How much should a legal website cost?

It’s hard to know how much you should be paying for web services, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the industry. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I’d like to revisit one of the topics we’re most passionate about here at Mockingbird: lawyers being cheated by their SEO/digital marketing companies.

Below, I’ve listed the average costs for common web services. If your bill is significantly more expensive than what I’ve mentioned, make sure you fully understand what you’re paying for. Reread your invoice, or ask your provider for a list of exactly what you’re getting for your money. It’s possible multiple services are being lumped into one line item.

Otherwise, run screaming. You’re being cheated.

Web Design/Development

one time expense of $3k – $13k 

The cost to develop a website is highly variable depending on the volume/production of content, and the site complexity and customization. If this is your firms first website, you’ll probably be on the lower end of that spectrum. If you’re migrating thousands of pages of content into one site and want every attorney bio page to change color based on the readers mood, be prepared to hand over the big bucks.


monthly cost of $3.95 – $30

Your host is what keeps your website online. Your hosting bill should not be expensive. As a general rule, it should be cheaper (per month) than your cable bill. At the bottom end of the spectrum, you can host your website for less than $5 per month. GoDaddy hosting, for example, is currently running a whopping $4.99/month. We’re fans of WP Engine, the Cadillac of website hosting, which runs at $29/month.

Domain ownership

from $20/year to a $5m one time cost

Your domain is, in its simplest form, what your website is called. Ie. Domains are usually offered for a monthly, annual, or multi-year cost. At the cheapest, you could probably get your hands on a domain for ~$10/year. At the most expensive? Millions. Some domains are ridiculously expensive, but yours probably shouldn’t be. If you’re very particular and bought it off someone (think, it’s possible your domain is quite expensive. However, for something more run of the mill (think or, I’d estimate you should be less than $75/year.

SEO services

$1,000 – $10,000 per month

The costs associated with SEO services are also highly variable, but here are a few ways we determine monthly budgets:

  1. How competitive is your location? Anecdotally, we’ve found that Texas and NYC are two of the most ridiculously competitive places in the country. If you’re trying to make an impact in one of these places, brace yourself for a hefty bill. On the other hand, are you one of 3 attorneys in your small town in the Midwest? Your bill should be significantly lower, for the simple reason that it should take less work for your site to perform.
  2. How big is your site? Generally speaking, this goes hand in hand with the size of your law firm. The larger your site the more time it will take to optimize it, therefore the higher your bill.
  3. How competitive is your practice area? Personal injury is going to be pricy, while bankruptcy law shouldn’t be. Are you trying to perform for Personal Injury, Divorce AND DUI? Buckle up.

Site Updates/Content Additions/Typo Fixes

This should be cheap.

Consultants will generally run anywhere from $100-$300 an hour. However, it will take anyone who knows their stuff less than 5 minutes to upload a new page of content (assuming it’s already been written). Fixing a typo should take less than 1 minute. Updating plugins, testing contact forms, and checking for penalties should take less than an hour, once a month. If your provider is sending you a $500 bill every time you ask that the copyright year be updated, seriously question their validity.

Like anything, though, there are two sides to every story. For every 5 law firms getting over charged for quick fixes, there’s a marketing firm working on a limited scope project ($500 to run a PPC campaign, for example) who is also being asked to change the wording on a home page slider once a week. In a monthly retainer relationship, the costs for maintenance and quick fixes are often rolled into an “SEO services” charge, but not always.

Site Speed Matters – So how do you test it?

Site speed is important. Your website speed can influence site traffic and more importantly – conversions. If your site takes 5-10 seconds to load on a desktop with a high speed internet connection, it’s going to take even longer to load on a mobile network. This is not a good user experience and can cause visitors (potential customers) to move along.

There are many factors affecting your site speed… registrar, host, site platform, site code optimization, image size, external requests, the list goes on… However, there are tools available to get quick answers, as well as very detailed answers.

Our favorite tools are:

All of these tools have various scores, data points, pros, and cons. One test is not going to give you a definitive answer; multiple tests will be more telling as to how your site is actually performing. has more functionality and adjustable settings than the rest. Pingdom and Google will give you grades and scores; some of these data points are important, some are not.

Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom has four data points that I find most important:

  1. “Your website is (faster/slower) than (%) of all tested websites.”
  2. Page Size.
  3. First Byte.

