Build a municipal website for a city, town, or county: review best practices
All municipalities — counties, cities, towns, and even villages — need their own place on the world’s digital map.
Their websites should help them build credibility, help residents, attract businesses, keep visitors on the website, and help everyone find what they are looking for.
Our web development team is ready to build you a cost-effective municipal website in accordance with the best UX practices. So let’s dive into the tips and tricks of municipal website design.
Why does your municipality need a website?
Here is how virtual places like websites make a real impact on the life of a municipality:
- Your city and its attractions are presented to the world in the most beneficial way.
- You foster a true sense of connection to your local community.
- Your municipality residents can stay up-to-date with official news, announcements, and alerts.
- Online forms, FAQ, and applications can significantly reduce the workload of your local government office.
- You can attract more investors and businesses to come and work in your area.
- More tourists and event attendees may arrive.
Best practices to build a municipal website
As stated above, municipal websites solve a wide array of different tasks and are multi-audienced. Here are a few design tips and tweaks to build them properly.
Latest news in a prominent place
With high-quality news content on a municipal website, local governments have a chance to be the primary and trusted source of latest information for their residents. News should be easily found and can be presented in a variety of designs like blocks, feeds, carousels, etc.
News on the municipal website of Loudoun County:
Quick access to the key goals
A municipal website should quickly lead your audiences to the needed results. So it's a good idea to gather the information you expect will be the most popular (taxes, jobs, permits, birth or marriage certificates, animal services, and so on) in an eye-catching menu with clear and prominent calls-to-action.
Quick access menu on the municipal website of Maricopa County:
Quick access menu on the municipal website of Loudoun County:
Reference guides, “how-tos,” or FAQ sections in your municipal site design are meant to give quick answers to standard questions. They need to be extremely easy to understand. These guides are great as an additional help even if you already have quick access menus for the key goals.
FAQ on the municipal website of Town of Windsor:
Even if you provide a quick-access menu to the key goals and provide guides, many visitors will want to use the internal site search feature because it’s more convenient for them. Make sure the search is user-friendly with features like result suggestions, autocomplete, fuzzy search, etc.
Search feature on the municipal website of Louisville:
Top municipal websites and city tourism websites always inform their citizens and prospective guests on the main page about local events. If there is a large choice of events by more categories, a sorting feature can be added to the event calendar.
Event calendar on the municipal website of the City of New York:
Your city, county, or town website design needs to be mobile-friendly because your audiences will access it from various devices (smartphones, tablets, desktops, etc.) That’s why responsive web design is important — it is the most popular technique to make your site layout reshape itself perfectly depending on the device.
Social media integration
There is nothing better than social media to let your readers feel the heartbeat of your community. Incorporate social media into your town or city website design in the form of latest social feeds, social share icons, your social accounts as a vital part of your contact information, and more.
Social media integration on the municipal website of the State of Maryland:
High level of website security
Local government websites need uncompromised security. Data manipulation is unacceptable on sites with official announcements, online forms submitted by residents or prospective businesses, and other valuable information. It’s a must to build municipal sites according to the best security practices like using HTTPS, strong passwords, regular backups, etc.
The frequent question is “Do municipal websites have to be ADA compliant?” Yes, municipal websites should comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This means paying attention to many aspect of site content and making site content and interface accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities who rely on assistive software.
Affordable website development price
On the one hand, municipalities often have limited budgets to build websites. On the other, their need for a professional, attractive, feature-rich, and secure site is high. This requires a web design agency instead of just using a city website template. How to resolve the dilemma?
Luckily, our web development agency understands the needs of municipalities and offers cost-effective development. Welcome to Drudesk! We will try to save your budget as much as possible by using an enterprise-level CMS with plenty of contributed extensions to cover various features. Thanks to our experience, we always know how to find the optimal solution.
Best Examples of Municipal Government Websites
Here is a list of municipal government websites that follow UX best practices and make effective use of design.
Build a municipal websLouisvilleite with our team!
Ready to start discussing your city, town, or county website design? Drop us a line today and let’s think how your municipality would like to present itself on the web. Let our experts build a municipal website that will promote your city's success!