Websites have only been around the last fifteen or twenty years – at least for lawyers. In that time the legal website business has become a billion dollar business (basing on the legal yellow page spend plus large law market).
But are most lawyers well served by the current method of delivering websites?
For most of the lawyers in this country, do they need to be sending, three, five or ten thousand dollars on a website delivered the way they are today – agency model of designs to psd’s and developed on software unlikely to be upgraded? Websites are also usually accompanied by monthly hosting and maintenance fees. Modifications usually lead to more charges.
That’s a big increase from the first mass law firm website offering, Martindale-Hubbell’s “Law Firm HomePage” that cost $500 per year.
What if law firm websites were delivered as a SaaS solution – a cloud based software as a service solution? What would law firm websites as a service mean?
There would be a low monthly subscription with no initial fee.
The service would be all inclusive.
- Customized responsive (mobile) design – or whatever new technology arises – that could be re-designed at anytime
- Cloud hosted
- Regular upgrades and feature enhancements
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Full content exports and domain transfer upon cancellation
Through scaling and DIY (do-it-yourself) delivery components, a website delivered as a SaaS solution need not skimp.
- Unlimited number of pages per website
- Top level domains for each site (smithlawfirm.com vs wordpress.com/smithlawfirm)
- Google local search enabled for site display on search and maps
- Online contact form for prospective clients
- “HTTPS Everywhere” with free auto-renewing SSL certificates for security and enhanced search performance on Google
- Seamless integration with various other legal solutions and other services such as Clio, Rocket Matter, MyCase, Law Pay, Lexicata, Google Analytics, Google and Bing Webmaster Tools
Law firm websites as a service falls in line with all sorts of SaaS solutions lawyers are using.
Practice management, billing, legal research. bankruptcy forms, immigration processing, court deadline management are all being offered as cloud based SaaS solutions. Microsoft Office 365, a SaaS offering, is billed as giving law firms access to Microsoft Office tools from virtually anywhere, plus collaboration services that are easy to administer.
Legal tech entrepreneurs are coming out of the woodwork offering SaaS solutions to lawyers.
Clio, a cloud based practice management SaaS solution, alone, has close to a hundred legal tech solutions integrating with the Clio platform. Most, if not all of the solutions, are being offered as a SaaS solution.
There’s simply no way lawyers would be receiving the valuable services that they are without the cloud and SaaS. Services that are improving lawyers’ lives and improving the delivery of legal services to the public we serve.
I blogged a couple weeks ago about LexBlog as a SaaS solution. We’re a publishing company founded on a business model of contributors publishing on independent sites. As a result, we’re in the publishing software business.
Our software is not limited to presenting a blog site user interface. So why not a website interface and offer it like we do our other offerings as a SaaS solution.
I have never been a fan of websites as the core of a lawyer’s online business development efforts. I see the net as offering greater networking opportunities to build relationships and a name. So LexBlog stayed clear of a website offering.
But websites play a significant role in a lawyer’s online visibility. If websites can be offered in a better way for lawyers, and the public, which ultimately benefits from the efficient business practices of lawyers, why not websites as a service.