These days, most companies have their own website, and you might be wondering whether your law firm needs one too. With more and more people, including your potential clients, spending time online, there’s no better time to invest in a law firm website design.
If you are just starting up your own practice, or you have a small law firm, you’re probably planning on creating your website at a much later time, like when you’ve made it big already. But having a website, whatever the size of your law firm, is beneficial on all levels.
Your online presence helps you build your credibility. It’s just fitting that your website represents you the way you represent your clients. After all, every client would want to hire a credible and competent lawyer.
When they do their research online, their decision could very well be influenced by your well-designed and informative site.
Having established why you need a website, the next consideration would then be the cost. Is it possible to build a good-looking website with a small-law-firm budget? Or is it only the large legal firms who could afford a world-class ? What is the cost of building a website? And how much do law firm websites cost?
The good news is, with a lot of web design agencies out there, you can easily find help with your website according to your budget. The challenge would be to select the right agency or freelance web designer that would deliver the best value for your money.
What is the cost of building a website?
Infographic from Medium
In your search for the best law firm website design companies that could fit your budget, here are the costs you should consider when creating your law firm website:
1. Domain registration
Your domain is your site’s address on the web. So you would want to select a name that is easily remembered or attributed to your practice. The obvious choices would be your surname, your location, or the type of your legal practice.
Because availability is a factor, you might find yourself choosing a domain that is already taken. You may then consider registering your domain as a .net, a .co, or a .lawyer. But you might run the risk of losing a potential client entering your domain name with “.com” out of sheer habit.
Ranging in costs from $20/year to a $5m one-time payment, domains are usually offered on a monthly, annual, or multi-year cost. If you are in the UK, domains ending in.co.uk domains tend to be cheaper and rank better for local searches. So in this case, you might get more value with the less expensive option.
Note that it is also very important that your domain name is registered under an account you can access. And that it’s registered to you. You would want to be able to take actions about your domain name in the future, long after your website design project has finished.
2. Law Firm Website Hosting
Your host keeps your website online. They provide the service that allows you to post a website or web page onto the Internet.
The monthly cost usually ranges from $3.95 – $30, depending on the type of hosting you avail of. The bigger your website is, the more server space you need.
If you have a small law firm, shared hosting will probably suit you. Since you are sharing a server with other clients of your hosting provider, it wouldn’t cost as much as the other types. There are other specialized types like Virtual Private Server, Cloud Hosting, WordPress Hosting and Dedicated Hosting which are suited for more specialized needs.
The more popular hosting sites are , , and . We recommend Hostinger as the prices are cheap. Their support team is highly responsive, and they have one of the .
3. SSL and Cloudflare CDN
SSL certificates, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, protect the website. It ensures that an encrypted link between a web server and a browser is established. Because of this, the data passed between the web server and browser remains private.
Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN), on the other hand, speeds up your website. A CDN service will save the static content of your site on their servers and serve the files to a user from a server, to reduce the load time. Faster load times will give you better search ranking results. More importantly, you won’t lose a site visitor because of waiting time to load your website.
The price for SSL Certificates ranges from $7.88 to $4,540.79 per year. It takes into account the type of validation done on the domain. Depending on speed requirements, CDN starts at $0 and can go up to $200 or higher.
4. Law Firm Website Design and Development
You can opt to purchase a website builder software like , and . You can start with the free offerings, and then eventually sign up for the paid subscriptions. From here, you will then have to take time and design the website yourself.
As an alternative, you can hire a web design agency to help you out. In determining what is the cost of building a website, you need to take into account the size of your law firm. The cost and most likely, the time it will take to build the website will go up from a small law firm to a large one.
The charges could also vary per location. In Singapore, the estimated website design costs $4,000 SGD – $10,000+ SGD. In the UK, websites created by a web designer starts from £265, and could go up to £11,135+. In Australia, it could start from $2000-$12000+ for small businesses and go up from there for larger firms.
The price goes up because there’s more work involved in larger law firms. For example, smaller businesses may only need about 10 web pages. Bigger companies, with their partner bios, case write-ups and other legal resources, may need up to 150.
Both design styling and copywriting should be considered for these pages. The more pages to design and write for, the higher the charges.
5. SEO Services
Infographic from Blue Corona
If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website (who isn’t?), you need to look into SEO services. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice of increasing the traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
One thing you have to ask yourself is: How often do you plan to publish content? If you’re still not planning on publishing content on your website, consider that the articles you publish will display your skills and knowledge online. This can further build trust and credibility to your law firm.
SEO services are very variable, they range from 1,000 – $10,000 per month. There are agencies who set a price depending on the number of keywords (up to 30, 80 or 150).
Just a word of caution, SEO results are not achieved overnight. It is almost entirely based on writing good content. Such content is then based on answers to questions that people want to be answered. Look into your agency’s content strategy to check the viability of their plans.
Furthermore, you can also check for your agency’s understanding of how competitive your location is. The best law firm website design companies also offer SEO services.
Bear in mind though that it’s one thing to compete in Texas or NYC, but if you’re trying to compete in smaller towns in the UK or Australia, it should take less work. And smaller costs.
6. Database Integration
If you have an existing database that needs to be accessed to function with your website, you can opt to integrate this. This allows for a seamless experience when customer information like past transactions and appointments are taken into account when your clients transact with you online.
There are basic and advanced options for integration. Some even offer full development, and the price ranges from $2,000 to $25,000.
7. Law Firm Website Maintenance
Once your website is up, you have to be able to maintain it. Especially if you have interactive features for your clients. If you are looking to hire a web design agency, check into the amount of technical support they’re including for the foreseeable future.
Also, new information is coming in every so often. As a practitioner in the legal field, you would want the data on your website to be relevant and credible at all times. In cases that you need to update your website, will you hire an in-house writer, or will you outsource it? It would also be good if your web design company provides you with training to do the basic edits (like writing blog posts) yourself.
At Optimizer, we give you time to feel it out before making a decision. With our web design services, we are offering 3 months’ free website maintenance for you.
For other web design agencies, it costs around $400 to $60,000 / year. Consultants will generally run anywhere from $100-$300 an hour.
Maintenance is something your website will eventually need. So factor these in when you compute your estimated costs.
There are a lot of options when it comes to building your law firm’s website. You can conduct an online search for the best law firm website design companies, but ultimately, you have to know what your company needs.
With most small to mid-size law firm websites costing anywhere from $3,000 to $80,000, it’s essential to understand each element that contributes to the total amount.
There are features which are nice to have, and there are those which are non-negotiable. You probably won’t need an advanced e-commerce feature if you’re a small law firm. But surely you would want to keep your data secure, right?
When determining what is the cost of building a website, look also into costs that are location-based versus those that can be applied to all kinds of businesses. Make sure that you are getting good value for what you are paying for.
With the points above, you’re all set to make an informed decision about your law firm’s website budget. To discuss your law firm’s website design requirements, with us today.