In case you missed the first two parts of the series, you can read the foundational piece here and the website update series: do’s here.

This post focuses on key things not to do when planning and executing your website update. The first few may make you delete the post and point a finger in our general direction, but hang in there please.  So here goes…

Don’t be a Lemming: Law firms have for too long taken the road well-traveled when purchasing products and services.  Many times, this is a great decision.  However, when it comes to website development, think creativity and service, built on current technology (pssst… Today, 1 in 5 websites globally are built on WordPress and 1 in 3 in English primary countries, yeah the free platform.)

Don’t fall into the “Mobile Friendly” or “We have an App for that” trap: You spend all this time and money working up a beautiful design, but your mobile access users never see it!  They see a clunky menu view because they visit your site from their mobile phone.  Ensure your design attributes carry over.  The site needs to be “Mobile Responsive”, not just friendly…

Don’t assume the details:  You know the saying…  Ensure whomever you select supplies a clear set of objectives, deliverables and you understand who owns the site/content.  If the vendor is hosting as well as building your site…  Caveat Emptor.  If it is a subscription based service, just run…

Don’t succumb to fear tactics: Some vendors will try to strike fear regarding security.  Don’t get caught in that charade…  What the heck are they putting on your website anyway?

Don’t be a stodgy old curmudgeon: Be creative.  You will be surprised how visitors will react to taking small design risks.  Emphasis on small…  You are a law firm right!

Don’t make the update a Massive or Costly project: Websites today are a different animal.  The supporting technology is simple, cost effective and the reality of how websites are used today allows for minimizing effort and cost.

Don’t over-work or over-think it: If you wait for the last i-dotted and t-crossed, you may never go live and will likely blow your budget.  You should think of the website as a continual work-in-process because today’s technology allows it, and you should always have processes in place for updates/keeping things current; but in the spirit of data…

Don’t put a “freshness date” on it either: This is counter intuitive to the point above, but be careful about the use of “dates” on your site.  You see it a lot in attorney bios and cited cases/decisions.  If you do not keep these areas current, they will become dated quickly.

Don’t write novellas: Practice descriptions and bios should be succinct.  If not, you lose the reader to skimming your content and they may miss the good stuff.  Think of these as “Potato Chips” or “Movie Trailers”, just enough to get them coming back for more.  In that vein, make it very simple for them to contact you with access to a “call to action” button or contact us menu link just a click away.

Don’t use typical law firm graphics: Attorneys in conference, the gavel, scales of justice, guy in handcuffs, yada-yada…  Use imagery and color to convey meaning wherever possible.  This is where you can have some fun and take some risk.

Don’t fall for the performance excuses: If your site is slow to load, it is likely due to improperly sized images.  Use icons wherever possible to improve speed, and always use high-resolution graphics.

Don’t have too many links per page: This gets in the way of user navigation.  Keep the menus concise and beware of links upon links upon links.  Users do not want to be caught in link loops.

Don’t link attorneys to practice descriptions: This burdens updating and can highlight “thin” practice areas.  If you feel the need, limit this to the practice area attorney in charge.

Enough of the Don’ts for now… Leaving you with a DO!

Do click here to schedule a complimentary update discussion.  We will be well prepared to share our ideas for updating your site, show some examples of what could be and supply you with a draft estimate of cost.  It’s that simple!

Keep an eye out for further discussion on the website update topic. So much to talk about.

The ProfessionalWORX Team