Selecting a website developer can be a daunting task. Numerous factors play into the decision, often resulting in long delays in the process. When selecting a Web development company, firms should determine the presence of the following factors:
- Experience in building legal Web sites,
- Understanding of the law firm's target and existing customers,
- Ability to drive traffic to the firm's site,
- Ability to make recommendations as to features and site organization, and security.
Every firm will no doubt have unique needs and preferences when it comes to choosing a website developer. But to help firms get started in making this important decision, below is a Website Developer Evaluation Sheet, which highlights some important factors to take into consideration.
Website Developer Evaluation Sheet
A. Developer experience building legal websites:
B. Years in business and number of employees:
C. Sample of work and/or other law firm clients:
D. Project Team:
- Who will be developing the site?
- Do the individuals who make up the development team have experience building websites for professional service firms?
E. Understanding of legal marketing:
- Can the developer make recommendations as to best practices used by other top firms?
- Can the developer make recommendations for site content and organization?
- Can the developer make suggestions as to how to use the site to attract and retain clients?
- Does the developer use legal disclaimers?
- Does the developer understand how to tailor sections of the firm's site for practice areas, industries, and recruiting candidates?
- Can the developer suggest industry and practice area organization?
F. Understanding of business or consumer target audience (Example, a firm with a strong employment law practice may want to target employers and not employees):
- Does the developer understand what potential clients are looking for when they visit a site?
G. Interactive features:
- What type of interactive features does the developer suggest?
- Are the suggested features appropriate for the firm's target audience?
- How will these features impact the firm's business?
- Can the developer provide me with extensive traffic reports?
- Can the developer explain how to use the reports to refine site content?
- Will the developer optimize the site so that it is likely to appear on the first page of search results?
- How often will the developer re-optimize the site?
- Is the developer familiar with the legal industry and be able to identify likely searches used by my potential clients?
- What can the developer do to drive traffic to my site?
I. Technical issues:
- Site security
- Site maintenance
- How much will it cost to make changes to the site?
- Can the firm make changes or do they need to go through the Web Developer?