Unequivocally, 21st century is considered as an innovative era, and there is no doubt to the fact that having a website contributes largely to the innovation.
Owning a website is like owning a business card, it is an essential segment that shouts “I am a professional, who is open for business”. So, if you have a website, it would typically be the very first interaction for an individual that would create an impression for your potential client.
When it comes to a law firm website, these potential clients always look for reliability and confidentiality. They need a strong shoulder to lean on, and nothing works better than Drupal.
If you ask - Why Drupal?
Well, mainly because a law firm website would always wish for safety against hackers and smooth performance over high load. Drupal creates a solid and reliable impression when it comes to both these sectors.
Drupal is a Good Option for Your Law Firm Website
According to a survey conducted by “Legal Trend Reports”, nearly 37 percent of the population search for a lawyer online. Which means that for succeeding in an industry it is important to have an attractive, robust and secure website.
And this is how Drupal does the task.
Builds Togetherness with the Community
Drupal is a free and open source content management system with an active community constantly creating free elements for the website in the form of modules, themes, and distributions.
The large community grinds Drupal like a valuable gem to absolute perfection by constantly keeping its hand on modern innovations.
The open source platform is supported by an active community of more than 1 million members who are constantly trying to make it more flexible than other platforms in the market. The CMS has been providing immense support to its users by presenting a helping hand in form of creating documentation, sharing networking opportunities, granting them with valuable modules etc.
Headless Drupal awarding you with user interaction
Whether you call it “Decoupled” or “Headless” content management system, using Drupal as your central content service can power up your entire application and device ecosystem.
The mantra of the web development strategy “Write once and publish everywhere” has been grabbing the eyes of several law firm website owners.
The concept of decoupling also implies the managing of different content layers separately, with an agnostic presentation layer. To be precise, it is the communication between backend and the frontend via API.
Rocky mountain victim law center (RMVLC) is a great example of this methodology. The website houses a program which is known as the Legal Information Network of Colorado (LINC). On the basis of a series of questions, this web app provided people with exact legal information and resources. The goal of this program was to empower victims of crime. A better way to make them understand their legal options in the aftermath of victimization. The victims were presented with the advantage to answer a series of questions about the mishap which resulted in a custom list of actionable resources.
The Decoupled Approach allowed LINC to leverage the strengths of both - frontend as well as backend
Access your website anywhere
When we talk about “better user experience” - mobile compatible websites has turned out to be an important factor for marketers, organizations, corporates, and advertisers
This is because according to FindLaw studies, nearly 72 percent of mobile users say that it is important for a website to be fully optimized for mobile use. That means that the website should be accessible to people in any device.
Drupal is the CMS which provides the users with multiple themes that are mobile responsive and layout centric. The platform has replaced PHP template with all new Twig template in its latest update which not only makes it easy and flexible for the users to use but also provides them with fast, secure, and manageable website.
Thereby, Drupal's responsive designs have helped websites to respond to each visitor’s needs by adapting its presentation based on the size and capabilities of the device which is being used.
Mastering Multiple sites
Large law firm websites consist of many committees and promoting any desired initiative on the main website for an individual attorney could be a big hassle. Therefore, the only solution to the whole scenario is to have an individual website or a blog that is separate from the main website yet a part of it.
Therefore, Drupal contributes largely to simplify the management of the websites with the help of the multisite feature. It allows you to serve multiple sites with the help of single codebase. The requirement is only to maintain one copy of Drupal core and, of course, the contributed modules. In other words, it brings about a manageable code across multiple sites and brings agility while launching new sites.
A great example of the multisite feature is the Legal services corporation which provides legal assistance to low-income citizens. The website is a collection of six other sites with the main agenda of providing easy maintenance to the LCS staff while they update the website. Therefore, Drupal was chosen based on the fact that it powers multisite functionality and consisted of one Drupal installation. Not only this but the site also leveraged multilingual support and was compliant with Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act.
Decoding Multiple Languages
As an attorney, it is possible that you might practice in an area where your client speaks different languages. A translator in such a situation becomes an important factor in the whole journey of communication.
Similar is the case with the audiences that are surfing online. It is necessary to add a multilingual capability to your law firm website due to the fact there is a diverse audience that does not have English as their preferred language. The multilingual feature here not only makes it easy for those users to understand your website content, but it also doubles your chance of being spotted in the Google search result.
Drupal is one of those CMSes that emerges out as a sword for all the website owners with a power of multilingual feature. It grants them with a striking number of over 90 languages that has a built-in translation core.
Apart from translating your content, Drupal also translates all the fields, forms and error messages. The new version of Drupal consists of 4 inbuilt multilingual modules.
This module lets the user pick the choice in which they desire to change the website. It consists of 96 languages in its bar. The language configuration has been streamlined to the user. It assigns languages to everything, from taxonomy terms to administrative language.
It provides the user with a central directory to manage the interface. It has a built-in translation UI for simplifying the content. By allowing the automated downloads and updates, the users easily translate the interface.
This module is applicable to all the contents. It allows the user to translate everything, from taxonomy to pages. Like the translation in the interface, the default language of the content can be configured flexibly.
