Five Reasons Your Municipality Should Host Its Code Online
The advent of the internet has ushered in a new era of information. Residents constantly engage online to find content relevant to their everyday lives. But what if they need to find their municipal code of ordinances? Traditional methods require residents to go to city hall and sift through code books. Some municipalities have their code online in the form of PDFs, but this still poses challenges. PDFs are hard to search through, are typically not ADA compliant, and can be a chore to update.
Thanks to online code hosting, municipalities can eliminate these issues. Here are five reasons to host your code online:
Arguably the greatest tool of the internet is the power of search. Online codes harness this power by utilizing an intuitive natural language search feature. Typing a keyword or phrase into the built-in search bar retrieves all related code sections instantaneously. For more advanced results, users can use a variety of search operators to force phrase searching, boost term relevancy, enforce conditional logic, and much more.
Online code hosting offers multiple ways to share and convey information related to your code through multiple channels. Let’s say there is a change to your code regarding dogs and leashes and you want to notify your residents. Within the interface you can immediately post it to social media or email the section to your residents. In addition, with today’s modern tools, your staff and residents can actually sign up to receive notifications any time that your code is updated. This proactive approach to transparency will make your life easier and better serve the needs of your constituents.
3. Reducing Calls into the Office
Search and shareability also help city staff by reducing calls into your municipal office. Rather than spending time making calls to city staff for code language research on particular issues, your residents have the answers right at their fingertips. As a result, both staff and residents save time.
One of the biggest challenges of the web is making sure everyone can access your content. Thankfully, online code hosting makes this easy. While accessibility can mean meeting ADA compliance, it also means creating multiple ways for residents to engage with your municipal website. Online code hosting is device responsive, meaning any screen, including mobile phones, can view it. This is particularly beneficial to a construction worker needing to quickly pull up building codes or someone who needs to know dog leash laws for their particular area.
Online code hosting allows residents to see the most current updates and changes to your Code of ordinances. These revisions are made quickly, meaning the code always stays up to date. Old versions are archived, so anyone can access prior versions. With the most recent format and previous versions readily available online, your municipality has increased its transparency for citizens which subsequently enhances their trust.