WordPress is often the first port of call for law firms wanting a website, but be careful if you’re considering to deploy a WordPress theme.
We love WordPress for law firms! It’s ubiquitous, easy for clients to manage content if they wish themselves, and from a development perspective, it’s not rocket science, but that said, you shouldn’t go it alone. Whilst the installation and deployment of a WordPress theme may make great sense, rarely does it work except in certain circumstances set out in another article.
Here are 7 reasons why you shouldn’t do it.
One: You Don’t Know the Product
WordPress themes generally are designed and developed for the widest market possible, it’s how the dev teams make their money. As a result, invariably they’re feature full with lots of complex coding involved. An inherent issue with all the complexity is that it’s very difficult, even for the trained eye, to identify, diagnose and fix any issues that might prove problematic.
Two: The Risks of No Support
The far majority of WordPress themes will require customisation to suit your law firm. With such customisation, you’re going to require likely a design and development team to manipulate the theme to best suit your objectives. Consequently, given the likelihood of this occurring, the theme developers typically will provide no support to customised themes. Moreover, its commonplace for themes not to be successful for the dev company resulting in the theme no longer being supported full stop. This can be catastrophic when things no longer work or simply the theme you have no longer is compliant with the latest version of WordPress.
Three: Complexities involved in Changing Architecture
WordPress themes are like houses. You can paint the walls etc but when it comes to moving walls and adding on new bedrooms etc you’re significantly inhibited. Notwithstanding this, a website is a fundamentally important brand and marketing asset for your firm and shouldn’t be made to fit into a layout that doesn’t support all the objectives.
Four: Code Bloat
This is a big one! Site speed is increasingly important with Google now giving an advantage in search rankings to faster websites. WordPress themes due to the fact they have been designed and developed by someone you do not know, for a very large market, often are code bloated with design attributes and functionality that isn’t necessary. Consequently, slow loading times are intrinsic to WordPress themes.
Five: Reliance on Third-Party Applications
WordPress themes to function often require extensive reliance on other third-party applications. When things go wrong with your WordPress theme website, as a result of the heavy use of these outside applications it can be time-consuming and costly to diagnose and fix the issue, that’s if it can be fixed.
Six: Website Vulnerabilities
When you buy a WordPress theme for your law firm you have no working relationship with the design and development team who built it. As a result, you have no knowledge of the trustworthiness or otherwise of the provider, resulting in concerns relating to information being sent to third-parties and/or heightened possibilities of being hacked. This is probably akin to doing your estate planning via a cheap online platform when you don’t know who drafted the online form and what potentially may happen to your information following submission.
Seven: Costs of Dev Help When Things Go Wrong
Ask any website design and development agency whether or not they detest having to fix a WordPress theme gone wrong and the response will be a unanimous, “absolutely.” It’s work that is difficult to identify the issue and once identified and fixed, nearly always there is no guarantee the issue won’t arise again. Furthermore, in these situations, it’s likely the theme has become outdated, no longer supported by the development company and will no longer work with the later versions of WordPress. Consequently, your website is not only functionally compromised but vulnerable to hacking.
The Take Home Message
Website design and development for your law firm should be informed by a brand, content and marketing strategy. When considered in this context, invariably its the case that notwithstanding all the inherent issues raised above, a WordPress theme will fall significantly short in achieving your law firm’s outcomes.
If your law firm is considering a new website, reach out to us for a free, no-obligation chat.