See What Else Is New...
Content focused. Animated. Personalized. Colorful. These are just some of the terms that will define web design in 2017. If you think your local government website can’t take advantage of the latest, modern, eye-catching trends, think again. This year’s list of top trends offers something for everyone, including easy-to-implement design updates that can take your municipal website from ordinary to outstanding. Here are the 6 trends you can expect to see across industries, and sectors in 2017:
Your community doesn’t run on a nine-to-five clock. That means that unlike your counterparts in the private sector, you don’t have the benefit of shutting down your computer and going offline at 5 p.m. Local government communication managers are responsible for the dissemination of important local news and information, whenever that news breaks, even if it’s before 9 a.m., after 5 p.m., on a weekend, or even a holiday.
How long does it take you to update a paragraph of text on your municipal website using your current local government content management system (CMS)? Ten minutes? An hour or two depending on whether the system is being glitchy? Two days because you have to outsource it to a third-party web programmer with HTML skills? If so, it sounds like you need a new CMS.
It’s 8:47 a.m. and you’re scheduled to present in front of your county legislature at 9 a.m. sharp. You’re standing in the hallway outside the chamber door and see an email pop-up on your smartphone from your County Sheriff with updated statistics for your presentation. The Sheriff explicitly requests that the data in your presentation slides be updated before you present at 9 a.m.
Local government websites, along with websites belonging to state and federal department and agencies, have an inherent search engine ranking advantage over other kinds of websites. This is because Google, Bing, Yahoo and the other search engines believe that, all else being equal, government websites contain more trustworthy, reliable, and useful public service-related content than websites hosted by non-government individuals and businesses. Since the primary purpose of search engines is to connect people with the relevant information they’re searching for, local government websites have an advantage in where they can rank on search engine results pages. That’s the good news.
The results are in for the 2016 Digital Cities awards competition. Among this year’s winners are three CivicPlus local government clients: Durham, North Carolina, Roanoke, Virginia, and Tamarac, Florida. Each local government has earned a first-place nod in its population size category. This year’s top ten have been recognized for producing local government websites that focus on transparency and security, and offer a functional infrastructure.
It goes without saying that strong enterprise-grade security is essential for your local government website—especially because hackers are increasingly targeting public sector websites with a flurry of cyber threats such as malware, ransomware, trojans and viruses. Even a relatively minor breach or infection can lead to thousands of dollars in investigation and remediation costs, not to mention fines and lasting reputation damage.
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, and you wouldn’t buy a house without a walk through. When it comes to making an in investment in a content management system (CMS), using taxpayer dollars, the same amount of consideration should be made. Before purchasing a local government content management system (CMS), take the time to view a demonstration of the system–-both the administrative interface and the external user interface. Here are six reasons why local governments should view a demo before selecting a new government website design partner.
The first and most important thing that local governments must know before launching a website redesign project is this: the vast majority of website content management systems (CMS) available on the market are not designed for the robust, sophisticated, and specialized needs of local governments.
In addition to providing essential services and solutions, local governments are also tasked with another, and sometimes even more challenging mandate: they must play a key role in inspiring keeping citizens them happy. Here are five key ways that a new local government website can be a big piece of this puzzle:
Across the country, hundreds of local governments have come to the realization that their website isn’t doing enough heavy lifting on three levels: it’s not effectively and fully serving the needs of citizens, it’s not making internal operations more efficient and streamlined, and it’s not putting the city they serve in the best possible light.
Thanks to the proliferation of digital technology, today's citizens are expecting digital interactions that they experience with their local governments to be similar to those they have with private sector organizations. Meaning they want useful tools, mobile access, easy to navigate digital content, and online tools that help them accomplish important tasks. While there are many pieces to the positive user experience puzzle, two of the biggest and most influential are widgets and apps.