Jennifer Ellis is a Pennsylvania legal ethics attorney and marketer. She helps law firms and other businesses maintain a competitive online presence. She also educates attorneys on ethical online conduct. Previously she practiced law with and managed the online presence of Lowenthal & Abrams, a medium-sized personal injury firm. Jennifer enjoys educating the public on the law by answering questions on sites such as Quora and Avvo, as well as on her own website through her “Ask Jennifer” blog. Website: Ask Jennifer | Twitter: @JLE_JD
In episode 18 of the Legal Marketing 2.0 podcast we chat with Jennifer Ellis about using the WordPress platform to build a website for your law firm – from solos to large firms. Jennifer literally wrote the book on WordPress for Lawyers: WordPress in One Hour for Lawyers: How to Create a Website for Your Law Firm (ABA).
Jennifer has had an unusual career in the legal profession going from continuing legal education (CLE) professional to practicing lawyer to marketing expert and, in addition to our conversation about WordPress, she shares some “Alt Legal” career tips, so make sure to check out the interview.
Here are some of the highlights:
What is WordPress and why should lawyers use it?
WordPress is a database-drive software that allows you easily publish a website. It’s free and easy to use and update, and lets you quickly design the site, add images, pages, blog posts, and so on.
You can create a site using wordpress.com (not recommended) or wordpress.org (recommended). You’ll need to subscribe to a web hosting service for the latter, which you can install with the click of a button.
TIP: WordPress is great for solos, small firms, and legal tech companies, but it’s also powerful enough for large law firm websites. See: WordPress for Your Law Firm Website and Blog.
You can build a WordPress website without knowing any coding. Just find a theme you like, change a few settings, and you’re good to go. That said, a little HTML knowledge never hurts, especially if you want to customize your site.
Plugins primarily alters the backend of a website but can make a difference in the front end – what visitors see and how they experience your site. They expand the functionality. Top recommended plugin is Yoast SEO. Akismet is another recommended plugin which controls spam comments on your site.
TIP: It’s critically important that you get your plugins from reputable sources and keep them up to date to keep your website secure.
Although WordPress comes with basic SEO and design functionality out of the box you need to understand the basics of SEO. Check out Moz blog (and our posts, podcasts, and videos on search engine optimization) to get up to speed.
There’s much more! Check out the full interview.