Two key factors in every website update decision: 1) How much of my time will it consume? and 2) What is a fair cost?
We have talked ad nauseam about the importance of having a website that is current, attractive and built on “Mobile Friendly” technology. It does not take a rocket scientist to either: 1) calculate the impact of a solid web presence to your business, or 2) determine if a website needs an update.
While many firms do not rely on their website to generate business, the website is an important reflection of every law firm. If you have not done so as yet, take the 3 tests we recommend to assist you in understanding the state of your law firm’s website.
Most people we talk to have concerns about the amount of time they will need to invest in a website update.
The answer is Not Much! Why… Because we know from experience that your time is precious and have developed a methodology and process that is built around saving your time.
It works extremely well and shortens the project cycle dramatically. Below are examples of where your time will be spent and how.
Content: Most firms have a solid base of content that we can repurpose and it simply requires a review to ensure the information is current.
The three most important areas of review:
- Practice Area Descriptions: This review is focused on consolidating the area of focus to more effectively highlight your core competencies;
- Attorney Biographies: Quick review to ensure they are current, updated photos and proper highlighting of core competency; and
- About the Firm: We place this last for a reason. This section needs to be short description of the firm. Unless it is significant and special, it makes no sense to have pages on why you are smarter, have a better culture and use technology to be efficient.
For most firms, the time investment required to get this type of information updated in minimal. However, this time can vary dramatically by firm depending on the state of the existing content. (Assume a time investment of 2 – 10 hours over the course of the project. The estimate does not include individual attorneys reviewing their Bio. Assume 15 – 30 minutes each.)
We can also develop this content for you if need be.
Design: This makes some firms shudder at the thought of sitting through long and boring design presentations. Working with us, this time investment is minimal for most firms. Not because we slot you into a template, but because our process is built to streamline this activity.
We have found that most decision makers already have an idea of what they want from seeing other websites. We simply take the time necessary to talk about the aspects of other websites you like, walk through the work we have done to generate additional ideas. Working this way, the design direction is typically very clear and effective. Our focus is developing a site that fits your law firm and culture
We then the provide mock-up designs for you to choose from. It is a very simple process and efficient from a time perspective. These sessions are completed right from your computer using web meeting technology. (Assume a time investment of 4 – 6 hours over the course of the project.)
Review: We have three milestones in every project where we have a formal check-in and review of progress. We are strong believers in not doing meetings unless they are required. This provides a substantial time saving for our clients. (Assume a time investment of 3 – 5 hours over the course of the project.)
Hopefully this helps you to get a feel for how much time you will need to invest personally and how that time will be spent.
How much will it cost to do an update of your website?
In most cases, less than you think. From our experience, cost depends on how many pages are being created, or simply a classic “time/motion study.”
For all website updates, there is are fixed costs and variable costs.
Fixed Costs: Setting up the technology, design sessions and design “mock-up”, content repurposing and the effort required to build out the framework of the site. (This effort will typically take 12 – 20 hours of our time to perform this work.)
Variable Costs: From here, the ultimate cost depends on the number of attorneys and practice areas you have. For this investment, once the core page design is set, it is simply a matter of replicating the pages with the specific content.
Other factors impacting the cost will include any unique requirements your firm may have, which could include:
Advanced SEO work: Profiling each page to enhance granular search results. This work is typically only required for those firms serving individual clients, such as: Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Family Law and Estate Planning/Probate practice areas, et al)
Blog/News/Articles: Some firms have a bunch of this stuff to be migrated to the new site. You can assume 5 – 10 minutes per. We typically recommend firms take a hard look at which published items need to be migrated (e.g. do you really need that article from 5 years ago on the new site?)
Micro-sites: Setting up individual sites within your site by office or attorney can be a unique way to highlight specialization and competency. Self-serve attorney micro-sites for more advanced use can be very effective.
So, how much should your website update cost? We need to walk through the assumptions listed above to provide a specific cost, but you will be surprised at how affordable it can be when using our methodology.
Talk to our clients, they will concur with all of the assumptions listed above, and they will also tell you they love their websites and think we are ok as well (smile…)
Please contact us to discuss a potential project. We will provide an in-depth review of your site, ideas, a cost estimate and project timeline for your consideration.
We look forward to hearing from you.