How to Make an Attorney/Lawyer Website

In this guide, we are going to show you how to create a website that is geared towards promoting your legal services. A lot of people feel intimidated by the thought of building a website. They think that you have to be some kind of computer expert, but with new software like WordPress, even the most novice users can build a fully functional website.

Purchase Domain

First things first, you must select and purchase a domain that suits your operation. A domain is the website’s address, for example, www.google.com.  The most popular domain registrar is a website called GoDaddy. On the homepage, you will notice a search bar towards the top, Here is where you will enter a domain that you feel represents your business. There are some things to keep in mind when choosing a domain;

  • Keep it short and simple. Avoid using hyphens, numbers, and any type of slang terms.
  • Use keywords that relate to your business.
  • You may want to include the area you are located.
  • Maybe choose the name of your business or law group, just make sure you are not violating any type of copyright laws.
  • “.com” is generally the favored extension, but don’t rule out a “.org” or “.net”. Google technically views these extensions equally when it comes to ranking, plus it could save you money.

Once you find a domain that you are comfortable with (in terms of name and price), add it to your cart. You will be asked if you want to add some extra features to the purchase, this is completely up to you. Remember, if you would like to hold off on the extra features now, you can always add them later. You will then arrive at the checkout and if you don’t already have an account, you will have to create a profile with GoDaddy. Once you are signed into your account you may purchase the domain.

Hosting

The second element needed to launch your website is a hosting plan. This may also be purchased on GoDaddy. For a beginner, I would suggest either the regular ‘Web Hosting‘ or ‘WordPress Hosting‘. WordPress Hosting, in my opinion, is the easiest route to go. It provides all the same functions of Web Hosting but catered more specifically to WordPress.

Once you select one of the options, you will be presented with the several different plans varying in price and features. If you are trying to set up your website as cheap as possible, the basic plan should fit your needs. And remember, you can always upgrade in the future and add on any extra features.

Once you have selected your plan, you will be prompted to select how many months you would like the term to last. Make your selections and finalize the transaction at checkout.

Connecting Your Domain to Hosting

Now that we have purchased a domain and a hosting plan, it’s time to combine the two. The easiest way to view all your purchases is to navigate to the ‘My Products‘ section. Simply click the tab that displays your name and a box will drop down which contains the section.

Find the hosting that you have purchased and click ‘Manage‘. You will then be able to add your domain by clicking ‘Add Site‘. This will guide you through the initial setup of adding your site to WordPress. Follow the basic instructions and your site will be online in no time.

Selecting a Theme

The first step in creating your website is selecting a Theme. A Theme is the visual layout of the website, also known as a template. It is very important to choose a Theme that will allow the functions you feel are necessary for the type of website you are going to create. For my example, I chose the ‘EightLaw Lite‘ Theme. This Theme is specifically geared towards a legal website. You will be able to provide all the information potential clients will desire in an organized fashion.

First, you are going to want to go to ‘Appearance‘>’Themes‘>’Add New‘. You will then arrive at the ‘Add Themes‘ page where you are going to want to input ‘eightlaw lite‘ into the search bar. The theme will appear and you must hover over it and select ‘Install’. Once installed, you are going to want to click ‘Activate‘ to apply the theme to your website.

We have now officially laid the foundation of our website!

Adding Content to Your Website

There are 2 major sections to which you will be adding your content to, Pages Posts. I will briefly go over the basics of these sections as they will be discussed further in this guide.

Posts

Posts are time-stamped entries that are typically associated with the blog aspect of your website.

To create a post, go to ‘Posts‘>’Add New‘. If you look to the screenshot below, you will notice the first available space allows you to insert a title. The area below is where you will write content, add images/videos, links etc.

To the right, you will notice a section labeled ‘Categories‘. This section allows you to organize your posts. Simply check the box of the Category you would like to file the post under. To create a new Category, click ‘+ Add New Category‘. You can also further edit your Categories by navigating to ‘Posts‘>’Categories‘.