The “website is faster/slower than” metric is an easy way for you to gauge your site speed against others. It is also the perfect example of why multiple tests are important. This calculation uses “Load Time”, which is influenced by “Page Size”, host speed, server connection speed, and code quality. Mockingbird pages, for example, average around 0.8-1.4 seconds to fully load, but on a single test in Pingdom I received a 2.83 second “Load Time”. Multiple tests with other testing services are your friend.

Page Size is important, because it influences your load time and can be optimized. Is your page over 2 MB? If you don’t have many images or any videos – I would find this alarming. Are your images poorly optimized for web? Is your site code overly bulky? Are you loading too many large external resources? All of these are fixable by web designers and developers. Poorly optimized images are the most common increase in page size and has the easiest fix. “Save for web” in Adobe Photoshop or other image editing programs is a simple step to take when creating images for a website.

First Byte is something clearly displayed in the results – but is not clear in the Pingdom results.  Your First Byte time is the time it takes to DNS Lookup, Connect, and Load the initial HTML file. With Pingdom this can be seen as the time it takes to load the initial page file within the Waterfall graph.

Other Scores

Load Time can be useful especially for smaller sites – because this time should be low for small sites. There’s probably no videos, as many external resources, or as many images as larger sites. But for large sites this time can be hard to control. I prefer to stay within 0.5-3 seconds, but under 5 is ok. Performance Grade – this metric has some useful data for web developers. However, for a small business who is actively marketing – this score is useless. Just having advertising, analytics, and call tracking is going to bring this score way down, because the amount of externally loaded resources that are necessary.

Let me give you some “Pingdom” Load Time examples from our clients.

Client Who Moved From Slow Host to Our Favorite – WPengine:

  • Load Time: Old Host = 8-10 seconds | WPengine = 0.7-3 seconds (Wow!)
  • Page Size: 2.9MB

Huge Bulky Client Website on WPengine:

  • Load Time: 1-3 Seconds (This is amazing for a bulky, older, big box theme, WordPres site)
  • Page Size: 1.5MB
There’s always room for website improvement. But, anyone can use these tools to find glaring, yet fixable problems.

As you can see, a fast host like WPengine can really make a huge difference. For reference – big sites like newspapers or syndicated blogs will have load times of up to 12 seconds! This is because of their large amounts of content and advertising. But their “Start Render Time” is still going to be 0.5-2 seconds, allowing users to view content quickly.  This “Start Render Time” time may be influencing search results. – Test a website’s performance

This is truly an amazing tool for developers. I won’t go into all the details here, because it’s not that useful for the average user. But there are a few features and data points I highly recommend using.

  • Connection (Can test your speed over Cable, DSL, 3G, 2G, etc…)
  • Number of Tests to Run (Here is where we weed out the outliers with up to 9 tests)
  • First View and Repeat View (Repeat View will allow you to test your caching by comparing speeds to First View)
  • “Start Render” data point (After you run a test – this will be one of the first items you see – it’s important for larger sites and ensures your visitors are seeing content quickly)

Google Page Speed Insights

This tool from Google gives you a Mobile Speed Score, Mobile User Experience Score, and a Desktop Speed Score out of 100. Your Mobile User Experience should be 100/100 or very close to it – to ensure a strong mobile user experience. The rest of the optimization suggestions contribute to your score, which I have mixed feelings about.

You might ask – why not just go for a 100/100 scores on the Google PageSpeed Insights? I could continue this rant and explain the technicalities of those scores. But to keep it simple, it’s not worth it, because it would require a huge web development budget with no tangible return on the investment. Check out this case study on earning a 100/100 score – Smashing Magazine Performance Case Study.

Go Test Your Site!

I suggest using a combination of the tools discussed above to assess your site. If your page speed and load times are super slow – you might consider a website redesign or host change. You might even discover that you have giant images over 1MB each! That’s an easy fix.

Put a Bird on It: Making Your Legal Imagery Soar

Portlandia Put a Bird on It

Put a bird on it. There is a reason that this phrase from the quirky Portland-based show has stuck around — well there are two reasons:

  1. By placing a bird image on clothing, bags, and otherwise utilitarian items, they became elevated to art, perceived as inviting and worth more. Short lesson: images matter.
  2. A once whimsical image that provided visual intrigue & lightness to mundane designs got overused. It is now a tired stereotype. It represents a lack of imagination and creativity. Short lesson: don’t put a bird on it…And let go of overused stock photography.

Why You Care

Images make ordinary things emotional, increase engagement, and can keep people on your content longer.

We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

Hm…maybe I should have put that last bit in an image. Did you know that just by visually imagining a written word as an image, it increases the likelihood that someone will remember the word? Already we’ve got two reasons to include great images on our websites: faster connection, stronger connection. But there’s more.

