Your website is a powerful marketing tool. It functions as a virtual business card and helps communicate the identity of your law firm. Your website encourages connection with prospects, it identifies your brand and it shows authority and lends credibility to your proficiency in practicing law.
Considering all that your website does for you and your law firm, how much should it cost to build a website?
Determining how much a website should cost is one of the most frequently asked, but rarely answered questions in the Web design world. Even now, with millions of websites online, there exists no magic formula for calculating either the cost of a new website or the cost of a redesign.
When it comes to determining website cost, it comes down to the fact that you get what you pay for. Typically, a cheaper website ranging from $500-$5,000 will have fewer pages, features, functionality and built-in marketing elements. A more expensive site ranging from $7,500-$20,000 will have lots of additional design features, be better organized, include more functionality and ultimately, convert more clicks into clients.
A key factor is how much time and effort you want to devote to your website on an on-going basis, such as, do you plan to blog on a regular basis, and links to articles, etc. Avoid paying for bells and whistles you don’t want or need.
Another primary factor in determining the cost of designing and building a new website is who is doing the designing and building?
Three Website Options
- Do-It-Yourself websites from companies like Squarespace, Weebly and Wix are popular choices. Website builders have a lot of pros. They offer some attractive designs, various options and features, and the barrier of entry cost is low compared to hiring a professional. The truth is website builders are great for some lawyers. You simply have to decide if you are one of those people. Chances are good, though, that you’re not.
- Offshore designers and developers from places like India and Pakistan offer cheap rates, but deliver websites that are notoriously of very low quality and will likely do little to help your firm succeed.
- United States based professional Web design and development firms are typically going to be the highest priced, but will offer more options and customization, the highest level of creativity and ultimately, deliver the best overall website and experience.
It may be stating the obvious as the profession is, after all, called Web designer, but it requires a certain amount of know-how to put together a professional website. It’s not simply about making the website attractive. It’s about knowing the best practices for Web design and specifically, Web design for law firms that are subject to certain bar rules and regulations. It’s about understanding that mood music will irritate, long loading times will test visitors’ patience and certain design elements have long since been relegated to the museum of extinct websites from the early 2000s.
The right Web designer should have experience working with law firms of all sizes to help you buy only what you need and work within your budget.
So, What’s the Bottom Line?
The cost of a website can vary greatly depending upon the site’s features, functionality, aesthetic qualities and the company that is creating the Web design.
As of June 2016, you should expect to pay between $3,500 and $10,000 for a fully functional small business law firm website. This price may be lower if your site has very few pages and minimal functionality, or higher if you require custom development, extensive design, or interactive elements and advanced integration.
Remember, when it comes to website design, it’s a matter of quality versus quantity (which in this case is price). It’s important to run through all potential factors into designing your firm’s website and creating the best quality website that will generate leads and deliver information your clients seek. Kenny Doucette