When the world’s first website launched in the summer of 1991, Mariah Carey was on the radio and Home Improvement was a top new TV show. By the time the first law firm website appeared in 1994, people were stocking up on Beanie Babies and watching Forrest Gump in theaters.
Of course, things have continued to change since then, including the fact that these days, there are millions of websites, and almost every law firm has one. Those websites need to be updated to avoid becoming outdated—and that’s where The Modern Firm comes in. We regularly consult with small law firms on how to upgrade both the look and function of their existing website.
Need a Fresh Design For Your Existing Law Firm Website?
Most often, law firms approach us when their website is starting to look and feel outdated. Imagine driving to meet a potential client for the first time, and pulling up in a rusty, decades-old car with faded paint and a loud engine. Just like your outdated car might convey an unfavorable impression, an outdated website for a law firm might inadvertently suggest that the firm isn’t with the times, or even successful.
You might be wondering if your existing law firm website falls into the “outdated” category. Here are some considerations:
- The age of the website. Because design and trends are constantly evolving, we find that when a website is over five years old, it’s typically time to overhaul the design and completely give it a fresh look.
- Your competitors look awesome. It’s pretty common for potential clients to visit multiple attorney websites, even if they are referred to you. If you’re looking at your competitors and their websites look significantly sharper than yours, that disparity is likely to impact your bottom line.
- The makeup of the firm. Law firms evolve over time, like everything else. Often, there have been significant changes at the firm since the last website was built, including changes in staff, practice areas, and goals for the website. When this is the case, it’s beneficial to take time to reflect on the current brand and message of the law firm before diving right into the redesign.
- The website isn’t converting like it used to. There are many reasons an older website might not convert like it used to, from poor design choices, to not being mobile friendly in a mobile dominated world, to dings in rankings due to search engine algorithm changes. No matter the root cause, if new leads are important to you, this is a good sign that it’s time to get professional help from a web design agency specializing in law firms.
Special Considerations for Firms With Existing Websites
The prospect of getting a new website can be anxiety-inducing, especially when you have an existing one. This feeling is magnified if your current site performs well in search engine rankings or if you've accumulated substantial content over the years.
You might have encountered horror stories from friends who had disastrous experiences after launching their new websites, with traffic plummeting and rankings disappearing.
However, it's important to recognize that while updating an existing website does present some challenges and requires special attention, it doesn't mean you're trapped with your current site forever, unable to update or modernize it. Change is possible, and with careful planning and execution, you can successfully transition to a new and improved website without sacrificing your hard-earned progress and online presence.
When we have an introductory call, we’ll learn more about your situation and create a proposal that looks at your specific situation and lays out the best plan for it.
Love Your Design But Need to Transition Away From a Legacy Provider?
We've helped dozens of law firms transition their websites from legacy providers, like FindLaw and Martindale-Hubbell, to lower their monthly costs and give them more control. We've also helped firms recover their website from developers that have fallen down on the job or disappeared altogether.
If you love your law firm website design but are hoping for better support, easy editing capabilities, and cost-effective online marketing solutions, we can help.
Things Law Firms Should Know About Rescuing Their Site
- No buy-out needed if leaving a legacy provider - Companies like FindLaw and Martindale-Hubbell often entice or require a firm to "buy-out" the design for hundreds of dollars. Although design and content files can be helpful during a website rescue project, we do not need them to develop your website with us.
- Check domain ownership - The most important web asset to control is the firm's domain name (.com name) because the firm's email and website history is often tied to the same domain. Sometimes the old developer, a former employee, or departing partner may technically own the domain name! Use our handy ownership look-up tool to make sure everything is correct. We help rescue clients with ownership issues all the time. Check Out our Domain Ownership Tool!
- Stealth Operators - If the situation calls for it, we can work entirely behind the scenes, like a stealthy website rescue team, to quietly take control of website operations.
- Preserving Rankings - Sites with high SEO value or lots of indexed content require special attention to ensure a smooth transition without losing rankings or usability. We can ensure that all content, titles, structure, internal links, and meta-data is seamlessly moved. However, we cannot prevent a previous provider from sabotaging or undoing some off-site SEO. For instance, if they created links to the firm website from other web assets they control, they may remove or reassign those links to their other clients. We'll help you explore these risks.
- A Better Web Experience - All websites we rescue are programmed into our outstanding WordPress framework and can include all of the framework features listed on our new website service page.
- Portfolio of Law Firm Websites
- Our Process
- Website Editing Made Easy
- Responsive Design For Mobile Visitors
- Learn why there's no such thing as a "Simple Website"