Many businesses and law firms attempt to create their own website. With powerful platforms such as Wix and Squarespace, the creation of a website can appear easy and inexpensive. However, there are dangers to creating your own DIY website that in the end will cost you more time and money. Ultimately, the true question is whether the convenience that comes with DIY websites worth the dangers.
Serious Problems With DIY Websites
Your law firm may have several reasons for using a DIY website. You may believe that creating your website will help cut marketing costs. However, the problems that come with DIY websites can cost you in several ways. Here are some of the common problems that come with DIY websites.
Same Website Templates
Your law firm’s website must stand out against thousands of others. Unfortunately, that’s one of the main issues with DIY websites. These platforms use the same generic website templates for customers. Even if you have the option to choose between a style, color, and layout, you are still choosing between the same styles and layouts as other law firms. This limits your ability to add a unique look to your website and stand out to your clients. If your website looks similar to another law firm’s, your clients will compare you to the other law firms they come across. The limited styles on DIY websites can affect your law firm’s ability to brand itself effectively.
Issues With SEO
Another issue with a DIY website is the inability to fully strategize and optimize for SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) is a set of marketing strategies that can help increase your website’s rankings in search engines. It will be harder for your clients to find you if you do not rank high on search engine results pages. Even if you can give your website a unique look, it will not matter if it never gets to the first page of Google.
The truth is that websites such as Wix and Squarespace do not rank well on Google. The same thing that makes it easy to create these websites is the same thing that causes bloat and inefficiency. These DIY website have never shown to be as successful with SEO as a WordPress website.
Comprehensive SEO strategies can make your website load faster, appear in particular keyword searches, and use different links to bring additional traffic to the website. Unfortunately, doing a website on your own can make all efforts towards SEO ineffective.
Another common problem with DIY websites is their inefficient functionality. The quality of the code must be compromised for DIY website platforms to offer their services at an affordable price for their clients. This means that your website’s performance is already affected negatively before it even has an opportunity to succeed.
In addition to your website’s page speed, a DIY website’s navigation abilities can be reduced. Some DIY websites may have full control over your website’s navigation structure. This can make it difficult for your clients to navigate your website, increasing your website’s bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the time users spend on your website before leaving.
Pricing is a problem that you may not think about with DIY websites. While businesses that create DIY websites think they are saving money, they may not be in the end.
Many DIY websites do not come with SSL certificates, which are necessary for your website’s security. That is an additional fee. Then you may have to pay separately for the domain. If you want to increase the security features on your website, those are additional fees. The price that you think you are paying a month has just increased exponentially.
Even worse, the lack of SEO on your DIY website can make your website inefficient, costing you money. In the end, without SEO, your law firm will not be introduced to new clients online and you may have to spend additional money to get an SEO-optimized website in the future.
Ownership of Your Website
Another interesting problem with a DIY website is the lack of ownership. You will only have access to your website’s domain, content, and other data if you pay the monthly fee. If you miss a payment, you lose instant access to that data. If this happens, you willl have to start from scratch or work with a digital marketing agency. Just like your ownership, your ability to transfer to another server is limited. You can only use the server that the DIY platform shares. This means that you will be a long-term customer of the platform whether you are satisfied or not.
Poor security is another problem that is often overlooked with DIY websites. Cybersecurity is a necessary feature that all websites need. Many DIY website platforms lack adequate security, and you may have to pay additional fees to install additional features.
Digital Marketing Next Steps
There are a lot of avenues to take with your digital marketing that you can do yourself. However, it is important to consider contacting an experienced digital marketing agency that understands legal websites. A legal digital marketing agency can ensure that not only your SEO increases your chances of being seen online, but also can make sure that your website integrates with payment platforms and client file systems in your law firm. Ultimately, consider hiring a law firm digital marketing agency that will design your website from scratch instead of using a template, will have the proper security, and will build a strong SEO campaign to drive results.
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. Annette wrote the bestselling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a sought-after keynote and CLE speaker throughout the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at at email@example.com.