Center For Practice Management, Management, Marketing

Do You Own Your Firm’s Web Presence?

A recent lawsuit involving the control of a popular social media profile serves as a reminder to law firms and business owners to make sure that their web presence – including websites, social media profiles, domain names, and Google profiles – are owned and controlled by the firm. Considerations regarding admin rights, logins, fine print regarding portability and content of websites, and more should be weighed to make sure that the firm owns and controls these marketing assets.


Do you know where your domain name is registered? How long before it expires? Do you have multiple domains? Do you know the username and password for the registrar? You need to keep up with this information to keep your domain active and to ensure you can set up email or move your website to a different host. If you don’t know the answers to these questions you can go to and type in your domain name at the very top of the page. You can see who the registrar is, the date the domain was registered and when it expires. If you do not have the login for the registrar, you will need to contact them and probably go through quite a process to recover or get access to this account. In some cases when a firm has a third-party marketing company set the domain up you can contact the company. Sadly, sometimes the person who developed the website is no longer available. Best practice is for the owner of the firm, or the firm administrator register the firm domains and then make sure that login information is available to several people. Keep in mind that notifications of expiration will go to the email address for the person associated with the account, you might consider adding an additional email account.

Social Media Accounts

Facebook requires a personal user to create a business page. Once this has been done that user needs to add additional Page Roles for the page. In Facebook go into Page Settings – Page Roles and Assign a New Page Role. Roles include Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser and Analyst. Keep in mind that an Administrator can also remove other roles, so it is best to limit administrative privileges. Learn more about how law firms can use Facebook for Business.

Like Facebook, you must have a personal LinkedIn account to create a Company page. However, LinkedIn automatically creates a Company Page if several people in your firm have LinkedIn profiles. You can claim your LinkedIn Company Page if it already exists. If you find someone else already has claimed it then request Admin access. Make sure to have multiple admins, including the firm’s owner(s), office manager, etc. Here are instructions, as well as some tips for leveraging LinkedIn Company Pages.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a terrific way to have a highly visible and free web presence. But, like any of your online marketing, make sure to have access to your account with redundancy. These instructions include how to set up a business group, and create multiple administrators, as well as how to transfer primary ownership of your business group. Keep in mind that GMB is free, so support is limited.

Other Google Tools

If you use Google AdWords, Google Analytics and Dashboard and other Google marketing tools make sure that you have primary ownership and access to these platforms.

Your Firm Website

Is your website on a platform like Wix, Weebly, Square Space, or If you don’t have primary ownership and a login, make sure to get that set up. If you are using an open-source content management software (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal, you’ll need a web host – and the username/password for both the CMS and the web host. If someone built it for you make sure you have these logins and admin rights. If you have a website developer, you may need to ask for them to get this set up.

If you are using a service like FindLaw, LawLytics, Justia or one of hundreds of website/marketing companies you likely will have a way of logging into the content management system to make updates. But you may not and have to request that edits are made. Inquire if there is a way to make edits and if training is available. Check the fine print in your contract. Is the design portable? Is the content? Images and graphics? Can you easily move to a different platform? Will the company help with the transfer of information by supplying an export file? Are you stuck in a long-term contract? Will the company help with any redirects from the old site to the new site if you leave them? The answers may surprise and dismay you, it is important to know before you sign, but if you don’t know then find out and find out what recourse you have.


Many law firms have quite an investment in their online web presence. Make sure to have the access, permissions, and ownership of your web properties to ensure continuity. You don’t want to find out the hard way that the marketing firm you fired claims ownership of your content, or your firm administrator has your firm’s Facebook Business page exclusively tied to her personal account. It is possible to untangle from most of these scenarios, but not without considerable time, hassle, and expense.