You’ve decided to start your own law firm.
Time to get a website up and start getting clients! Before you start making your site, you’ll need a company to host it. In this post, I’ll walk you through my top recommendations for law firm web hosting and discuss all the things you need to know before choosing.
In a hurry? Check out my top pick for the best web hosting for law firms,WPEngine, by clicking here.
Note: Many of the links in this post are affiliate links, to help pay for the site and keep things going. Thanks for clicking!
Let’s get started.
What is website hosting?
A website’s “host” is the location where the website is actually stored.
When someone visits your site, that web host will transfer the necessary data through the vast number of servers that make up the Internet until it shows up in that person’s web browser.
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of a good website host, especially when we’re talking about your law firm’s site. If it’s not loading properly, or it’s taking forever to load, you might end up losing a potential client!
We don’t want that.
Choosing a reliable web host can be difficult, though, if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It’s easy to be lulled by cheap prices and promises – these things can end up crushing your potential client’s user experience on your site and costing you work.
Let’s do it right.
Recommended law firm web hosting:
Top Premium Choice: WPEngine
WPEngine, a managed WordPress web host, is my top choice for hosting your law firm website (link includes coupon code for 10% off!). It’s what I use for all of my websites, including my law firm site.
Simply put, I’ve been amazed with their service from Day One, and highly recommend them.
- Managed hosting that’s specifically created for WordPress sites, the platform I run my site on (and you probably do, too)
- 24/7 customer service and tech support chat – they can actually fix many problems you have or show you exactly what to do. No need to be upgraded to a new tier or wait for hours to get service!
- Comes with the speedy “Genesis Framework” for WordPress and a series of free themes included – no need to buy an expensive third-party theme for your new site
- Global content delivery network (CDN) allows them to keep the speed up no matter where in the world someone is accessing your site
- Regular, automatic backups of your site in case something horrible happens
As you can see, WPEngine has it all. They have different plans with both monthly and annual pricing (obviously you save by paying annual), depending on how many sites you have.
If you just have one site, you’re looking at around $35 a month. A small price to pay for top tier hosting for the cornerstone part of your new law firm!
Want to check it out for yourself? Get a special deal on WPEngine – Get 3 months free by clicking this link and using the coupon code “wpe3free” to get a third month for free when you purchase an annual hosting plan!
Premium Runner-Up: Siteground
Siteground is a great alternative to WPEngine, if you’re looking for a more premium hosting solution.
It’s got most of the bells and whistles that WPEngine does, including:
- Automated WordPress setup to get your site started easily
- Caching and optimization on your site to keep things moving fast
- Top-rated customer support that’s always available
- Daily backups of your site, keeping at least 30 at all times – a lifesaver if you ever have trouble!
They’ve got some great pricing deals, as well.
While I don’t use Siteground myself, a few of my friends and colleagues do, and they constantly rave about the service.
Top Budget Recommendation: Hostgator
If you’re really working with a lean budget, Hostgator is a great choice for those starting out. Their plans are relatively inexpensive, and I never really had any issues with the sites I was hosting on Hostgator.
It’s definitely not going to be as fast and smooth as something hosted on WPEngine, but you get what you pay for.
A Hostgator account includes some nice features, such as:
- One-click WordPress installations, so you don’t need to worry about getting your initial site set up or have much technical knowledge about the process.
- You also get free email addresses to use for your new law firm – that’s something WPEngine DOESN’T do (I use Google’s Gsuite)
- No real limits on disk space usage and traffic to your site, as long as it’s normal usage
- No contracts, so you can cancel with just 45 days’ notice
- Ability to access cPanel, which is the back end of your website and allows you to do some technical stuff – you may need this someday!
Overall, while I didn’t find that Hostgator had the level of customer service that I get from the higher-priced services, it’s still a great one for starting a law firm on a small budget.
If you don’t mind getting a bit hands on with fixing things on your site, I highly recommend Hostgator as a budget option.
Buyer’s Guide: Things to look for in a web hosting company
When you’re going about the task of choosing a web host for your site, there are a few important considerations that you need to make.
If you skip out on these or choose a substandard host, that could end up costing you business.
Let’s look at the most important things to look for in the best web hosting for law firms:
#1 – Speed
It may sound obvious, but many people don’t really take this into consideration when choosing their web host.
You may not have been around back in the days of dial-up, but it used to hellishly slow to load any kind of site.
Nowadays, we have high speed Internet and we’re used to near-instantaneous loading of web pages. If there are any hiccups or slow loading times, we will often click the back button and choose another site.
Imagine that’s your potential client going to click on one of your blog posts after a Google search. They wait one second…two seconds…ten seconds…
Then they bounce.
There’s two main reasons why this is terrible.
- First is that you have potentially lost a client to a competitor whose site loads fast.
- Second is that Google hates sites that have a high “bounce rate.”
