The Importance of a Government Website CMS

Government Website CMS: More Than Just A Pretty Face
Posted on 02/15/2017
CivicLive Blog - Government Website CMS: More Than Just A Pretty Face

You can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to update your municipality’s website and along with a fresh design, your Web Governance team wants to use a new content management system (CMS) to manage your website’s content.

So can you just pick any CMS and then hire a design team to make it look good for your municipality? Public domain (or open-source) software is designed to serve more diverse client types and often is developed by a technical community that doesn’t have experience with municipal government. There are many content management systems to choose from, but only a few are created and properly maintained with local governments in mind. It’s important to partner with a company who has custom-built a CMS specifically for government websites, and here are 6 reasons why:

1. Foster Citizen Engagement

You want engaged citizens, and the easiest way to encourage their involvement is by providing them with an online experience that is useful and hassle-free. Whether they want to report a pesky raccoon or apply to a city job, they’ll be turning to your website to figure out how to do it. Choose a “one-stop-shop” vendor who has citizen-focused modules already built into their system (Meeting Minutes & Media module, Economic Development tools, News Engine, Citizen Request System etc.) and you won’t have to worry about the headaches that can come with building in the functionality yourself or partnering with multiple vendors.

2. Comply with Modern Accessibility Requirements

Your website has to work for all your users.  Technology is only accessible if it can be used as effectively by people with disabilities as those without. Meeting accessibility standards can be a daunting task - are you confident you have the internal resources to make sure your website is compliant? Or that a local designer has the expertise to design a website that is compliant on a federal level? Partnering with a firm who is preemptively working to ensure their software meets ADA/W3C standards on an ongoing basis will save you a lot of trouble, both now and down the road.

3. An Organized Implementation Approach

You will have access to a team of experts who use their experience working with other clients in the world of government to make sure your new website is exactly what you’re looking for and need. They’ll also understand your audience and what residents want from a city or county website. You want someone who knows what they are doing, from the initial brainstorming sessions to the deployment of your brand new website. They’ve done it all before, they know what works and what doesn’t, and they’ll use their skillset to your best advantage.

4. Informed and Timely Support

You will benefit from a multi-faceted support team who know how your website works and can help you make sure your site remains accessible, usable, and attractive. Choose a vendor who has trained their support staff to know the software inside out, who recognize how governments operate, and who will make sure someone is always available to help, no matter what time of day or night.

5. Reliable Hosting & Security Services

You want to make sure you protect your data and your citizens’ information. Select a well-established company with reliable website hosting & data protection services (and a Service Level Agreement to back it up!) to make sure your citizens have secure access to your website at all times.

6. Up-to-Date Software

Technology trends change quickly, and the cutting edge of 2016 will not be the cutting edge of 2020. Partnering with a company whose main priority is government websites will help you easily scale for government needs in the future and keep your online presence relevant for your stakeholders and citizens.

Find Out More:

It’s simple: websites for towns, cities, and counties have unique requirements. The CivicLive CMS includes dozens of modules specifically built to meet government requirements. We’re also committed to ensuring municipal websites are implemented, designed, and supported 24/7/365 to make sure your government’s online presence meets your current needs and is adequately prepared for future possibilities. If you’re interested in hearing more about how we can help you with your web presence, send us a note – we’d love to chat!

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