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Is it possible? Can someone create a professional-looking law firm website and blog in an hour?
No. It's not. And that's not what WordPress in One Hour for Lawyers is all about. The book promises to teach you the basics of launching a WordPress site in an hour, but you'll need to dedicate an entire afternoon, plus regular time for updates, blog posts, and other maintenance, if you want a quality site to represent your firm.
Does the book deliver? Read on to find out:
Step-by-Step, With Pictures
From choosing a web address and server, to installing WordPress, to setting up page and menus, Jennifer Ellis provides clear step-by-step instructions that are nearly impossible to screw up. Plus, there are pictures! Everything is easier with pictures.
Many SEO "experts" are snake oil salespeople. They'll offer a few outdated tips on keywording, link-farming, and other things that will cause Google to more or less delete your website from the Internet.
Ms. Ellis is the exact opposite. In a few pages, she manages to stress the importance of good content, proper headings, and other fundamentals that actually work.
One Hour? No, Not Really
Can you read 120 pages of unfamiliar tech-speak in an hour? I'm a WordPress enthusiast and even I couldn't knock out the book in an hour.
You're going to need to spend a Saturday or two to get a proper site up-and-running. And there is little point to skimming this entire book when a better approach would be to read the book piece-by-piece as you work along on your own site.
Also, at times, it feels like certain topics were given a cursory treatment as a sacrifice to meet the one-hour goal.
A Book, About Web Pages
Ever use an adjustable wrench to change a head gasket on a Mercedes? How about using a typewriter to write an amicus curiae brief? The tool may do the job, but it's not at all efficient.
This is a pretty good book. But for each footnote directing you to a different chapter and section, a hyperlink would've worked way, way better. Which would you rather do, flip through a book while typing on a computer, or open an online guide in one window, with WordPress in the other?
The cover price of this book is $49.95. A quick Google search will bring up a few dozen step-by-step guides to setting up WordPress sites, SEO basics, and the other information you'll find in here. In fact, Lawyerist has an online "30 minute" guide, which is free.
It's a good book with solid tips. But there are better, cheaper, albeit longer books (if you really want a book) and free online guides that we'd recommend first.
Disclosure: The ABA provided a review copy of WordPress in One Hour for Lawyers. Also, it should be noted that some other fine FindLaw folks, in a far away land called Minnesota, make lawyer websites.
Are you a WordPress hobbyist in your spare time? Any tips for those brave enough to make their own websites? Tweet us your thoughts @FindLawLP.