the right direction. Whether you’re finally taking the step of getting a law firm website, or upgrading your existing website, you’re taking a great leap forward in prioritizing your online presence. There are many directions and choices you have when it comes to building your law firm’s website. The desktop design, mobile design, functionality, content, imagery, etc. And while those are all important, one of the most important decisions you have to make is which platform to use when building your law firm website.
Over the last decade, we’ve used and seen them all. Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Webflow, Drupal, Weebly, and Joomla to name a few. Heck, our team has even built its own proprietary engine and content management system (in a different vertical). And sure there are many pros and cons to them all we’ve experienced and encountered over the years. And they aren’t all apples to apples. But in the legal space, we put our eggs in one basket– and for good reason.
If you’re a law firm trying to decide between content platforms or providers (using certain platforms), our vote is with WordPress. Before we dive into why you should use WordPress for your law firm’s website, let’s first take a look at some of the WordPress statistics.
Most Businesses (Including Law Firms) Use WordPress
Regarding usage, out of the 1.3 billion (and growing) sites in the world today, over 455 million sites use WordPress to build or manage their website. That’s over 30% of websites on the platform alone. And those that strictly use a content management system (CMS), nearly 62% use WordPress. For perspective – Shopify is number 2, at 5% share.
The point being is it’s trusted. It’s trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world (like Sony, and Walt Disney) and trusted by over 60% of fortune 5000 companies. For small businesses, like law firms, nearly 70% choose WordPress to build and manage their website. WordPress continues to grow in usage and popularity not only because it’s trusted, but because it offers more functionality, flexibility, ease of use, and many more things that are extremely important when it comes to managing and building a website. We chose it for the very same reasons.
So let’s dive into some of our top reasons why you should use WordPress for your law firm’s website!
WordPress has many out-of-the-box themes, but it’s also highly customizable
Part of the flexibility WordPress provides compared to many other platforms is the ability to buy themes or truly build something customizable (or both!). On the themes note, many competitors of WordPress aren’t that competitive when it comes to pre-built themes. Here’s a breakdown of how they stack up:
- Squarespace has roughly 60+ themes available to users (including paid and free options)
- Wix advertises over 500+ themes available to users (including paid and free options).
- WordPress has over 4,000 free themes, and 10’s of thousands paid themes available to users
When it comes to finding a theme, there’s no shortage on WordPress. And there are many different options available for lawyers to choose from. But the true flexibility boils down to the customizations WordPress allows. WordPress is constantly improving. The amount of plugins/features (see point 2 below) is one thing. But if you’re looking for a custom law firm website and design, WordPress is undoubtedly the best choice.
WordPress has many plugin options that offer even more customization
While having a custom website is important to many law firms, much of it wouldn’t be possible without some of the functionality and features built using WordPress plugins. WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning that the source code is available to developers to study, share, or modify. Because of that, many developers and companies use WordPress to create their own themes (see above) and plugins to share or sell to other WordPress users.
Themes are one thing, but what makes WordPress unique and more functional for law firms is the availability of plugins. With over 60k (and growing) plugin options available, there’s nearly limitless functionality. Contact forms, scheduling tools, chat, call tracking, eCommerce, payments, sliders, and much more are all types of plugins that make sense for law firms. And there are tons to choose from! And while Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, and more have many of these options, you’re going to be limited with functionality and design.
WordPress plugins allow your law firm to have a more interactive, highly functional, and highly appealing website. Which in turn enhances your user experience and lead volume. One of our favorite plugins, Civille Law Forms, was built using an existing plugin structure and customized by our development team to enhance the functionality/design.
And if you want to set up your site for SEO purposes…. there are plugins for that! (See below)
WordPress is very SEO friendly
Getting your site up and running is one thing, but having it visible to search engines is just as important. One of the many reasons people choose WordPress is because search engines know the architecture and know how to crawl it. The high-quality coding, architecture, and page structure make it very easy for search engines to read and understand your website. The same can be said for many CMS’’s, but not all of them.
There are also plugin options available that can help control and optimize the technical SEO side of your law firm’s website. Yoast is one of the most popular plugins on WordPress in general. (which we also use/love). It essentially allows you to edit technical SEO items like titles, URLs, meta descriptions, schema, etc. It even helps analyze the content you post (see next point) giving you details on keyword visibility and readability. All these things are important when it comes to setting your law firm up for SEO success.
WordPress makes it easy to create content
Speaking of content, did you know that WordPress was initially created as a blogging platform? And that platform is still used today across most sites that have a blog. The point is that WordPress was built on content creation, and the ease of use is the reason many have continued to use WordPress for their content management system. It’s more robust than Squarespace and many other platforms out there. Out of the gate, WordPress makes it very easy to add posts and pages to your site. Plugin options like Gutenberg make it much easier to design pages, embed imagery/videos, and manage CSS elements as well.
We’ve talked a lot about why your law firm needs high-quality content on your site, and with WordPress, you can ensure there’s an easy way to add it.
Common Misconception: WordPress isn’t as secure as other platforms
…but in reality, WordPress is just as secure as any other platform.
Every day, WordPress sites get hacked. That’s hundreds or even thousands of sites per year being hacked that are using WordPress. And while that sounds scary, you mostly only hear about it because WordPress is the most popular CMS across the internet.
But here’s the silver lining – WordPress sites get hacked not because of vulnerabilities with the latest WordPress software, but mostly from preventable issues and user error.
Poor passwords, outdated core software, outdated themes and plugins, and poor hosting, are the reasons behind nearly all security breaches across WordPress sites. And those all strictly point to poor website management. WordPress is secure as long as security is taken seriously and you follow best practices.
The fact is, no law firm content management system is 100% secure. Law firm websites built on Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, or proprietary systems all can (and have) the same vulnerabilities. Keeping your site secure doesn’t come down to the CMS, but how it’s managed. As a law firm, security should be a top priority, and even more so when it comes to your website. Take it seriously, and follow these tips below.
Things you can do to secure your law firm’s website
#1: Make sure you’re working with a professional or provider (like Civille) that closely monitors your site and puts things in place to prevent vulnerabilities.
#2: If you’re unsure where your site stands, check your WordPress site for vulnerabilities using wpscan.com. This can give you an idea of what issues there can be.
#3. Follow our checklist to improve your law firm’s site security here. This doesn’t only apply to WordPress. Vulnerabilities can be the same across any CMS. And many of these security measures should be taken across any platform, not just WordPress.
Choose Civille and WordPress
With any law firm website, including WordPress, it’s not a set it and forget it deal. You need to constantly update themes, update software, post more content, and much more. It’s not an easy task for many law firms, which is why we got into this business. If you’re looking for a better law firm website or digital marketing (without breaking the bank), get in touch with us here.