Time. Convenience. Money.
Can I ask for a small favour? Hit the ‘pause’ button on your project. Read this article. If you still want to use these platforms, that’s totally cool. If not, feel free to get in touch.
First, The GOOD Stuff
I’ll start by looking at the upsides of using a closed-source platform. After all, it’s not all doom and gloom.
1) It’s Easy To Get Moving
Never designed a website before? No problem. They’ll make it easy for you to get started.
Okay look, some people will actually find it too difficult to use Wix and Squarespace. It really depends on your competency level.
If you’re struggling with these platforms, you’ll definitely need a professional. But, if you’re breezing along, well, they designed it just for you.
Wix even lets you start designing a website without paying a cent. This lets you get a feel for how it works.
2) No coding required
Have you heard of ‘drag and drop’? You can just move things around on these platforms. It’s quite easy. There’s no need to learn code (e.g. HTML or CSS).
It’s worth noting that LegalSites uses a site builder for our WordPress websites. This functions in a similar way to Wix and Squarespace. Also, there’s no coding required.
What does this mean for you?
Well, our clients are free to perform updates and edits. That’s because they don’t need to write code. It’s very easy and more efficient than writing lines of code all day.
Do you have an image of ‘The Matrix?’ Yeah, I do too. Don’t worry about that, no coding is required for our websites. So, the benefits of Wix and Squarespace are watered down a bit here.
Wix and Squarespace provide the 3 essential things to get you started:
- Content management system
- Themes or templates
- Google indexing
- SEO advice
I’ll admit – if you’ve never built a website before, this is a life-saver.
In fact, I started on Wix when I built my first website. It was for my wedding DJ business. When I moved to WordPress, I realised how much work was involved in getting a website online. Nowadays, it’s easy for me. That’s because I know the steps. But, you might find it a bit overwhelming if you’re a rookie.
Why You SHOULDN’T Use These Platforms
Okay, I’ve been pretty nice to Wix and Squarespace.
So, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use these platforms to build your law firm website.
Here’s a few ways that they’ll get ya!
- Wix offers a ‘free’ domain for 1-2 years. But, it costs a fortune if you want to take your domain to a different platform. I found out when I wanted to migrate my DJ website to WordPress. Before that, I had no idea. So, I would call this a nasty little hidden cost. Naughty, naughty.
- The regular subscription fees really add up. Especially if you need more than the bare essentials. Including: > one website, user-profiles, online payment gateway, etc. But, WordPress is FREE. Yes, you heard me correctly. You only pay for hosting, domain, theme and site builder (we use Elementor Pro).
- Wix offers 50% sales quite frequently. But, the full price is rather high. So, when you renew your website, expect to pay through the nose. And they never offered me the 50% discount for a renewal in the five years that I used their service. Also — if you delay your renewal, your site goes down. Thanks guys.
2) Difficult To Scale
Big ambitions for your firm? Dreams of growing and maybe having multiple locations? Read on.
It’s difficult, expensive and sometimes impossible to do the following:
- Let users create their own profiles
- Enable online payments
- Handle large spikes in traffic
- Share blog posts
- Build an email list by using pop-ups, opt-ins and calls to action
But, WordPress is built for this. There’s also a LARGE library of third-party plugins. The possibilities are virtually endless.
3) Customisation Restrictions
Need to customise your website? Good luck. Squarespace is the worst offender here.
It’s templates are heavily restrictive.
I tried editing the website hero and header for a client. It was impossible without choosing a new template. So, I built their new website on WordPress. Their SEO ranking also soared from #20 to #4 in a matter of weeks. Okay, these results aren’t typical, but you get the idea.
4) Site Migration Is Impossible
Want to move to a new platform in future? Or at least, do you want the option? Well, migrating your site from a closed-source product is designed to be difficult.
Why? You guessed it. They don’t want you to leave.
For example, do you have blog posts? Pages for your multiple practice areas? Amazing copy? Images?
These things will have to be MANUALLY re-added if you need to migrate. But, WordPress lets you backup your database and easily switch platforms.
5) Here’s a few MORE reasons why I don’t build law firm websites on Wix and Squarespace:
Look, there’s more I could say. Let’s make it quick. I like to keep these articles short and snappy.
- WordPress performs better in Google searches. In other words, it has better SEO features
- Wix and Squarespace are renown for slow-loading speed. This annoys users and harms SEO
- WordPress generally has better functionality. Whereas the main features in Wix and Squarespace are often buggy. For example: mobile dropdown menus, galleries, videos, etc.
- The site builder we use is called Elementor. It’s amazing. What’s the first thing I noticed when I started using it? My computer wasn’t working very hard. What about Wix and Squarespace? Well, my fan starts pumping and my battery plummets. Yes, they’re rather demanding. So, do you want to work your computer harder than necessary? Or let it sit in 3rd gear?
Are you playing the long game? If so, choose an open-source platform.
I like using WordPress. It’s popular and there’s plenty of plug-ins. I also love the site-builder Elementor Pro. Better yet, our clients use it too. It’s easy for them to perform edits and updates. No coding required.
Do you have any questions? Get in touch. We’d love to help. After all, creating a website can be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.