Smart spending is only smart if you get a good price and a good outcome. The truth is that firm website design costs can range wildly, from the temptingly low monthly fees of DIY sites to the high rates associated with custom sites.
But every rose has its thorn and every investment has its costs. So to help you select the right website design option for your firm’s budget and your business goals, let’s delve into the details of law firm website design costs.
From average law firm website design costs to the pros and cons of DIY, template, and custom sites, here’s what you need to consider when budgeting for a website redesign.
Law firm website design costs range between $20/month to $100,000+
On design alone, your law firm could spend anywhere from $20 per month on a basic Squarespace DIY website or up to $100,000+ on a one-time fee for a custom website with all the bells and whistles.
Budgeting for a law firm website design should take into account the total cost of ownership, which may include:
- Hosting fees
- Domain name registration
- SSL certificate
- Plug-in updates
- Site content updates
- Security and monitoring
- Accessibility development (or remediation)
- Content production
- Add-on tools with subscription fees
- Ongoing support and webmaster duties
Some of these items are non-negotiable, like an SSL certificate and hosting fees. Other features depend on the needs of your site. If you need a highly customized law firm website with unique functionality and ongoing support for security needs, then you should budget at the high end of this scale.
DIY solutions vs. template solutions vs. custom
Let’s lay out some options when it comes to law firm website design.
DIY solutions: lower cost
These can cost very little upfront. However, you may not achieve high-quality results if you don’t have design training or coding expertise.
A DIY site may not be able to scale with you as your firm grows. You may also be limited to the platform’s requirements if you use a proprietary platform like Weebly or Wix rather than an open-source option like WordPress. Your ability to get outside web design support can be limited. Plus, accessibility is usually non-existent in these sites.
Cost: Monthly fee between $10 and $250
Template solutions: medium cost
Templates can be a good middle ground, providing a jumping-off point for design with the ability to customize content and functionality. It’s important to note that template solutions can vary greatly; some are plug and play, while others offer a great deal of customization. Look for templates that are specifically built for law firms and allow you to create a site that is truly reflective of your practice with significant customization.
Many attorneys fear that, by choosing a template solution, their firm will end up with a cookie-cutter website. But with the right solution, a template can be a smart way to get an impressive and functional site and minimize law firm website design costs. Accessible sites don’t have to sacrifice great design.
Cost: From $199 set up fee + $199 ongoing support
Custom solutions: higher cost
The majority of law firm websites require the same things: great content, a Contact Us page, and some kind of About page that is written both for SEO and for human attention.
Some firms may desire additional features like a multimedia library, an invoicing or client portal and lead generation technology. These features may require ongoing subscription fees as well as skilled tech support to implement and manage them correctly.
Cost: From $15,000 to $100,000 start-up costs
Which approach is right for you and your law firm?
To make an informed decision, here is a series of 10 questions to help you determine which option (DIY site, template site, custom site) is best for your law firm.
- What are your website goals? Are you looking for a simple online presence, lead generation, client education or something else entirely?
- What is your budget for website design and development? Understanding your financial constraints will help narrow down your options.
- How comfortable are you with technology and web design? Do you or your team have the skills and time to handle website development?
- Do you have unique branding requirements? Are you looking for a website that reflects your specific law firm’s identity and values?
- What level of customization do you need? Do you require a highly tailored design or can you work within the constraints of a template?
- Are you willing to invest in ongoing maintenance and updates? Custom websites often require more ongoing support, whereas DIY and template options may be easier to maintain.
- How important is search engine optimization (SEO) to your online strategy? SEO can be more effectively implemented on custom websites, but there are SEO-friendly templates as well.
- Do you need e-commerce capabilities or online appointment scheduling? Certain features may require custom development or specific template options.
- Are you looking for a fast turnaround or can you afford a longer development timeline? Custom websites often take more time to develop, while templates can be quicker to set up.
- What is your long-term vision for your online presence? Consider how your website will evolve over time and whether your chosen option aligns with your future goals.
2023 law firm website design costs
You may be able to get away with a DIY site for a short period of time. However, it’s highly unlikely that a DIY site will be able to meet the expectations of clients in 2023 and beyond.
In 2023, a law firm website design must be capable of delivering peak performance, security compliance and the integration of new technology.
If your goal is to balance long-term growth with short term financial solvency, a template website designed by a team experienced in legal marketing and built on an open-source platform like WordPress may be the best solution. With this approach, you get the benefits of a tested template, the support of expert marketers and developers, and the freedom to adapt and grow as your business expands—all without breaking the bank before you get your sea legs.
The law firm design costs associated with launching a new site depend on whether you pick a DIY, template-based, or custom website.
Your firm needs to balance its budgetary constraints with the need for functionality, security, and aesthetic appeal. So, look to the future as you consider your current resources and unique goals. Your site will either help or hinder your long-term success.
Consult with friendly, experienced web professionals. Your website is a powerful asset in your legal practice—make sure you make the right investment.