In 2018, FindLaw began migrating some law firm websites to WordPress. Of course, when properly maintained, WordPress is a fantastic, open-source content management system. As of 2024, over 40% of the websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress.
Normally, this would be great news. However, FindLaw used what is called WordPress “multisite“.
The are pros and cons to multisite:
- The benefit to multisite is that a company such as FindLaw can maintain hundreds (or thousands) of WordPress sites easily from one dashboard and roll out changes across the entire network.
- The downside is that exporting a WordPress multisite website is a big pain. Instead of simply transferring WordPress from FindLaw to your own server, a process which usually takes 10 minutes, there is a huge process involved. You must export the content and import it into your own WordPress install and spend several hours fixing things.
Of course, this makes leaving FindLaw that much more painful. But, that’s ok, because any competent marketing agency familiar with WordPress can move your FindLaw WordPress site (aka “FirmSite”) to a standard WordPress install and web server.
FindLaw provides departing attorneys with their exported content and two files. You can use those or read our “how to” guide below.
Below are the steps to migrate your website to a standard WordPress.org website.
#1. Obtain web hosting and install WordPress.
Our favorite web hosting for lawyers is Kinsta. Purchase your account and do a clean WordPress install. You are not copying or cloning WordPress, you are installing a fresh copy.
#2. Purchase and install the “Divi” theme.
You do not have to use the Divi theme, but, if you are just looking to get off of FindLaw’s servers and onto your own, it will be easiest to keep the same theme and settings, at least for now.
#3. Import content.
FindLaw recommends the Prime Mover Plugin. We’ve used it. It works. You will install Prime Mover on the new site / staging server, then begin exporting from your FindLaw site.
FindLaw will provide you with a zip folder that will be titled “duplicate -” with a trailing series of numbers (it will look something like this: duplicate-37563374). In the folder, there will be a .wprime file. This will be the file that you will upload when importing with the Prime Mover Plugin “Restore” option.
It should be noted that after uploading the file, Prime Mover Plugin might warn you that there are missing plugins that were used on the FindLaw instance of the site.
Excluding premium plugins, we installed the missing plugins and then uploaded the .wprime file again, which gave us a more complete version of the site. In Step #5 below, we’ve identified some of the plugins that you will likely need, but additional needed plugins will vary.
Unfortunately, Prime Mover Plugin doesn’t give the warning before importing the file, so you might have to go through the import process twice to identify and install missing plugins. Yay!
#4. Rebuild missing content.
As noted in the instructions, not all content moves over.
- Attorney Profile Pages: These are dynamically driven using the FindLaw Directory, so these will need to be rebuilt from scratch.
- Name, Address, and Phone Number across the website are dynamically driven from internal FindLaw systems using short code; you will need to replace these, as necessary.
- Sidebars will need to be configured because they are using settings that do not transfer.
#5. Find needed images. Install necessary plugins.
The instructions also notes that certain images, content, plugins will need to be provided (by you).
Plugins you might need could include:
- Ninja Forms
- Divi Blurb Extended
- All In One SEO Pack Pro (what FindLaw uses for SEO)
- Divi Custom Fullwidth Header Extended
- Divi Font Awesome
#6. Test it and go live.
*Below, you can see what our clone looked like upon import, and what it looks like after going through the aforementioned steps of replacing missing content, etc.