Images pack powerful emotional and cognitive sway. Remember when you do the group cohesion tests to find out what kind of learner everyone is? Examples include auditory, kinesthetic…the list goes on. But guess what — big surprise here — pretty much everyone, is also a visual learner. One more reason that images are something to care about on your legal website.

Stock Images that Won’t Kill Your Spirit

So, you’ve decided, you will put some stock images on your website. Fair enough. Here are a couple of free resources: compilation of many free stock images, variety of local and other high-res photos. We just ask, if you can, don’t put a bird on it…unless your business name is Mockingbird Marketing, then you should certainly put a bird on it. Really though, as you make decisions about what defines your firm and what makes sense for your branding, one easy rule is this: steer clear of legal images that haven’t had a rest since pretty much the beginning of law. See below for a solid, though not comprehensive, list.

Spare Yourself these Top 7

  1. GavelsKitty Cat Decides Justice
  2. Scales of justice
  3. European judge (unless you practice in Europe)
  4. Statue of Lady Justice
  5. Piles and piles of law books
  6. Eagles
  7. American flag laid over any of the previous items

Here’s a quick tip: Google “law firm.” Select Images. Anything you find here is very, very tired. Be polite, let it rest.

You Are Above the Gavel

Think of your firm and your firm’s photos as a personal calling card. They represent who you are, your brand, and if you can give people the extra edge to associate your firm or your photos with your firm, then you are one step closer to a phone call. Visuals are a huge part of how we tell our story and how we initially engage with people. It’s often our first impression beyond a Google Search. So, if you have the budget, one better than selecting compelling stock photos is to have attorney and firm photos taken by a professional photographer.

Think about what defines your law firm. What differentiates you? And not just what is interesting to you; flip that around. What will potential clients find important? What about your firm will be of value to them?

For example, say you think your law firm culture — relaxed, Hawaiian shirt Friday — is quite delightful and unique. I agree, go for it. BUT before you publish your luau Friday firm look to the website, consider this: why does a potential client care? Unless you can share (visually, written, etc.) how your hang loose Hawaiian look benefits the client, then keep it internal. Because worst case scenario here, it can come across as self-absorbed and inward-thinking.

From Selfie to Self-Assured

So we’ve just compiled a list of things to avoid. Let’s shift gears to things that work. Again, great law firm photos can help bring to life your qualities, value, philosophy, and story. They can give you an edge on how you are different from other law firms.

Proud Kid AwardAfter launching over 500 legal websites, I have seen a wide array of law firm photos: the good, the bad and the ugly. From blurry head-shots, to poorly green-screened firm photos, to selfies in a courthouse bathroom, it’s all been done. And it all gets posted to the website.

Instead, take the time to hire a local photographer. Have staff prepared for the photoshoot and strategize beforehand with the photographer so that you know what you are going to get out of it.

Scout out locations in and around your office that are interesting. Are there major landmarks that people will recognize? Is there a good view near your location? Some of the best firm photos for websites are action photos. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. Just try to get everyone walking, speaking, and moving like great, engaging, caring humans do. Great law firm photos can tell a story and it is your job to make sure that story is worth telling.

The Ugly Economics of Live Chat

The promise of live chat is extremely compelling… vetted, qualified leads at a cost of just $35. Who wouldn’t do that?

But this number is such a (very) small part of the true cost of Live Chat.  What follows is a framework to evaluate the true business economics of chat. Feel free to plug in your own assumptions to calculate the economics for your own business.  (Note: There are lots of chat options out there; my examples below center around the big player, NGage.)

But first, I know a lot of very smart (and very mathematically driven) attorneys who utilize live chat on very large sites. Having said that, I hate the user experience it delivers –  the only thing more annoying than live chat is the cheesy, green-screened, walk out video with autoplay audio. My thoughts echo Jay Fleishman’s who described live chat thusly:

I think it comes off as looking cheap. Unless the chat can respond to queries, it’s like calling your cable company and getting someone on the other end who can’t (or won’t) do anything of any value – frustrating.

The Three Economic Impacts of Live Chat

1.Increased Cost per Client

This is the most easy to understand cost of Live Chat – $35 per qualified lead.  Assuming you can convert half of the qualified leads, that’s a cost of ($35/0.5) = $70 per client.  Right?  Maybe not…

What we forget is that chat is a conversion tool, not a marketing investment and the cost of chat needs to be added to the marketing channel that generated the user.  So we need to add $35 per lead on top of that marketing spend (PPC, Avvo Advertising, SEO etc.) So a $300 cost per prospect goes up to $335 – certainly not enough to break the bank, but not insignificant.

