In today’s world, website is an integral part of a business. It’s the place where people get the first insight into a company. A law firm is no different. Its website portrays the values of the firm, its work ethics and the benefits it has to offer to its clients. It is, therefore, very important for a law firm to get the best bay area web design agency to design its website. There are many custom law firm website design companies to choose from. However, before selecting a website designer for your project, there are certain questions that need to be addressed to assess your requirements.
Whether it’s a new website or an old one that needs to be upgraded
The first thing a law firm needs to do is to decide whether it wants a completely new website or redesign an existing one. If an existing website requires redesigning, then you should communicate to the prospective designer about the platform it’s built on. An experienced web designer must ask this question on its own.
What are the objectives
It is very important for a law firm to define its business objectives. It helps the designer understand the purpose of having a website. The main objective would be to advertise about the services being offered and give information about the staff-their qualifications and experience, etc. You would also like to communicate to your prospective clients a compelling brand message- who you are and what makes you stand out from the rest.
Why is it preferable to have a local web designer
If a firm needs to have regular interface with its website designer and has enough time to deliberate on issues relating to designing or updating the website, then it is advisable to have a local designer. Also, since most of the law firms cater to local clients or those from nearby areas, hiring local law firm web design companies would be a good idea as they understand the market requirements and customer preferences better. On the other hand, if you are a big firm and do not have enough time to spare on discussing the intricacies of website development, then it’s better to choose the best web designer available within your means, irrespective of its location.
Read also: Top 5 Video Marketing Tips for a Law Firm
Should the website be mobile friendly
Today, fifty percent of web visitors use mobile gadgets, be it smart phones or tablets . A firm has to decide whether it wants to have two separate websites for desktops and mobile devices or a single responsive website to cater to all. Two websites with similar content may get negative impact in terms of search engine results. It is, therefore, advisable to have a single responsive website which is compatible with different devices and different screen sizes. It gives a better user experience and doesn’t come at a premium either.
Whether to build a website on WordPress or not
For most small firms, it is recommended to build the website on WordPress. It is search engine friendly and easily customizable. Once the site is up and running, adding new pages and content or deleting old ones is quite easy. However, there are certain pros and cons of building a website on WordPress which need to be considered before deciding upon which platform to use.
WordPress is an open source platform and therefore cost efficient. There are thousands of redesigned templates to choose from and many plug ins are available which can be used to extend its functionality. It is fast and easy to develop a website - just choose a theme and add content. It is great for informational and blogging websites. It is regularly updated and improved upon to fix bugs and security flaws.
All templates may not be truly responsive or mobile friendly. The templates are not exclusive and many websites may end up having similar designs. Plug ins are developed by third parties and may stop working if there is a Word Press update, limiting the functionality of the website. It can become confusing , complicated and more time consuming if a more complex website is to be designed. There are some security concerns as well with many popular plug ins which might have their own vulnerabilities.
Skills to look for in law firm website design companies
Depending on the requirements of the website in terms of designing and programming, one should look for the requisite skills in a web designer. If a website has few pages only and does not require regular updates or is not meant to generate new business, then an independent web designer would suffice. If the web site is expected to serve larger interests, then you should choose a company which has experience and expertise in custom law firm website design.
The right price to pay- hourly or fixed bids
The hourly bid may look attractive but you may end up paying much more than what you may have initially bargained for. A designer on hourly terms might also withhold your website and hamper services if payments are not made on time. It is always preferable to have a designer on fixed price terms. You just need to keep a tab on some undesirable charges like monthly fees for support and service.
Ideal time taken to build a website
The complexity of the project notwithstanding, the ideal time taken to build a website and get it running should be around three weeks. If regular reviews are required during the course of its development, then a further two to three weeks may be needed.
Apart from all these factors, you should also deliberate on whether or not you want to have access to and analyses user data, like the pages they viewed and the devices they use etc. These could be critical for the success of the website. You may therefore want your website designer to install Google Analytics and also do SEO to get higher ranking on the search engine results page.
Sophia is an marketing expert & web designer working at Conroy Creative Counsel-Law Firm Marketing Agency in USA. She has a passion of creative and technical writing and always lookout for learning something new.