‘YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR’ may be an old saying, but in website hosting terms, it’s certainly true. Cheap hosting may seem like a tempting offer, but it can lead to some expected consequences for your law firm.
It can mean your website is seen as unreliable, unappealing, or unsafe.
That’s the last impression you want to give your potential clients. Here’s how you can avoid that:
How can you tell if your hosting is poor?
- Slow loading times – Your host may be trying to cram too many sites on its server, causing your site to load slowly and lose potential clients because of that. Many legal firms now also have client access areas where payments are made and documents are signed off, and this is particularly problematic if checkouts keep glitching or e-signatures don’t work. Unhappy clients aren’t going to keep coming back when they need more legal services.
- Cyber security issues – Poor hosting gives you inadequate protection from attacks. Other sites on a poorly hosted server may infect yours with malware that could hijack documents in ransomware attacks or harvest personal data about your clients, staff, and suppliers.
- Unexpected downtime – Your potential clients may not always be able to access your website if the server is overloaded. Some hosting companies will build downtime into their calculations for how many websites they can have on their servers but won’t make that clear to their clients. Generally, server and site maintenance sessions are planned so look out for unexpected downtime which you’re not notified of beforehand.
If you’ve experienced any of the three problems detailed here, it’s time to upgrade.
Questions to ask your potential website hosting company:
- Where is the physical datacentre they use and what physical security is in place there? – Having a secure datacentre is vital to ensure your business runs smoothly. Access to rooms and cabinets in the centre should be controlled to prevent accidental outages and safeguard your critical IT systems, especially in shared datacentre locations where it could be easy to access the wrong cabinet. You can read more about that here.
- What security do you have in place and how often is it tested and updated? – Having sufficient online security to protect your site is of the ultimate importance. You need to protect the reputation of your legal practice and ensure there is state-of-the-art malware protection, regular and robust testing, and that systems are updated regularly.
- Do they offer free website migration? – Why should you pay through the nose to move your website hosting? Free migration helps you hold down costs.
- Do they offer 100% uptime? – Pinning your hosting service down to a commitment to 100% uptime is important for any legal practice. Who knows when a potential client will need to access your website?
- Is phone support offered? – There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to explain a complex problem via system support tickets or live chat, often with different people picking up the ticket when you have a query. Phone support allows you to communicate thoroughly and feel your hosting support is contactable and accountable.
- What’s their track record and can they give you client testimonials in the legal sector? – This shows a real understanding of the needs of solicitors and law firms. Look for testimonials from named individuals in legal practice which you can verify.
Get our specialist advice and make sure your law firm’s website has the right hosting package for your practice.
Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.