The days of building websites that serve as static, digital brochures are long gone. Today, all information-providing entities, including local governments, are expected to provide citizen-centric, highly functional, device agnostic, self-service functionality that is wrapped in branding and served up in a browser. With the expectations for digital content being raised, local governments need access to a content management system that can deliver the types of transaction-based experiences citizens want, from a partner that intimately understands the evolving citizen engagement landscape. Through the use of a content management system (CMS) designed exclusively for municipalities, local governments can effortlessly build the types of experiences their citizens want and need in the digital engagement era of content as service.
Here is a list of six more benefits of choosing a government CMS that you will never get with an off-the-shelf, unspecialized CMS software.
1. Ease of use for administrators of all experience levels. In a society where constant access to the latest information is demanded and expected, local governments must be able to easily and immediately share information with citizens, especially when it comes to emergencies, traffic, weather, election results, and other time-sensitive details. Having a CMS that's easy-to-use and easy to update for even non-technical staff, can save municipalities time and money.
2. Content and design preservation. With an intuitive CMS, the content and design lives in separate functionalities. When set with specific permissions, each feature would allow website administrators to manipulate content without fear of accidentally changing the overall website design.
3. Compliance. Local governments are required to comply with Section 508 of the American Disability Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It's vital for websites to provide the capabilities needed to ensure content is easily accessible by everyone. Not meeting website guidelines for accessibility could raise legal issues between citizens and municipalities.
4. Security and liability. With cyberattacks on the rise, it is becoming more important to protect local government websites from data breaches and risk exposure. Without a secure CMS, municipalities are liable for any loss and theft of information taken from the website. Ensure your supplier provides detailed information about dealing with Disaster Recovery, DDoS Attacks, Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Utilizing at least a Tier II Data Center would also be a plus. Partnering with a CMS vendor with multiple levels of security to mitigate and cover a cyberattack can save municipalities from the loss of time, money and reputation. Click HERE for more information about government website security.
5. Hosting. Partnering with a government website design company that offers access to a CMS and hosting will help alleviate much of the technical work needed for housing your site. The most valuable partners will be able to support your hosting needs with advanced data center technology supported by redundant networks, firewalls, and network providers, to help keep your information live 24/7.
6. Online services. The most important functions of your local government website is its ability to equip citizens with online services that can save them time from coming into the office. Services such as bill payment, employment submissions, program registrations and facility reservations can easily be done online from the convenience of their home or on any mobile device. An engaging CMS solution that provides online services prevents the need for multiple third-party software integrations.
7. One-stop shop solution. A CMS functions as a repository for every type of content made available to citizens. Partnering with multiple vendors to plug-in tools for document access, video players, photo galleries, calendars, etc. can lead to integration incompatibilities, and vendor management headaches. Working with one CMS to handle all digital requirements allows your website administrator to self-manage all content types using one intuitive solution with one contact for support services.
There are several providers out there that specialize in developing websites. However, the needs of businesses and bloggers is far different than that of a city, township, or county. Having a CMS and website provider specifically focused on local governments' needs can save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the end.
If you are ready to make the move from an antiquated, generic CMS to a solution built for local governments, click below to download our free Local Government Website Redesign toolkit. It includes everything municipalities need to manage a successful website redesign, from budget, to timeline, to security resources.