Set a ‘Featured Image‘ by going through the “Add Media” process. A Featured Image is basically a picture that would suit the overall theme of the post.

Once you have completed your post, click ‘Publish‘. (You may also click ‘Save Draft‘ if you would like the content saved but not available on the site.)

Pages

Pages are not time stamped like Posts. They are more part of your websites solid foundation. An example of some Pages within your website would be your Homepage, “About Us” Page, Contact Page, etc.

Go to ‘Pages‘>’Add New‘.

As you can see, the process of adding a new Page is very similar to adding a Post. Instead of using categories, the ‘Page Attributes‘ section allows you to create a hierarchy of pages.

 

Setting Up Your Homepage

Before we begin the customizations of your website, we are going to want to set up your homepage. Click ‘Pages‘ on the side menu of your WordPress Admin page and select ‘Add New‘. In the space above, enter the title of your homepage (as you can see in the screenshot below, I simply added the title “Home”). Under the “Page Attributes” section to the right, you will see that you can choose a “Template”, select ‘Homepage‘. Once you have completed these actions, click ‘Publish‘.

Now that we have added the new page, you are going to want to navigate to ‘Settings‘>’Reading‘. As seen in the screenshot below, we are going to select ‘A static page‘ and choose the page you just created as the “Homepage”, then click ‘Save Changes‘.

You now have an official homepage! (A lot of times we are given a default homepage when setting up WordPress. If this is the case, you can simply edit the homepage and apply this same process.)

Importing the Demo Contents

Now it’s time to lay the foundation of your website. Go to ‘Appearance‘>’About EightLaw Lite‘. This page provides some useful steps to get you started. Click the first button ‘Click Me to install recommended plugins‘. Once clicked, you will be brought to a page that lists all the plugins that you are recommended to install for this particular theme. Install and activate these plugins to ensure that you maximize the theme’s potential. When you look at your website right now, you may notice that it does not look like how it was advertised. To get the same look, you must click the button ‘Click Me to import demo contents‘. This will give you a structured layout that you can customize to your needs.

Customizing Your Website

There are many facets to the customization process with this theme. We are going to go down the line and show you how you can modify different sections of your homepage to enhance the overall look and functionality.

Go to ‘Appearance‘>’Customize‘>’Default/Basic Settings‘. Here you will see the basic sections of customization. We will start with ‘Site Identity‘. If you look to the screenshot below, you will notice that there are four areas that can be adjusted.

Site Identity

  • Logo – You have the option of uploading an image of your company logo. This image may also contain your “Site Title” and “Tagline”.
  • Site Title – Input the title of your site/law firm/business.
  • Tagline – Enter a tagline that you feel represents your company.
  • Site Icon – Upload your logo into the Site Icon section. If you look to the screenshot below, you will notice an example of where the Site Icon will appear.

For my example website, I decided to upload a Logo that contains the Site Title within it. That being said, I then unchecked the box ‘Display Site Title and Tagline‘ to avoid redundancy.

Below Site Identity you will see the following sections that I will briefly mention;

  • Colors – Here you can change the background color of your website. I feel white is the best option but feel free to test out different colors until you find one that appeals to you.
  • Header Image – This is an image that appears in the header area of your website. With this particular theme, it is not as important because the slider will contain the prominent images being displayed on the homepage.
  • Background Image – This is an image that would be presented in the background of the website.
  • Webpage Layout – You have two options, ‘Full Width‘ and ‘ Boxed‘.
  • Footer Copyright Text – You can have a copyright displayed at the bottom of each page of your website i.e. ©2018.
  • Homepage Settings – We already created and selected a homepage earlier in this guide but this is another section where you can choose a Homepage and Posts page.

Header Settings

The next section to customize is the ‘Header Settings‘.