What is bounce rate? It’s the percentage of users who click over to a site from Google search results, and then “bounce” back to the search results page soon after.
When your bounce rate is high, this signals to Google that your site just isn’t what users want. Then they will push your site lower and lower in the search results, which can be hugely damaging to the number of potential clients that reach your site.
#2 – Customer Service
Customer service can be a huge factor in choosing a web hosting company, particularly if you’re relatively new to setting up and running a website.
To me, there are basically two main kinds of customer support offered by hosting companies:
- Basic customer service, and
- Helpful tech support
On the basic side, they can help you with billing issues and simple site problems (like checking if your site is working properly and how to get it back). But serious issues will often require escalation to a higher tier of service or them just shuffling you off to one of their help pages.
On the other hand, when you have some real administrator-level customer and tech support, they have both the knowledge and the access to make fixes on your site in real time.
Once you’ve experienced the latter, it’s hard to go back.
For example, when I have an issue with my site hosted on WPEngine, I jump on their website and open up a chat. Nearly every time, the person I’m chatting with was able to just go ahead and fix the problem for me.
No need to wait, no need to figure it out for myself. They just take care of it, saving me time (and time IS money when you bill hourly!).
This is the kind of top-tier customer and tech support that the more expensive hosting companies provide, and it’s well worth it, in my opinion.
#3 – Ease of setup
How easy is it to get a new site up and running?
This is a main concern when choosing a web host.
Luckily, these days most hosts will have an automatic process for installing WordPress or other software into your web storage in order to get you started quickly. It’s worth checking to make sure, though.
Some sites with better hosting and service will do things like backup your site automatically, update the core WordPress software, and handle SSL encryption for you on the fly.
This kind of thing is extremely helpful – if you’ve ever had the pleasure of completely screwing up something on your site that breaks it, those automatic backups are a life saver!
# 4 – Price
Obviously, price is a concern with any service you’re using for you law firm.
The price range for web hosting ranges from just a couple bucks a month to a TON of money, depending on your traffic, space, and service needs.
For a solo law firm just getting started, you won’t need something in the hundreds of dollars per month, but I would caution against the ones that cost just a few dollars a month. They just don’t have the speed and customer service that you’re looking for.
Similarly, the types of pricing models for website hosts vary – you can get discounts if you pay annually versus monthly payments, and many hosts will allow you to host multiple sites on the same storage (if that’s something you need).
Though multiple sites on shared hosting can slow each of those individual sites down.
#5 – Automatic Backups
I mentioned it above in the customer service section, but I believe it deserves its own category.
Backups are a lifesaver.
There was one point where my site was hacked, and a bunch of malicious ads and other stuff were stuck into all of my blog posts.
I didn’t have backups.
If I did, I would have just backed up to an earlier version of the site and moved on. Because I didn’t, I ended up having to spend hundreds of dollars paying a company to clean it up and remove all of the malware for me. They monitored the site for a year afterwards, as well.
Choosing a web host that backs up your site automatically and regularly is a huge benefit – otherwise you need to use additional plugins on your website, which can add complexity and potentially affect your site’s speed.
I hate using unnecessary plugins. Just pick a host that uses automatic backups (like my top choice, WPEngine), and you’ll be good to go.
Top 3 considerations when choosing law firm web hosting
Look how far we’ve come!
Now you know what makes a great web host for your law firm and who my top recommendations are.
Before you move forward, here are my top considerations you should think about before choosing your host.
When you’re just starting a new law firm, cash is king.
You need to maximize money coming in, while minimizing the money going out. So your budget is an important part of any law firm business plan.
That being said, even the more expensive web hosts I’ve highlighted above aren’t THAT expensive. Remember, this is the thing that you’re using to get clients.
You know, the thing that makes you all your money?
Even if you’re getting client referrals from colleagues, those clients are most likely going to check you out online before contacting you or hiring you.
If your site sucks, they may skip you and go with another referral.
So, budget carefully, but be aware of how far that money you spend on a great host will actually go!
Your Technical Know-How
Ever made a website before?
How technical are you?
If you’re not super-techie, you may want to stick with a web host that has top-tier customer service and technical support, like WPEngine.
Or, if you want to skip dealing with WordPress entirely, go with an all-in-one platform like Wix.
While everything you need to deal with on your website is generally easy to learn, I realize that you’re busy. You want things taken care of right away, and without much hassle on your end.
Someone like me, on the other hand, loves dealing with the techy aspects of building and maintaining my site.
Even so, I use WPEngine for their excellent service – I love having the comfort of knowing they’re there to help out whenever there’s an issue. After my initial setup, though, I haven’t really had any!
Hopefully this post has been helpful in allowing you to choose a web host for your law firm.
If you’ve got any experiences with any of the hosts I discussed in this article, let me know in the comments below!