More problematically – many firms view chat as a marketing channel and misallocate that conversion to “chat” instead of the marketing spend that generated the prospect.

2.Decreased Conversion Rate

As a marketing agency, the best advice Mockingbird gives many of our clients is to stop spending money on marketing and instead, focus on converting existing leads into clients. And there’s simply nothing more effective at converting than immediately talking to a professional, knowledgable, empathetic, human who has a sense of urgency.

My concern here is the qualified prospect who continues shopping around after engaging with an impersonal, outsourced, routinized, zero value-add script.  Ryan Pitz of the Intake Academy (a consultancy that specializes in conversion optimization for law firms) interviewed NGage VP, Alex Hambrick who said:

You have to realize there’s a good chance these people have filled out a contact form on your site and they’ve also filled out a contact form on three or four other attorney’s sites, and you might not be the first attorney who’s called them back. You have to approach it as though the competition has already gotten to that potential client.

This is a huge red flag – the cost of NOT converting immediately is very high indeed as you lose business to the firm across the street.  Economically this has two impacts:

  1. Increased cost/client – now that you are converting at a lower rate, your cost per client is increasing.  Let’s (very conservatively) assume that phone calls are 25% more effective at converting leads than chat. Also assume you are spending roughly $1,000 in marketing dollars per signed client.  The drop in conversion rate for those who chat instead of call increases your cost per client:  $1,000/(1 – .25) = $1,333.
  2. Lost Business – and oh – lets not overlook the lost revenue of those prospects who signed with your competitor after calling them and immediately reaching a knowledgable, caring lawyer who made them feel taken care of.

NOTE: Lawyers frequently complain about the volume of unqualified leads they receive and the expense in vetting those leads.  Live Chat can be a very cost effective way of filtering out unqualified leads – say those from out of state for example. Given the cost per qualified lead billing model for Live Chat – the direct cost in filtering out unqualifieds is essentially zero. However, in my opinion, the benefit of converting qualified leads at a very high rate far outstrips the cost of vetting those unqualified leads.

3.Large Cost per Incremental Client

Finally, how effective is Live Chat in driving incremental business? Put more simply, how many additional qualified prospects on a firm’s website contact that firm through Live Chat, who wouldn’t have otherwise picked up the phone or completed an online form. Even being optimistic, I can’t imagine that number exceeds 1 in 50.

The economics are pretty simple to analyze – $35 x 50 leads = $1,750 per incremental lead.  Now assume that after actually talking with an attorney, half of those leads are really qualified and we’re up to $1,750/.5 = $3,500 per qualified lead. Finally, assume the attorney can close half of those qualified leads, and our cost balloons to $7,000 per incremental client.

Guidelines for Chat

Remember that chat providers are optimized to maximize their revenue, not your business.  If I were to utilize chat, I’d want to make sure it could do the following things differently from the typical chat install.

  • Day-parting – activate only when my front desk wasn’t covered at night, or weekends – times when its hard to reach a person in my office and my conversion rates are lower than normal due to the lack of phone presence.
  • Customizable Deployment – NGage is set to pop up within a specified time interval (I think 17 seconds) that has been tested to optimize the volume of chats.  I’d want to be able to set rules for when it pops up – say a specific number of pages viewed, for example instead of aggressively bombarding users.
  • Mobile – chat shouldn’t dominate the precious screen real estate of mobile phones.  Chat on mobile is unwieldy at best and . . . the user literally has a phone in their hand, why on earth would you push chat instead?

A Chat Counterexample:

So, let’s come full circle and see how Jay Fleishman handles conversions on his own site.  (And note – Jay is not a client, just a small firm lawyer I’ve known for many years who really gets marketing.)  Here’s the button from his home page – note that it is user initiated, skipping the obnoxious take-over popup – kind of looks like chat, but built with the user in mind.

chat button



And the button takes users to a mind-numbingly simple contact us form (below).  Note both a phone number and email address built into his site’s header, so prospects have many different ways to contact Jay.  Except of course chat, because Jay would rather talk with them directly.  And so would they.

jay form

I hope this has given you a framework to assess the efficacy of live chat for your own law firm – but have no illusions that the price tag is much higher than $35.

