Review and Compare
Wix For Lawyers
This article reviews Wix law firm websites compared to LawLytics with the goal of helping attorneys decide which is best for their law firm’s website.
Wix Review for Lawyers
Small law firms and solo practitioners are realizing that the online marketing agency model wastes money and, in many cases, keep them from growing their practices. Fortunately for lawyers, there are now several mainstream alternatives for building, hosting, maintaining, and promoting law firm websites that are generally accepted by practical lawyers in the solo and small firm community. Wix is one of these generally accepted alternatives. This article reviews Wix for law firm websites and compares it to LawLytics.
Wix is a low-cost general-purpose website builder that works for personal, team, non-profit, and business websites. It can be a great place for attorneys to build a starter law firm website if:
- They’re unable to afford LawLytics (calculate your price); and
- They don’t need their Wix website to produce revenue for their law firm.
While Wix offers free websites, most attorneys will want to use one of their paid plans, which start at just $13 per month. Many lawyers who initially lack the budget because they are just starting their law firm will begin with a Wix law firm website and then graduate to a LawLytics website as their practice matures and they need a more robust website.
Getting Started With a Wix Attorney Website
Attorneys who start their websites with Wix will spend significantly more time and energy building and launching their site than they would with LawLytics, and the return on their efforts will be significantly less. There are two primary reasons for this:
- Wix is not designed for lawyers, and, unlike LawLytics, it does not have legal-specific features built in.
- LawLytics is a fully-supported turn-key experience, while Wix is a self-serve do-it-yourself program.
There are attorneys (usually new solo practitioners) who have a lot more time than money. These attorneys place more value on the monthly cost savings that come with using Wix instead of the time savings that come with LawLytics. They’re often able to build a viable starter law firm websites with Wix. And, when they do, they usually get to a point where moving to LawLytics makes sense.
The most common reasons lawyers move from Wix to LawLytics are:
- They’ve taken their Wix site as far as they can, and they want a more powerful system that will scale with their business and their goals.
- Their Wix website does not work well on mobile devices.
- Their Wix website is not producing any new business for their firm because it’s creating a bad or unprofessional impression.
- Their Wix website is not producing any new business for their firm because the site is not showing up for relevant search engine queries.
Regardless of the reason(s) for the move, the switch to LawLytics instantly enables the attorney to move beyond the limitations of their law firm’s previous Wix site.
What Is It Like To Work Within Wix As An Attorney?
When you begin a new website with Wix, the software asks you what kind of site you want to create. The main choices are:
- Online Store
- Restaurants & Food
- Beauty & Wellness
- Portfolio & CV
As the choices indicate, Wix has built its platform to appeal to the broadest range of individuals and businesses. It has to be “good enough” for everybody. But when you’re a jack of all trades, the tradeoff is that you’re a master of none. It’s the space that Wix has chosen to play in, and its features, support, and pricing are consistent with that choice. For extremely basic law firm websites, the product provides the essentials.
Wix was founded in Israel, and it has tens of millions of users worldwide and revenue upwards of $600 million in 2018. Over the years, the company has done significant general public advertising, including high-budget Superbowl ads using A-list celebrities.
As the above shows, Wix is aimed at the general website market. Like the company’s mass marketing, the company depends on massive numbers of customers to pay it for its low price products. Because of the general nature of the service, the low price, and the enormous customer base, attorneys should not expect to get any form of substantive help from Wix in building, launching, maintaining, or promoting their legal websites.
The help menu from the Wix control panel suggests knowledge base topics and lets the user search for help. We typed in “law,” “lawyer,” and “attorney” into the search box that asks, “What do you need help with?” We found nothing that would be useful to a lawyer trying to build a law firm website or attract business through that website.
Wix is supposed to be super easy and intuitive. However, there is a prompt below the help articles in the Wix control panel that prompts the user to “Hire a Wix Partner.” Clicking on the link prompts the user to get matched with a professional, which are available in several disciplines, including:
- Web Design – You can “find a web designer” to create a new website, redesign or migrate your existing site, or build a mobile site.
- “Small Tasks” – You can hire somebody to do things like update your site, give you guidance, and set up analytics.
- Web Development – You can consult with a developer to get custom functionalities, coding guidance, third-party services, custom input forms and design behavior.
- Marketing & Promotion – You can hire somebody to give you SEO guidance, written content, and setup support.
- Graphic Design – You can hire somebody to help with a logo, visual content, photography, and image editing.
When you select one (for example, we chose “Web Design”), Wix asks you whether you prefer to work with a local partner or are location agnostic. We went the location-agnostic route. Wix then asked us which language we preferred. After choosing English, Wix prompted us to enter our contact information. Then, Wix informed us that Wix Partners would review our request and contact us with the next steps.
We think it’s great that Wix has an ecosystem of third-party consultants that can help the user do things with Wix. However, it begs several questions:
- If Wix were easy for attorneys to succeed with, why would third-party consultants be necessary?
- If an attorney hires Wix consultants, would the cost savings of going with Wix instead of LawLytics be nullified?
The Wix third-party consultant categories mostly cover things that are included natively with a law firm’s LawLytics membership. Specifically, web design, redesigns, migration, and creation of a mobile site are included with LawLytics, as are the things covered under the category of “Small Tasks.”