The things that come with a configuration of the website can be translated with the help of this module. These things include views, blocks, panels, field panels or the text for that matter that can be formatted and be easily translated.
New York County District Attorney’s Office website is built on this multilingual feature of Drupal. The district attorney CY Vance Jr. is the leader in the criminal justice reform who proposed a compelling vision for moving the Manhattan District Attorney's Office with the main agenda of prevention of crime. His objective of the project was to easily reach people with the continuous publication of the content that served as an information portal for the District Attorney.
Drupal was an ideal CMS as it provided with a great platform to build complex websites and was helpful in integrating interactive web services. The key agenda was to reach as many people as possible.
How Can We Forget Security?
In 2016, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca faced a leak of over 2.6 terabytes of data highlighting the risk around data security and the need of companies to protect their client's information.
This clearly indicates that security plays a crucial role for all law firm websites. Visitors want assurance over their data. They want that it should be secured and private.
Drupal is the CMS that is well known for its security. It presents its users with careful testing of all modules which is done by the Drupal experts. The password is encrypted and the community reviews the modules on go. With security modules like security review, two-factor authentication, paranoia etc, the vulnerabilities or loopholes that compromises a website, are largely taken care off. Not only this but, Drupal also meets the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) standards which are actively screened to prevent continuous future risks. With the selection of Drupal as your platform, your website is continuously reviewed by the Drupal Security Team. The CMS makes sure that the security vulnerability is reported to them.
Module, Themes, and Distribution
Drupal has special modules, themes, and distributions which are specifically created for the law firms.
The law firm creates and shares attorney profiles with potential client quite frequently. This might be a time-consuming and might also slow down the entire process as there can be a number of attorneys lined up for your firm. Thus, to improve the performance and save time for the same, Drupal comes with a module known as profile generator that allows you to find profiles quickly.
The law theme is a free professional mobile-friendly theme for the law website. It is a responsive, mobile first theme for Drupal 8. It consists of features like configurable slideshow, 13 block regions, social media integration, clean HTML5, and so on.
The law firm distribution, which is also known as pre-configured Drupal version containing the core of the entire system, is a set of modules, themes, and libraries. They make the site creation easy and swift.
This is also a fully responsive distribution that features a homepage with a slider, a section for legal industry events, a photo gallery, a section with YouTube videos rendered in a structured way, and much more.
Give full attention to the page load time
Having a faster page load speed isn’t only increasing your Google ranking, but it is also contributing to customer satisfaction. Faster page navigation means that users may see more page views each time they visit your law firm website.
Conducted on the behalf of Akamai, Forrester Consulting found out that, 47% of the customer expect to wait no longer than 3 seconds for a web page to load. With the usage of specific modules and methods, Drupal manages to reach marketing goal faster. Modules and methods like:
Caching your pages
Drupal 8 is such an understanding CMS that it enables caching by default for anonymous visitors. The user has the ability to select the maximum limit of the page caching based on how quickly the content of the website changes.
Content Distribution Network (CDN)
The role of a CDN is to store websites on a server, and the CDN module in Drupal provides easy CDN integration to all the Drupal sites. It changes the file URLs so that the file is downloaded from a CDN instead of the server.
Drupal also provides its users with web statistics tracking system called Google Analytics. The module allows the users to add statistics features like single/multi/cross domain tracking, monitoring the links that have to be tracked, monitoring the files that are downloaded, supporting site search, Drupal message tracking etc
Content is the King
Note that if your website content does not engage the user then it might not be serving the purpose even if your website consists of great web design. Poor content tends to lose the audience.
Drupal allows its user to edit and customize content without the need of modifying the entire website. With the help of intuitive modules like ctools, field group, paragraphs, entity API etc, the user can build their own content types that have their own set of fields.
According to content marketing institute, 89% of B2B organizations are using content marketing as their strategy of marketing business.
And Drupal is the platform which lets you deliver personalized content and contributes vividly as a content manager.
Drupal would not only contribute to the editing and deleting part of the content but it would also help you to future-proof it. Machines are able to read the content by reviewing the metadata of a website. The metadata structure which is also called as the schemes provide context to the content of a page. Which means that when the search engine views the page they are not only repeating the content but also serve with additional guidance. Drupal 8 uses Schema.org for tagging. Not only this but Drupal has also changed its migration path to provide its user with semi-annual updates which save time, money and a lot of energy
You just can’t ignore the cost factor
If you are choosing the best CMS for your law firm website then it should be 100% free and should have the ability where the user can easily install it without the hassle of purchasing any license or recurring fees.
Drupal comes with the option of choosing from the variety of open source modules that can be used for developing a website adhering to your preference.
In the Nutshell
It is evident that Drupal has become a very popular platform for lawyers and law firms, especially among related marketing professionals, and for a good reason, this powerful and versatile CMS offers exactly the right tools and visibility potential to both the existing audience as well as to the new ones.
Opensense Labs has sound experience in building such websites and provide services that help you modify your website. It would be our honor to help you develop a dream site that would not only benefit you in every aspect but would also bring about a planned and systematic architecture for your law firm.