How Redesigning Your Local Government Website Will Improve Efficiency

Written by Rachael Walker

While almost every local government in the country has a website, not all of them are optimized to enable civic engagement and support efficient, personal, and impactful citizen communications, which should be the two primary functions of a local government website.

Many local governments also suffer from the negative impact of outdated websites. Such websites often display layout features, imagery, content, and functionality that have not been updated to accommodate the latest advanced in mobile device form factors, resulting in a negative, and frustrated user experience. The impact on citizens that such outdated websites cause is a feeling that their local government website is not a reliable source of information for news and information. As a result, citizens are less likely to visit the website, which means plummeting levels of civic engagement, and fewer opportunities to reach citizens with timely and relevant news and information..

Civic Tip: Click here for 5 Do Nots of Civic Website Design

If your local government website isn't working hard for you to spread important news and engage citizens, then it's time for a website redesign. With a redesigned local government website built on a flexible and innovative government content management system (CMS), you can empower your staff to easily update content in one location—and publish updates to multiple channels, such as your website, mobile app, and other integrated communication systems. An easy-to-manage website enables additional operational efficiencies, which help local governments accomplish more, even in light of shrinking budgets and greater expectations.

Here are the three biggest reasons why a redesigned website can improve your operational efficiency: 

1. You’ll enable citizens to self-service many types of requests.

By redesigning your website with a suite of self-service functions—such as tracking issues, finding and downloading forms, and online  featuresyour staff will spend less time on the phone and assisting walk-ins, and more time tackling high priority items and projects. Citizens will also find the improvement just as valuable and will increase the frequency with which they visit, and engage with, your civic website. 

2. You’ll be able to communicate more efficiently with your citizens.

A redesigned website built on a CMS that integrates multiple communication channels can help administrators maximize their reach of important local government communications, and do so more quickly. With more proactive and frequent outreach, citizens' questions and complaints will decrease, a benefit to both voters and administrators.

At CivicPlus®, we offer several communication tools that make it easier for administrators to engage with citizens from a single, integrated CMS platform:

The CivicEngage® CMS also allows local governments to integrate several additional service solutions such as CivicEngage® Send, the powerful CivicEngage communication creation and distribution module. 

Save Time. Improve Efficiency with CIvicSend Download our fact sheet

3. You can keep your citizens informed of local news and events. 

There’s plenty of things happening in your community each week, from farmer’s markets, to auto shows, to fundraisers, to all other varieties of community events. However, getting the word out can be very time consuming for your staff; especially if each event needs to be added to your internal events calendar, public-facing events calendar, website, social media posts, and distributed to subscribers via email. With a CMS that enables content to be created once, and published via multiple channels in a single step, your staff will be able to reallocate time to more pressing citizen matters.

Ready for a redesign but don't know were to start? Download our Local Government Website Redesign Toolkit for everything you need, from a budget template, to a recommended timeline, to a sample RFP.