When it comes to building a new website to represent your local government and serve your citizens, there are several key choices to make along the way regarding design, content, graphics, usability, features, functions, tools—and the list goes on. However, before any of these options can be explored, there is a fundamentally important decision that will directly determine whether your experience is successful and rewarding, or stressful and disappointing: choosing the right government website design company. To help you make this vital decision, here are five key factors to look for in a professional government web design company:1. Specialized Experience
There’s no substitute for specialized expertise. It is not enough to have only some experience serving the complex, sophisticated needs of local governments. Choose a web design company that specializes in this field and can prove it with case studies, testimonials, reviews, and an impressive portfolio of work. You will save a significant amount of money, time, and stress by choosing a partner who understands the unique needs of local governments.
2. Customized Solutions
Your local government has unique priorities, goals, and objectives, and all of these details must be captured in your one-of-a-kind website. As such, your government website design company must have the capacity to customize solutions that accommodate the needs of your community. A true partner will offer a flexible content management system (CMS) with open APIs, customizable design templates, and a variety of citizen self-service features that can be incorporated on any page of your website. Such customization will help ensure your local government website is a digital representation of your community, and offers meaningful interactions for engaged citizens.
3. Responsive Support
Both during and after implementation, you and your staff will have questions about features or functionality, or will want to know if something new can be added or enhanced. Regardless of the inquiry, your government website development company must offer responsive support 24/7 for your website administrative team. With thousands of citizens in your community looking to your local government website for news, information, and guidance, you cannot risk waiting days to resolve a website access or content issue. You need immediate assistance, especially if you need to communicate urgent information to your citizens. An ideal website design partner will act as an extension of your administrative team and will offer responsive and convenient support channels.
4. Commitment to Compliance
Local governments must comply with requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure equitable access to news and information for all citizens. When looking for a government website design company, ensure that they follow the latest Section 508 accessibility standards and have expertise in designing websites that can be utilized by those reliant upon assistive technology. An ideal partner will offer an integrated accessibility remediation solution to enable ongoing compliance without the need for additional workflows or specially-trained staff.
At CivicPlus® we reference WCAG 2.0 A & AA website compliance standards, per the latest requirements of Section 508 that go into effect in January, 2018. To determine if your municipal website meets the latest standards, or if you could be risking a non-compliance penalty, click below to access our accessibility resources.
5. Easy Content Creation and Updating
To optimize efficiency, your government website company must enable and empower your colleagues to easily create and update content for multiple communication channels in a single step. Choose a government website design company that offers an intuitive CMS that can be easily managed by non-technical website administrators. If you're like most local governments, you don't have an HTML or CSS expert on staff. Ensure you choose a partner whose CMS can be managed without advanced technical skills or coding knowledge.
At Civic Plus, we have over 20 years of experience, and our commitment to service and support is unsurpassed. Our CivicEngage, content management system enables local governments to evolve their web presence so they can inform and empower staff and citizens in more efficient ways.
Learn how your current website performs in the areas of mobility, speed, and readability. Click below to get your free third-party website performance report.