Veteran IT professional, Jamin Andrews (@conetix), writes that though WordPress is making it easier to create and manage a site, there are issues with self-hosting and managing sites that users should be wary of.
Andrews shares four reasons why you should not self-host and manage your WordPress site. With a little annotating from me, hereâ€™s why lawyers ought not go the do it yourself route.
Itâ€™s not as easy as youâ€™d think
Thereâ€™s a bit to learn when it comes to the world of web hosting, and for a newbie itâ€™s not a simple pick up. Sure if youâ€™re an expert in domains, databases, servers, DNS, web security and bandwidth (lawyers donâ€™t even have this) you may have the groundwork to host your own site, but there is so much more to it than just those basics.
If this is the path you choose for your WordPress site ensure you do your research and see exactly what is required of you.
Itâ€™s extremely time consuming
Youâ€™ll be busy enough publishing your blog and nurturing relationships which flow from it. Do you have the time as a lawyer to work on the backend requirements as they come up? Youâ€™ll have to ensure you stay on top of all WordPress core updates, theme and plugin updates and backups.
Most site owners donâ€™t have the extra time to spend managing the tech backend of their WordPress site. Your time is better spent doing a good job of practicing law and building a book of business at the same time.
Even in the case of large law firms with strong IT teams, WordPress is not something they wish to dedicate personnel. Like any software, staying abreast of upgrades for the app and plugins takes time. Unless youâ€™re doing regular development and network work regarding WordPress, things can be missed and mistakes made.
Free isnâ€™t always free
The only â€˜freeâ€™ part of self-hosting is the WordPress app itself. You can be guaranteed that everything else associated with it will come at a cost, let alone your time.
To successfully self-host and manage you need the right quality resources, including professional assistance, that do not come free. Donâ€™t forget youâ€™ll need a domain name, decent theme and some premium plugins that are all additional costs.
As a lawyer you are billing by the hour or by the matter. Unless you find staying abreast of developments in technology and tinkering with code an enjoyable hobby, you should look at paying for WordPress as a savings of money.
Is it really worth it?
Being a lawyer requires you to be a professional in all you do. How you carry yourself, from first contact and forward, leaves an impression on clients, prospective clients, referral sources, business leaders, and the media.
There are any number of risks involved in hosting and managing a WordPress site. These can greatly affect the effectiveness, availability, and appearance of your blog. There are also real day-to-day risks that can have a substantial impact on your site like virus attacks, downtime and server issues, just to name a few of the big ones.
As Andrews says, there are better options available than self managing your blog and opening yourself to a vast range of problems and headaches.
And we havenâ€™t even addressed the question of whether you know what you are doing when it comes to blogging and online publishing, a subject not on law school curriculums.