FindLaw is one of the most well-known website platforms for law firms. And they’re not cheap either. Charging hundreds to thousands of dollars per month just for hosting a website, with long-term contracts, is a hard pill to swallow for a lot of firms.
For Prince Law, a Pennsylvania law firm, they had some search engine visibility, but were unhappy with what they were paying for their Findlaw contract. They sought out JurisPage to migrate the site, including its Spanish language version and a separate website related to firearms law.
Migrating from Findlaw
If you are looking to migrate from Findlaw, it is a big project. Some of the obstacles:
Their sites are built completely with proprietary tools (no Wordpress or any other common CMS)
You cannot export the website into an easy-to-transfer format
The site text, images, layout, and meta tags all need to be “scraped” using another service
The site has to be rebuilt completely
You need to maintain URL structure or set up 301 redirects to maintain rankings
For many firms, the headache of having to migrate a site can be a hassle, and so they just stay put despite the cost. But there is a way out. While a migration is a large undertaking, working with the right partner can save you the headache.
What steps does a Findlaw website migration involve?
Scraping everything off the existing site
Mapping out every page’s SEO tags (title and meta description)
Setting up a new website on a different content management system (like Wordpress)
Adding all of the old webpages with their original SEO tags
Adding the original site content to the new pages
Setting up 301 redirects for any different URLs from the old page to a corresponding new page (prevents loss of search engine visibility with the migration)
There are a bunch more steps that go into setting up a new website, but these are the steps unique to moving a Findlaw site.
Here is an excerpt of our interview with Jeff Franklin of Prince Law:
What precipitated the redesign?
We had a couple of new attorneys join the firm. We’re about 10 attorneys. Getting Findlaw to update the bios and new practice areas – they were unresponsive and slow. They had always been expensive. And we were primarily driven by frustration due to their responsiveness as we wanted to update our website. And we felt very locked in with Findlaw. We weren’t big enough to get their attention.
We were also paying about $1,000 per month for the website and about $2,000 per month for their “marketing” service.
We thought we could get better value elsewhere. We looked for smaller web designers catering to law firms. Someone more like us.
How was the redesign process with JurisPage?
It had a good pace for us. It kept moving. When we provided feedback, we were listened to. There was a good-faith effort to implement what we said we wanted done. The turnaround time was very good.
How has your experience been since the relaunch?
Overall we are able to keep the website fresher and more reflective of the needs our clients are interested in. In the past it would have taken months or not occurred at all under Findlaw.
Was retaining traffic that the old site had a concern?
We had that existing website up for a number of years, so we wanted to try and make sure that during the website redesign that Google wouldn’t be penalizing us for the new website design. As I understood it, one of the key facets was that the old pages would be replicated on the new site, and that helps with the Google algorithm, and that they show up.
JurisPage also ended up doing a second site for you for a different practice area. What brought that on?
The old website was not responsive to mobile devices. About half of traffic and increasing amount comes from mobile and we didn’t want to suffer the Google algorithm penalty. The site was custom built in PHP and it was difficult for us to update. It didn’t have a control panel with an easy to update interface like JurisPage provides. Because of our positive experience on the main site with JurisPage, we asked them to do the second website as well. And JurisPage was responsive. We continue to keep the site fresh because JurisPage makes it easy.
Main takeaway: While migrating a website from a provider can be an ordeal, especially if you have a good amount of traffic, having an experienced team working with you can make the process easy.
If you are looking to work with someone who will partner with you to help your firm reach its marketing goals, call JurisPage at 800-863-7603.