Over the weekend, I, along with 500+ WordPress geeks, attended WordCampNYC hosted in the grand United Nations. We learned a lot and got to see why over a quarter of all websites – 75 million plus sites – use WordPress: the awesome community that contribute to making the platform robust, safe, and extensible.
If you have a hard-coded website and need a robust content management system, check out WordPress in One Hour For Lawyers.
On to some of the lessons learned which can be applied to all websites:
I’m not a font geek – yes they exist and they’re awesome – but the passion and deep knowledge of speaker Mel Choyce (@melchoyce) was infectious. Here are some basic best practices for text on your website and blog:
- Pick body fonts with multiple weights (regular, bold, italics)
- Font size: 14-22 pixels
- Line height for body: 1.4-1.6x body font
- Line height for header1.2 – 1.4x header font
- Line length: 45-75 characters per line (including spaces & punctuation)
- Avoid justified text
- Don’t use 100% black
Check out these “font” sites
Google Fonts – Start here.
Beautiful Web Type – A showcase of the best typefaces from the Google web fonts directory.
Typewolf – What’s trending in type.
Font Pair – Helps designers pair Google Fonts together.
Font Squirrel – Quality free fonts.
Typekit – Subscription font service.
Want to know more? Get a copy of Matthew Butterick’s excellent Typography for Lawyers.
Search Engine Optimization
In her quick-fire session, Lulu D. Murphy (@WebSiteText) provided more useful tips in 10 minutes than I’ve seen covered in one-hour sessions. Here are some highlights:
What Google considers when deciding which websites to rank:
- Keyword Research
- Site Structure
- Technical SEO
- SEO Copywriting
- Inbound Links
— Tim Baran (@tim_baran) July 17, 2016
The purpose of keywords and how to use them:
- Answer a question
- Solve a problem
- Satisfy a purchase request
- Teach about a topic
- Map each page to a focus keyword
- Use each focus keyword once
- Link page content to other pages’ focus keywords
There’s lots more. Check out her useful SEO slides here.
Related: Optimize Your WordPress Blog With SEO Yoast Plugin
In Security Isn’t an Elective, part of the dev track, George Stephanis (@daljo628) didn’t dig too deeply into code, making the session accessible for both developers and users. Below is a mashup of security tips for your website and generally:
- Avoid open WiFi.
- Use a VPN.
- HPPS your things.
- Don’t reuse passwords
- Use high password entropy (at least 24 characters).
- Use a password manager. See: 1Password For Teams: Secure Your Work Product and Client Information Firm-Wide.
- Use two factor authentication. This is a no-brainer.
- Update all things. Update your WordPress core and plugins to the latest release which often contain security fixes.
- Security questions. This was one of my favorites: Don’t use “Rover.” Make your first pet’s name a random 32 character alphanumeric string. Store it in your password manager.
- Fingerprints are not passwords. See: Fingerprint ID on smartphones less protected in court than a password, ruling suggests.
When planning to build or move your law firm website, consider the WordPress platform. It’s open source, has an awesome community of developers, designers, and users, and is robust right out of the box.