Call Tracking for Law Firms – Jenny, I Got Your Number: 867-5309

Here at Mockingbird, we love data. We love data because data allows us to make decisions based on what works, rather than what we think might work. We love data because it allows us to explain to our clients why they should be spending less time, money and effort on X while spending more on Y. Have I mentioned that we love data? Ok great.

This love for data is why all of our clients have their phone number displayed clearly at the very top of their website – and not just any number, a call tracking number.

Call Tracking We Love Data

What a Phone Number Can Tell Us

Phone numbers in marketing can do much more than connect your clients to your business (connecting your clients to your business is priority number one). Here’s a short list of all the information a phone number can give you:

  • How many calls your business receives,
  • Which marketing channel generated those calls (organic traffic, PPC, referrals from Avvo, etc),
  • How long each call lasted,
  • The location each call was placed from,
  • How much you spent to acquire that call,
  • Whether you converted that caller into a client, and
  • Your ROI on said client.

Don’t go calling your phone company just yet… This is all done by using call tracking software, which masks your firm’s main telephone number with a unique (sometimes toll free) tracking number. This number changes based on how that person found your website, allowing the software to track how many calls came from AdWords vs. Bing Ads, and so on.

Panicking at the thought of losing your catchy number? Take a couple deep breaths; it may not be as important as you think.

Let Go Of Your Catchy Phone Number

**Insert some Disney song reference here**

I have a confession: I have no idea what my girlfriend’s phone number is. I think it starts with a two.

I have another confession: I call my neighborhood Teriyaki restaurant once a week. I don’t know their phone number, either.

If a number is really important to me, like my girlfriends’, I save it in my phone as a contact. If it’s not so important, like the teriyaki restaurant, I do a quick Google search for their name, and then click-to-call their number.

On the rare day I’m without my cell phone, I search for phone numbers on Google, and then immediately dial – retaining the numbers just long enough to press each button. I like to think I’m using this brain space for more important things (maybe I’m not).

My behavior is representative of many people in 2015, and brings up a noteworthy point: information is so accessible these days that the actual phone number is becoming less and less important. Gone are the days of keeping a Rolodex. Now, we can easily save a new phone number into our phone or quickly look it up through search.

And unlike humans, computers don’t care if that number ends in 1-2-3-4 or rhymes with “DUI”.

Area Codes and Local Phone Numbers

Area codes can factor into your local search efforts, so you should have a local, direct phone number that rings to your law firm. Use this number in all of your website directories (especially Google My Business). However, don’t let acquiring a local tracking number keep you from using call tracking software. Since they aren’t hard coded into your site, tracking numbers don’t affect local search efforts. Additionally, they’re highly dependent on what the phone companies release to the public/tracking companies, so you could be waiting a while.

Whatever you do, don’t hard code a bunch of different numbers in a bunch of different places. Make it as easy for Google to connect the dots. Call tracking software doesn’t actually change the phone number on your site, it just masks it; your NAP (name-address-phone number) consistency is safe.

Call Tracking Software We Like

We use Avvo Ignite whenever a firm lacks an intake process. Avvo understands lawyers. They also understand SEO. They’ve put both of these things together and made a product that can help a firm not only track the number of leads, but the leads within the purchasing funnel. Warning: you have to use it to get the most out of it.

When intake software isn’t necessary, or when a client doesn’t utilize a majority of the features within Ignite, we also recommend Call Rail. This product seems to have a nice selection of local and toll free numbers, and integrates very easily into WordPress via a plugin and API key. As an added bonus, it plays well with multi-location firms with more than one number displayed throughout your website.

There are many, many more companies that offer solutions similar to the two above. What call tracking software is your firm using and which channel is driving the most leads? If you’re not sure, we’re happy to help you figure that out.

Don’t listen to Tommy Tutone, Jenny. Change your number so you know how your potential clients are finding you. It will help make you more successful.

Speed Doesn’t Kill (a.k.a. our love affair with WPEngine)

There are many ways to radically improve site speed, but the simplest is often to change hosts. Take Client X, for example. Before our engagement, their website was on a host that technically did it’s job by keeping the website online, but left a lot to be desired in terms of site speed.  We recommended they make the switch to our favorite host, WP Engine. They agreed, and we saw a drastic improvement in their site speed.

According to pingdom, the average load time went from ~6.29 seconds to ~1.2 seconds. Not perfect, but quite literally 5x faster than the site was on it’s previous host.

speed kills

WP Engine credits their remarkable site speed to their proprietary EverCache system – their “secret sauce” that makes their websites perform. We’re also fans of their speedy servers, expertise on how to optimize for wordpress performance, and stellar customer support. As an added bonus, they “automatically scan for, and fix, hacking attempts” to your website. Last but not least, they automatically backup their sites on a daily basis, which has been a lifesaver more times than we can count.