Here, you have four customizable areas;

  • Show Search in Header – Would you like there to be a search option available in your primary menu? If yes, you are going to want to leave the box checked which is the default.
  • Search Placeholder Text – This is the text that appears in the search bar before a user inputs their keywords.
  • Search Button Text – This is the text that appears on the button you hit to search. The default is ‘Search‘, but you could change it to “Find” or something of that nature.
  • Logo Alignment – You have the option of aligning your logo to the left, right, or center. (Left seems to be the most common placement and also happens to be the default.)

Homepage Sections

We will now move on to the ‘Homepage Sections‘. This is the most important section when it comes to the organization of your website.

Slider Section

The first section is the ‘Slider Section‘. “What is a slider?”, you may ask. A slider is basically a slideshow of header images that are displayed on the homepage. This is very important to the overall aesthetic of your website. Not all themes come equipped with this feature but luckily for you, this theme does.

Go to ‘Customize‘>’Homepage Sections‘>’Slider Section‘. You are now given the following options;

  • Enable/Disable Slider – If you do not want the Slider to appear on your website, simply select ‘Disable‘.
  • Select a category to show in slider – You must select a Category for the slider, meaning any post linked to that category will appear in the slider. This theme comes with a default category labeled “Slider”.
  • Slider Button Text – This is the default text on the button that reads ‘Details‘. You can change this to any word/phrase that you wish.
  • Show Pager / Navigation Dot – To be able to see this, I had to remove the “Widget Icon”. If you look to screenshot below, you will notice Pager/Navigation Dots at the bottom of the slider image. If you are going to keep the Widget Icon, it won’t make a difference either way because they will not be visible. Otherwise, select ‘Yes‘ or ‘No‘ depending on your preference.
  • Show Controls – If you hover over the slider, you will notice that an arrow will appear on the left and right side of the image. When you click the arrow, it will transition to the next slide. Select ‘Yes‘ or ‘No‘.
  • Slider Transitions – You have the option of slider transitioning either vertically or horizontally.
  • Slider Speed – How fast would you like the slider to transition to the next slide? To increase the speed you will want to decrease the number and vice versa.
  • Slider Pause – How long would you like the slider to pause on a slide? Same concept as the “Slider Speed”.
  • Show Caption – Select ‘Yes‘ or ‘No‘ in regards to showing the caption. If you select No, only the image will remain visible.

About Section

The next area of customization is the ‘About Section‘. Here is where you will inform visitors about your company.

  • Enable Disable About Us Section – If you would like to remove this section, simply click ‘Disable‘.
  • Select a Post to show in About Us Section – You must create your own post that includes a title, description, and featured image. Once completed you will select that post here.
  • About Layout – You have the option of 2 layouts, select the one that appeals to you.
  • About View More Text – Enter the text you would like to be displayed on the button.

Call to Action Section

Next, we have the ‘Call to Action Section‘. Here is where you can provide a mission statement, quote, motto, etc.

  • Enable Disable Call To Action – Select ‘Disable‘ if you would not like this section displayed.
  • Call to Action Title – Input the headline you would like in the space provided. The example given is “Our Motto”.
  • Call to Description – This is the where you will insert the body. I suggest keeping it short and hit return if you would like to start a new line.
  • Call to Action Read More Text – This is where you can input the name of the person who is being quoted or you could write something like “Read More”, considering it has the capability of being linked to another page.
  • Call to Action Link – Insert a link that would direct the user to a page of your liking. A ‘#‘ symbol is there by default, this would just automatically direct the user to the top of the homepage when clicked.
  • Background Image for Call to Action – You may upload an image to be faintly displayed in the background of this section. The theme comes with a default image of pillars of a courthouse.

Law Section

Now we’re going to move on to the ‘Law Section‘. Here is where you can promote any accomplishments that you or your firm has achieved.

Enable Disable Law Section – Select whether or not you would like this section to appear on the homepage or not.