Unlike Wix, LawLytics comes with everything a law firm needs built right in, so there’s no need to add custom functionalities or do any of the things listed under Wix’s “Web Development category.
Unlike Wix, LawLytics comes with attorney-specific SEO guidance, done-for-you setup, and the option to have written content created for you by an in-house team of attorney-led professional content writers who only create content for law firms and understand the intersection of SEO, content marketing, and legal ethics. Finally, LawLytics provides a professional logo and images during the site setup process.
The main advantage of using Wix for a law firm’s website is the low price tag. For budget-conscious attorneys who are just beginning their practices, Wix is a solid choice compared to any legal marketing agency. However, if the cost savings are important to you, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’ll be able to do everything yourself so you won’t get stuck paying extra for a Wix partner to do things for you. Doing so could, in effect, put you in the same position as hiring an agency, but you may have to manage multiple providers.
What is the Wix Law Firm Website Design Experience?
When you begin a new website with Wix, you have the option to choose templates from the categories outlined above. Under the Business category is a subcategory for Law & Finance that contains a handful of templates pre-populated with legal filler text and images. There is no unique legal functionality, and if you compare them to other templates, you’ll see they are all essentially the same.
As mentioned, these Wix law firm templates may suffice for beginner attorney sites. The problem is the lack of differentiation and extensibility. The major limitations for attorneys using Wix are:
Lack of extendable navigation: The Wix website navigation structure is flat, and only allows for one sub-level of pages. Not only is the menu interface not intuitive for most lawyers to use, but the built-in limitations also pose a serious problem for attorneys who want to build sites rich in content. Since content is one of the primary ingredients in making a successful law firm website, any attorney who wants one will likely outgrow the capacity of their Wix website. Currently, it’s difficult to have more than about 30 pages in the main navigation of a Wix attorney website.
Designs are not natively responsive: Although Wix claims to be mobile-friendly (“Look amazing on every screen with a mobile version of your site.”), the truth is that one of the coolest features of Wix’s design interface makes this claim dubious. Wix uses absolute positioning, which means that when you design in Wix, elements on your website are positioned by pixel, instead of positioned relative to the users’ (your potential clients’) screens. The same thing that allows you put an image or text box exactly where you want it in the design view in Wix is a serious drawback when your potential clients view it on screens that are different dimensions than yours. With absolute positioning, you sacrifice the certainty that all of your visitors will have a great experience on your website, regardless of device.
Many attorneys think that they designed something fantastic in Wix. Later, they are surprised to see that their Wix website looks very different to others than it did to them when they designed it.
Responsive web design has been the gold standard of mobile compatibility for several years. Although Wix does claim to have some responsive “elements,” your law firm’s website should be 100% responsive. At present, Wix does not provide that, so the client experience across browsers is unpredictable and left to chance.
Wix does let you hide elements and reposition them for mobile devices. But this is far from an exact process, and not a good use of most attorneys’ time. In contrast, LawLytics has a 100% natively responsive system. We place everything where it should be for optimal client experience in all devices. So, rather than messing around with design, you can spend your time creating content or practicing law, both of which are activities that ultimately contribute to your bottom line.
The price of providing a suboptimal client experience in mobile devices is high. For many practice areas, one lost lead could nullify the cost-savings of using Wix.
What Should Lawyers Expect From Wix Customer Support?
Lawyers should not spend their time struggling with technology or trying to adapt it to suit the unique needs of their profession. There is no legal-specific help or guidance for attorneys that comes with Wix. Although there is a way to submit a support ticket or request a call back from a support agent once you navigate through knowledge base articles, the assistance you receive will be general.
Does Wix Have Attorney Modules or Features?
No. There are no attorney-specific features or modules built into Wix.
How Is Wix for Law Firm SEO?
Initially, Wix got a bad reputation for some major search engine optimization (SEO) flaws. While Wix has fixed the most glaring SEO problems with its system, the fact is that many attorneys still struggle to build a Wix website that performs well in the search engines. We believe that the typical lackluster performance is due to:
- The difficulty that attorneys have using Wix to create large and robust websites rich in relevant content (see the discussion about navigation limitations above).
- Wix provides no attorney specific content modules, nor guidance about law firm SEO best practices.
While it is possible for lawyers to get great SEO results using Wix, for the most part, they are left to figure out how to do this on their own. If they spend a significant amount of time and are willing to go through the process of experimentation and refinement, they may well succeed. But at what cost? For most lawyers who want great SEO, we believe that the opportunity costs of using Wix may exceed the small cost savings.
Conclusion: Should Attorneys Use Wix?
Wix is a great option for a beginner law firm website for attorneys who lack the budget for LawLytics. Wix is an especially good option for attorneys that are
- Fresh out of law school; and
- Tech-savvy; and
- Already know a lot about SEO; and
- Willing to spend a significant amount of time on the design and technical details of having a law firm website.
Graduating from Wix to LawLytics is easy whenever the firm is ready. The migration process is turn-key and handled by LawLytics staff members who migrate law firm websites into the LawLytics system daily, ensuring no downtime and no loss of business in transition.
If you’d like to experience the differences and see what our platform can do for your law firm, schedule a personalized 20-minute demo.
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