Granted, WP Engine is slightly more expensive than other hosts, but at $29/month it’s not exactly breaking the bank. Plus it’s completely worth it. As you may recall, Google takes site speed into account when determining rankings. Switching to WP Engine -> faster website -> better rankings -> more traffic to your website -> more phone calls -> more clients.

And did we mention automatic backups?

And if you’d like some help with the transition . . . we’d be happy to lend a hand . . . between Mockingbird and WP Engine the only thing you’ll notice is your site’s new lightening fast load speeds.  And while we are talking about hosting . . . if your provider charges you a penny more than $29 monthly to host your website, you have been taken to the cleaners.

P.S. In our humble opinion, the best customer support person working at WP Engine is Michael Anthony. He’s awesome. Seriously, somebody give that guy a raise.

WordPress 3.9.2 Update Addresses Security Issues

Because WordPress is the most easy to use and widely available website platform it is heavily targeted by hackers.  And a hacked WordPress site can be almost impossible to fix . . .  we’ve actually rebuilt client sites from scratch in the past instead of managing headaches around hacking issues.

Yesterday WordPress just launched 3.9.2 to address various security concerns.  So if you are running WordPress – make sure you’re updated to the current version.  And if you are one of Mockingbird’s hosted clients . . . don’t worry, we updated you last evening.

Oh – and how can you tell what version you are running?  Just log in to WordPress and look at the bottom right hand corner of any page . . .

WordPress Version


That’s all . . . carry on.

WordPress Hacked: A case for a Managed WordPress Host

We push WordPress as the only acceptable platform for legal websites.  There is a downside: WordPress’s ease of use has led to widespread adoption.  And with popularity comes hacking.  WordPress is notorious as a target for hacks.  A hacked WordPress site is quickly rendered almost invisible (with the exception of highly branded queries) to search engines as they proactively steer users away from a sites that are out of the site owner’s control.

Here’s an example for the branded query “sostrin law office”:

Hacked WordPress warning

“This site may be hacked.”

This warning is the kiss of SEO death for a site.  In fact, searches for “criminal defense los angeles” didn’t return this site within the first 100 results, even after I had visited it.  Its a good looking site, with good content but I suspect is utterly invisible to search traffic.


We’ve had one client who came to us with a hacked WordPress site – their search traffic had essentially flatlined, the phone stopped ringing and their PPC spend had exploded by 300% as even branded search queries weren’t returning their site, so existing customers were clicking on their PPC campaign just to get the phone number.  Disaster.  For this firm, we were utterly unable remove the malicious code after three different attempts and were forced to rebuild their site entirely from scratch.  

The Answer: Managed WordPress Hosting

There are a few hosting companies that have sprung up to help site owners minimize the hacking risks of using WordPress – this is called Managed WordPress Hosting.  In short – this is the process of a)automating frequent backups b)automating updates to the most current WordPress version and c)eliminating WordPress plug-ins that are vulnerable to hacks. We use WP Engine and they also happen to offer stupendous customer service. While more mainstream hosting providers have started offering Managed WordPress hosting, I’d strongly recommend working with a company that focuses exclusively on the platform – Pressable (formerly ZippyKids) also has a strong reputation.

Managed WordPress is More Expensive

With basic plans coming in around $30 a month (at least 300% more than standard mass hosting solutions), Managed WordPress hosting is more expensive. But this is one situation where you get what you pay for – I’m pretty sure Sostrin Law Offices would be happy to increase their hosting budget right now.

The First Thing to Do After You Launch Your New WordPress Site

We got a call yesterday from a law firm trying to determine why their site, that had just been completely redesigned and updated to WordPress didn’t seem to be performing.

Roughly 4 minutes into the conference call with the firm and their web designer, I discovered  . . . .






This is SEO suicide – essentially telling search engines to ignore the site.  Its a very simple setting on WordPress commonly (and appropriately) used when sites are under development.    However, when pushing the site live, you MUST manually change this setting or the site will remain invisible. Apparently the agency forgot. This is the second time we’ve seen this in the past 6 months, so I’m going to assume it is a relatively common mistake.

The easy way to check your site is to simply load the robots file – and see what shows up.  WordPress’s basic (and proper) initial installation looks like this (which is what the panicked agency did during our call in about 2 minutes):

robots WP