Law Section Title – This portion is to the right. This is really up to you on how you would like to phrase this section. The theme has ‘We fight for you‘ as the title.

Law Section Description – Write a brief description explaining the overall theme of the section.

Law Post 1, 2, & 3 – For each “Law Post you are going to select a Post that you have previously created. The theme comes with three icons that are displayed in this section (a trophy, a printer, and a group icon). You should write posts that match the icons available or you may insert new icons by searching through the catalog of a website such as fontawesome.com. Once you find an icon that you like, copy the text and insert it into the space provided.

Button Text – The button text default is ‘Know More‘. Input any alternative text that you would prefer.

Button Link – Input the link of a page or post that you would like the button to direct a user to.

Case Section

Next, we have the ‘Case Section‘.

  • Enable Disable Case Section – If you do not find this section necessary, simply click ‘Disable‘.
  • Case Title – Think of what you would like this section to be, their example is ‘Steps To Win‘.
  • Case Section Description – Add a quick summary that defines the purpose of the section.
  • Select a Category to show in Case section – Select a Category that contains the Posts you want to be presented in this section.
  • Details – Choose the text you want on the ‘View More‘ button.

Gallery Section

Gallery Section

  • Enable Disable Gallery Section – Hide this section by clicking the ‘Disable‘ option.
  • Gallery Section Title – You may replace the title “Gallery” with an alternative title if you wish.
  • Gallery Section Description – Write a brief description informing the user of the purpose of the section.
  • Select a Category to show in Gallery Section in Slider – There is a slider available in this section. You must select a category that you have previously created that will enable the slider to display the posts associated with that specific category.

 

BCT Section

BCT Section

There are 3 divisions in this section;

Benefits

  • Enable Disable Benefit Section – Select ‘Disable‘ if you would like this section removed from the homepage.
  • Benefit Section Title – If you would like a different title than “Benefits”, input a new title in the space provided
  • Select a category to show in benefit section – Choose a category that you have created that corresponds with to the section.
  • Details – Input the text that you would like to appear on the button available within this section.

Clients

  • Enable Disable Client Logo Section – You are given the option of disabling this section if you would not like it to be displayed on the homepage.
  • Client’s Title – Input your desired title (if different from the default “Client Logo”).
  • Select a category to show in Client Logo section – Select the category you would like associated with this section.

Testimonial

  • Enable Disable Testimonial Section – Click ‘Disable‘ if you would like to discard this section from the homepage.
  • Testimonial Section Title – Enter your preferred title in the space provided.
  • Select a category to show in testimonial section – Select which category you created that will match this section.

Team Member Section

  • Enable Disable Team Member – Remove this section by click ‘Disable
  • Select a Category to show in Team Member Section – Choose a category that contains posts that represent this section.
  • Details – Enter the text that you want to be displayed on the button within the “Benefits” division. (“View More” is the default text.)

Blog Section

You have the option of including a blog section on the homepage if you wish. There is also a tab in the main menu that directs users to the blog as well as another section of the homepage that shows your latest posts. It is up to you if you would like to include this section.

  • Enable Disable blog Section – If you feel like this section is redundant, simply click ‘Disable‘ to remove it.
  • Blog Section Title – You may name this section whatever you wish, just input the new title in the space provided.
  • Blog Section Description – Enter a description that informs the visitor what the section is all about.
  • Select a category to show in blog section – Select that category that contains the posts you want displayed within this section.

 

Contact Form Section

For this section, you are going to want to make sure a plugin called ‘Contact Form 7‘ is installed and activated.

  • Enable Disable Contact Form Section – If you would rather just have a contact page instead of having a contact section on the homepage, simply click the ‘Disable‘ button.
  • Select a Contact Form – Select ‘Contact form 1‘ to get the results you see in the screenshot below. You may edit the contact form under the ‘Contact‘ section of your WordPress side menu.
  • Contact Form Title – Enter the text you would like to be displayed above the form. The default text reads “Contact Us, It’s Free”.

