Importance of Web Hosting to Legal Firms
Managing a law firm comes with many challenges. There has been a surge in the number of potential clients searching for legal services online. Up to a whopping 80% of all potential clients in Nigeria visit a law firm’s website to take action. Any law firm that wants more incoming clients needs to be online. Every firm without a high-quality website is losing leads because relying on word of mouth lead generation is already archaic and redundant. Legal website hosting basics are essential for every firm to know – from choosing a hosting platform to search engine optimization.
An aesthetically appealing law firm website is an excellent way to attract potential clients and prove your relevance to prospects, colleagues, your community, and beyond. However, a technically sound website contains numerous components. Legal website hosting is a key part of a great law firm website as it can drastically affect the structure, performance, security, and even cost of your website.
What is website hosting?
You may be familiar with how Dropbox provides remote storage of your client files and case information. Similarly, a legal website host provides remote storage of your firm’s website files. These files include web pages with code, pictures, videos, downloadable PDFs, and more.
In general, a website contains three unique elements. Each element provides a critical function. If any part were missing, you wouldn’t have a properly functioning website. These elements are:
- The domain name (a website’s URL)
- Website host
- Website files
To help answer the question of what a website hosting company does, I find it helpful to compare a website to a home:
- The domain name is the address of your home, which tells people where and how to find you.
- The website host is the foundational structure of your home, including four walls and a roof.
- The website files are all the things inside your home, including the furniture, appliances, carpeting, pictures and more.
- In addition to legal website hosting, hosting companies also offer law firms services like email hosting, security features, website building tools, and more.
Importance of Web Hosting to Legal Firms
Regardless of whether you’re a solo attorney working on a new website for your firm or a well-established law firm pursuing a stronger web presence, it’s essential to understand how a good legal website host can affect your bottom line
Arguably, one of the most crucial aspects of a competitive website host is a fast load time. A fast load time refers to the speed at which your law firm’s website page fully loads across both desktop and mobile platforms.
Many technical factors can affect your website’s load time, including:
- Quality of code
- Amount of resources requested
- The browser you’re using
- Whether the images on your website are compressed
A website host can bear the responsibility of many more load time factors, including:
- Server location
- Response time
- Amount of other accounts on your shared server
- Content delivery networks
- And more
Choosing a legal website hosting platform
When it comes to hosting platforms, there are many options to consider. Each platform offers multiple plans with varying features. Deciding which is the right one should be based on a few different factors.
- Purpose and planning
Every hosting service has different capabilities, features, and services. That’s why deciding the purpose of the site is an essential first step. So, consider what the site will need to do before looking into hosting services. Will it need to host multiple email inboxes for lawyers? How many pages does it need to host?
Another thing to think about is the goal when a prospect lands on the page. This should help answer some of the questions above. Knowing this information will also help when choosing a hosting plan.
- Build or buy a site
One of the next things to consider is who will build and maintain the site. For do-it-yourselfers, ease of use should be a priority. Most hosts provide some sort of website builder in the hosting plan. However, these site builders all vary immensely in how easy they are to use. Some simplify the process so anyone can quickly build an aesthetically pleasing site. Others cater to the technically inclined and require coding in HTML.
There are even some drag-and-drop site builders available. Some products, like WordPress, utilize plug-ins that can change the building interface. Services like that make the process more user-friendly for novices. Depending on what the site needs to do, the possibilities are limitless.
Web Hosting Setup
The next issue is deciding how to set up the hosting. Just like with building the website, hosting set up varies by platform. Although the platform is typically more limited, the DNS and domain are connected as part of the purchase. As such, the simplest way to set up hosting is to purchase it when buying a domain name. This option is ideal for DIYs because of the ease and convenience. All the complicated setup is completed, leaving only the page build to handle.
The other option is using an independent hosting service such as www.upperlink.ng. This option leaves the site owner to attach the hosting space and domain. It isn’t extremely complicated to do, but it is a more hands-on setup than doing it yourself.
- Plans and cost
No matter which hosting option you choose, they all offer a wide selection of prices. Your firm should base this decision on your needs, features, and overall budget. Website hosting prices can vary drastically for standard service and the more advanced types, like dedicated hosting, can be very costly. Fortunately, most platforms offer lower rates to first-time customers.
However, cost should never be the deciding factor when selecting a plan or type of hosting. It all comes down to what best suits your firm’s needs.
- Plan options
There are different hosting plans intended to cater to different needs. This is why knowing the purpose and needs of the site is essential. Most hosting plans include a set amount of storage on the server, but that storage is shared by the site’s pages, photos, and content. Then storage is further used up by email inboxes for people in the organization. So, the larger an organization is, the larger the required storage.
Depending on the hosting service provider, there are many optimizations available. Some providers may include some optimizations in the hosting package. Others offer them as addons for an additional fee. Upperlink.ng offers a series of hosting plans and other benefits that will definitely suit the needs of your legal website.
- Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves a website’s location in search query results. By improving it, a website climbs closer to the top of the search results. The higher on the list a site is, the more traffic it receives.
Good SEO ranking is crucial in lead attraction, but when it comes to SEO, not all hosting services are created equal. Some even limit a website’s ranking, making SEO an important consideration when choosing a hosting platform.
Legal website hosting Made Easy by Upperlink
There is a lot to consider when choosing a legal website hosting service. No two platforms are built the same, so it’s important to identify what your law firm’s specific needs are in a website and use that to guide your decision. You’ll also need to consider skill level and the amount of time you have for setup.
Why worry about technical features such as PHP, MySQL, ASP, GB and more? We make your job easy. Our Hosting makes a difference. We have created a reliable, secure and fast network. Backed by our same-day support team, we keep your website running.
We believe that a reliable, supported network saves you costs over a year. You don’t have to worry that your website will fail at the wrong moment. However, if there ever is an issue, you don’t have to wait for support. We are available 24/7/365. We have even answered client requests on Christmas Day! Visit www.upperlink.ng and experience the best web hosting service for your legal firm.