As a web design company for law firms, the common question we get is, “How much does it cost for lawyer websites?” In this article, I’ll discuss pricing for lawyer websites and the factors that can impact the cost of developing your firm’s website. Also, I’ll touch upon the pros, cons, and costs of trying to develop trying to build your own website.
How Much Do Websites for Lawyers Cost?
I realize that my answer may frustrate you, but the short answer is, “It depends.” If you’re working on getting quotes to design websites for lawyers, then you already realize that the cost can vary wildly from one designer to another. Some designers charge a flat rate, some charge a per-page rate, and others charge an hourly rate.
In addition to varying rates and fee arrangements, the cost of designing your law firm’s website depends on the following factors: (1) the size of the law firm’s website; (2) whether it is a new or existing site; (3) whether you have already written the content for your site; (4) the extent to which you want to customize your site; and (5) the web design company’s rates.
Size of the Website
One of the biggest contributors to a higher-priced website is the number of pages your site needs. If your firm has 100 lawyers and 10 practice groups, your website will cost much more than a firm with 2 attorneys and 3 practice groups.
New Design vs. Redesign Costs
If the web designer starts from scratch with no images and no content, you can expect the cost to be higher than the same sized site that is being redesigned from an existing site.
Cost for Content for Lawyer Websites
In addition to visual elements, you’ll also have to consider whether or not you want original copy and optimization services for your site. If you are starting from scratch or if your firm’s website content is poorly written, your development costs will be higher. In addition to visual elements, you’ll also have to consider whether you want original copy and search engine optimization services for your site that can help your firm’s website get seen by your target audience.
At JustLegal, even if you already have content you’re your site, our marketing team reworks the content. Hence, it is easier to read, so any calls-to-action are more prominent, and so the headlines and copy are optimized for search engines.
In any event, you can significantly cut down on your web design’s costs if you write your content to be used in the design.
Cost for Customizing Lawyer Websites
Many companies sell “templates” for lawyer websites. These templates typically cost just a few hundred dollars. Templates can work for bare-bones organizations that need a website to function as a business card without real functionality. Before choosing to use a template for your firm’s website, remember that a well-designed website can make or break your law firm’s ability to attract and convert new clients. In other words, when it comes to website design, you tend to get what you pay for. Therefore, most law firms should consider custom website design.
Designing a website is often much more work than people realize, and it can get complicated quickly. That is why custom-built websites cost a bit more than template sites. Custom website costs for law firms usually range as follows:
- Small Websites for Lawyers – 1 to 10 Attorneys – Around $3,000 to $10,000.00
- Medium Websites for Lawyers – 10 to 50 Attorneys – $10,000 to to $40,000.00
- Large Websites for Lawyers – More than 50 Attorneys – $40,000 or more
Customization comes with additional design costs for photography or video. Most templates use ‘”stock” photography that is suitable for design elements. However, I encourage law firms to add a highly personalized touch to their sites with custom headshots of the attorneys, exterior or interior photos of the law firm’s office(s), and photography of recognizable geographic landmarks or local courthouses. The cost of a photoshoot can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the firm’s size. Additionally, custom videos embedded in your site can increase conversions by turning site visitors into leads. The video cost can run from around $1,000 for basic videography and editing to several thousand dollars for high-end videos.
Several do-it-yourself tools and platforms are available for attorneys who want to design their own websites, including Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix. These services provide template websites that you build and maintain at a low monthly cost for access to their platform and hosting. The real cost is that you have to BUILD IT YOURSELF. You have to consider the time you’ll invest in designing your law firm’s website instead of billing on cases, pushing contingency cases forward, or servicing clients.
Speaking of doing it yourself – there is another hidden “cost” of sorts – the cost of losing potential leads. Essentially, a poorly designed lawyer’s website will turn away new business. The last time I checked, they didn’t teach web design, content writing, or marketing in law school. Perfecting the craft of professional web design typically takes years of continuing to study and developing countless websites.
One last word of caution on using platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix is that they are proprietary. What that means for you is that if the platform you choose goes out of business or if you want to migrate to another service, then you will run into a major technical headache. These platforms don’t make it easy to save your content. You’re limited on what you can download, and you can’t export your images and all of your content.
Final Thoughts – Cost vs. Value
Although your firm’s website’s cost is important, the “value” you receive is perhaps more important. For example, I’ve seen websites that cost less than $3,000, delivering more value than sites costing 3 times as much. When it comes to value, here are the things you should expect from your designer regardless of your cost:
- Great aesthetics, use of colors, and readable fonts
- Clean design that is easy to navigate
- Pages and images compressed for speedy loading times
- Simple, compelling copy
- Strong calls-to-action