The final section we can customize on the homepage is the ‘Latest Section‘. This section consists of 2 parts, ‘Latest Posts‘ and ‘Latest News‘.

Latest Posts

This section will automatically display the latest posts that have been created on your website.

  • Enable Disable Latest Post Section – If you do not want this section to appear on your homepage, click the ‘Disable‘ option.
  • Latest Post Section Title – Choose the title you would like to be displayed above this section. (The default title, of course, is “Latest Posts”.)
  • No. of Latest Posts – How many posts would you like to be available in this section, the default is 5.
  • Latest Posts Read More Button Text – If you would like the button to read something other than “Read More”, simply enter the alternative text in the space available.

Latest News

  • Enable Disable Latest News Section – If you would like to take out this section, click ‘Disable‘.
  • Latest News Section Title – Enter your desired title in the available space.
  • Latest News Read More Button Text – Enter the text you would like to be displayed on the buttons within the section.
  • Select a Category to show in Latest News Section – Select the category that contains the posts you want featured on the section.

The next portion of customization is the ‘Social Settings‘. Here is where you are going to add your social media accounts. Go to ‘Appearance‘ > ‘Customize‘ > ‘Social Settings‘ > ‘Social Section‘.

  • Enable Disable Social Icons in Header – If you do not want your social icons to be available in the header, click ‘Disable‘.
  • Enable Disable Social Icons in Footer – Your icons will also appear in the bottom of the homepage known as the footer. If you do not want this, simply click ‘Disable

You will now have the option of linking the following social media outlets;

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Linkedin
  • Vimeo
  • Stumbleupon
  • Instagram
  • Sound Cloud
  • Git Hub
  • Tumbler
  • Skype
  • RSS

If you noticed that once you enter a link, you will see the icon appear in header (as seen in the image below) as well as the footer.

Adjusting Menus

Another part of customizing is adjusting your primary menu to fit your needs. Instead of doing this under the customization section, we are going to do it through it’s designated section in WordPress. Go to ‘Appearance‘ > ‘Menus‘. Here you will be able to customize your main menu that appears at the top of the homepage. The demo that you downloaded provided you with a generic menu. You may create an entirely new menu if you wish, simply just click ‘create a new menu‘. Add any pages, posts, custom links, or categories that you would like to be included by checking the box and clicking ‘Add to Menu‘. You may then place the menu items in the order you wish by dragging them in place. To create a sub item, drag it below the main item and make sure it is set off to the right. A sub item will then drop down when you hover over the main item on the homepage. Once you are finished click ‘Save Menu‘. (Be sure to set your new menu as the “Primary Menu” by checking the box to the right of ‘Display location‘)

Now we are going to move on to ‘Widgets‘. Go to ‘Appearance‘ > ‘Widgets‘. Once you arrive you may notice that there are 2 different portions; ‘Available Widgets‘ and ‘Widget Areas‘. The available widgets are various items that provide functions, widget areas are where you can place these items on your website. All you have to do is merely drag the available widget into the area.

We will explore this further by showing you the widget that came with this demo. Click ‘Manage with Live Preview‘ at the top. You will now be shown your list of widgetized areas and a live preview of the homepage. If you click ‘Widget Icon‘, you will see four blocks that read ‘Text‘. These blocks correspond with the menu seen in the screenshot below. Each text widget contains an “Awesome Font Icon” and text below it. These are inserted using code that came with the demo.

Some of the other widget areas of your website include;

  • 3 Sidebar Widgets – These widgets can only be seen on the pages that contain them, so you will not see these on the homepage.
  • Footer 1, 2, 3, & 4 – These widgets are found at the bottom of the website and you may choose any function you would like to be available there.
  • Language Switcher – You can add a Polylang or WPML language switcher widget if yo would like your site to be multilingual.

 

 

 

 

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