We can’t send you updates from Justia Onward without your email.
On the outside, your law firm website may look like a one-time task: set up and go! However, that could not be further from the truth. Check out this post to learn more about the behind-the-scenes maintenance that keeps your law firm website in good shape.
When you are not involved in the daily technical aspects of your law firm website, it may be easy to forget the ongoing work that is required to keep your up law firm website both secure and high performing. However, what may seem like a one-time setup from the outside actually requires consistent maintenance and focused attention. The behind-the-scenes maintenance for your website rarely ever sleeps, especially if you are a Justia Elevate client!
Consider a hypothetical. When you buy a new car, you often receive a recommended maintenance schedule from the manufacturer along with your purchase. Even if you did not receive a schedule of recommended maintenance, most car owners know that neglect causes your vehicle’s performance to suffer and eventually break down. Your law firm website is the same way. Without preventative maintenance on a routine basis, your site will not perform at the highest possible caliber and will eventually malfunction in one way or another.
While the frequency and type of maintenance your website receives behind the scenes may vary based on your website provider, there are core updates that should always occur. Keep reading to understand a bit more about these core updates and how our team at Justia Elevate works behind the scenes to keep your law firm website in top shape!
Server Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Like your car, servers require ongoing maintenance and frequent updates to ensure they are secure, up-to-date and optimized to enhance your website speed and performance. Servers are powerful systems that are critical to ensuring your website remains online and free of bugs or vulnerabilities that could cause downtime or a security risk. Preventative maintenance and upgrades are key to avoiding unnecessary downtime for your site.
Additionally, you want to ensure that someone is monitoring for potential issues and unanticipated downtime. Should an unexpected server outage occur, you want to know someone is prepared to respond and get the systems back online as soon as possible. At Justia, a dedicated team of engineers and IT professionals works around the clock to ensure that the critical servers powering our Justia Legal Portal, other Justia platforms, and our Justia Elevate clients’ sites remain online and available.
Security and Patches
Keeping your website secure is crucial for user experience and ongoing website functionality. You’ll want to be sure that your website always has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate so that your site can send, receive, and transfer information securely. You may be more familiar with SSL certificates based on how they cause websites to appear in your browser. When a site has an active SSL, the URL will begin with https:// and there will be a lock symbol in the address bar. With Justia Elevate, we ensure your website SSL remains active at all times, so your law firm website is always secure.
Watch this clip to gain insights into HTTPS.
Likewise, when you are using a content management system (CMS) to update and maintain your website, you need to ensure you are keeping up with various security patches and software updates necessary to prevent hackers from stealing your website data or adding malicious elements to your site that interfere with performance and search engine optimization (SEO). With Justia Elevate, we take care of the behind-the-scenes work to ensure that any necessary patches and updates are installed to protect your law firm website.
Wondering if your website uses a CMS? Any system that helps you create, manage, or modify the content on your website without coding or specialized technical knowledge is likely a CMS. For example, WordPress is a well-known CMS system.
Ongoing Search Engine & Performance Optimization
SEO is not a one-time task. The most popular search engines, including Google and Bing, frequently change their algorithms. Each of these changes and tweaks to the algorithm has the potential to impact how your website performs in search results.
Content development and other crucial SEO tasks are often hands-on strategies that require representatives of your law firm to remain engaged in the SEO process. However, many foundational elements of effectively optimizing your law firm website for search engines are more technical.
For example, all Justia Elevate websites are mobile-friendly and optimized for faster load speeds. Justia Elevate sites are hosted on a wide array of servers as part of a nationwide CDN (content delivery network) to create even faster load times. We also consistently update our Justia Elevate platform to ensure your website remains up to date with the latest developments related to the schema markup that matter to Google and other search engines. Likewise, we implement improvements in the HTML backend code and site structure for Justia Elevate websites that make it easier for search engines to read and understand your site.
When you launched your law firm website, you likely purchased a domain name (the URL/website address) from a domain registrar for your firm. You will need to renew your domain on an annual basis, although ideally you can register or renew it for ten or more years. If you fail to renew your domain on time, your website and any associated email accounts will be down, and after a grace period, your firm’s domain will go up for purchase and can be bought by someone else.
Losing your domain very well may wreak havoc upon your firm operations and your legal marketing strategy. It is simply an outcome you almost certainly want to avoid! While we do not automate domain name renewals for you on the new Justia Elevate platform, we do send you reminders to help you ensure that you keep your law firm’s domain name.
Error Checks & Reporting
You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know it is there. That is why a crucial part of website maintenance is checking for problems, analyzing data, reporting, and adjusting. Your site should regularly be checked for errors, including missing or duplicate title tags and META descriptions, canonical errors, indexability problems, broken links, or other issues that may cause your website performance to ultimately suffer.
Additionally, you should be analyzing the data available through Google Analytics and similar tools, as well as running audits of your website performance to determine areas of opportunity for improvement in your SEO and overall site performance.
With Justia Elevate, we have systems in place that carefully monitor your website for potential issues that need to be addressed. We also offer regular reports and access to various tools to help you understand and improve your site performance.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Law firm website maintenance is no small task. It often requires specialized knowledge and expertise to ensure optimal performance for your website. When evaluating a website provider, consider the importance of this ongoing maintenance and further consider how individual providers approach regular maintenance tasks.
Looking for a new website provider? Learn more about our Justia Elevate websites.