Did you know that there are law firms out there that don’t have full ownership of their websites?
Perhaps this is something that you are facing and you may or may not know it.
As for what it means to not have full ownership of the website, it is basically that law firms paying for websites that are owned by the design companies. There are also cases where the law firm may own the rights to a few photos and some of the content, but not the design and the rest of the content. The big issue here is that they don’t pay any less than someone who owns 100% of their website. And if someone doesn’t own their website, that means they don’t have the option to control it.
And if you don’t own content, which is highly valuable, you don’t own the backbone of your website.
The Basics of Website Ownership
When you own your website, you have control over your hosting and domain name. You should be able to request changes when you need them. You should also have the option of being able to access your website to make changes yourself when you need to do so. A platform, such as WordPress, makes this easy for law firms to do. You log in, make your changes, save them, and then you’re done.
If you want to move your website at any point, you should be able to do so. One of the deterrents to relocating when it comes to companies like FindLaw is that they have so much control over your website that they can make it difficult to transfer your domain name and make it necessary for your site to be set up all over again.
Don’t let this scare or frustrate you.
They do this because they want you to keep paying that monthly bill. However, there are benefits to the transfer, such as having complete ownership of your website. When you transfer out of companies like FindLaw, Lawyers.com, Dex, etc., you are giving yourself the ownership that you were lacking.
Updating your website is very important. You may want to do updates on your own or you may want to leave it to the designer. You should have that option. When it comes to doing updates on your own, consider how busy you are and how feasible it will be for you. It is good to have someone in your firm available to take care of your website updates or, again, you can have your designer do it for you.
If you are afraid updating on your own would be too complex, having a good content management system (WordPress) makes it easier for you. As stated before in this article, you can log in, make your changes, save them, and you’re done. It is easy to make simple text changes to your site. If your changes are more extensive and you are not comfortable making them, then your designer can take care of it for you.
You Can Take Control of Your Website
If you don’t currently have full control over your website, it’s time you make that happen. Your website is the first impression many people have of your law firm. It is online real estate that should belong entirely to you. If you are with one of the companies that won’t let you have ownership of your site, you can make the switch and it can be made smoothly. The end result is you having a website where you call the shots, you own all of the content, and your website will receive the personal touch that it has been lacking.