Things You Should Consider When Replacing Your Council Website

Home Website accessibility Things You Should Consider When Replacing Your Council Website

Replacing your council website is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration. An effective, accessible, and user-friendly website is crucial for providing valuable information and services to your community.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

1. User Experience (UX)

  • Accessibility: Ensure your website meets accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.1. This includes using alt text for images, ensuring keyboard navigability, and providing transcripts for audio and video content.
  • Intuitive Navigation: Organise your content logically with clear headings and easy-to-use menus. Users should be able to find what they need quickly and efficiently.
  • Mobile-Friendly Design: Your website should be responsive, meaning it should work well on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. In 2023, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 58% of global website traffic.

2. Content Management System (CMS)

  • Ease of Use: Choose a CMS that is user-friendly for staff with varying levels of technical expertise. It should be easy to update content, add new pages, and manage media.
  • Scalability: Select a CMS that can grow with your needs, accommodating new features and increased traffic over time.
  • Support and Community: Opt for a CMS with robust support options and an active user community. This can provide valuable resources and assistance when needed.

At Zonkey we specialise in building sites using WordPress. We find WordPress is a great choice of CMS because it offers a user-friendly platform with vast customisation options, making it accessible for both beginners and advanced users.

3. Security

  • Data Protection: Ensure that your website complies with data protection regulations, such as GDPR. Secure user data with encryption and regular security audits.
  • Regular Updates: Use a CMS and plugins that are regularly updated to protect against security vulnerabilities.
  • Backup Solutions: Implement regular backup procedures to safeguard against data loss.

4. Functionality

  • Interactive Features: Incorporate features such as online forms, payment portals, and service request systems to enhance user engagement.
  • Search Functionality: Provide a robust search function to help users find information quickly.
  • Integration: Ensure compatibility with other systems and software used by the council, such as CRM systems and social media platforms.

5. Design and Branding

  • Consistent Branding: Maintain a consistent look and feel that aligns with the council’s branding guidelines.
  • Visual Appeal: Use a clean, modern design that is visually appealing but not overwhelming. Prioritise readability and simplicity.
  • Content Strategy: Develop a content strategy that includes clear, concise, and relevant information. Regularly update content to keep it current and engaging.

6. Testing and Feedback

  • User Testing: Conduct usability testing with real users to identify and fix issues before the site goes live.
  • Ongoing Feedback: Create channels for users to provide feedback after the site is launched. Use this feedback to make continuous improvements.

7. Training and Support

  • Staff Training: Provide comprehensive training for staff responsible for updating and maintaining the website. We’ll arrange an online training session for you and your team where we’ll cover all aspects of the site so you can all feel confident in managing content going forwards.
  • Ongoing Support: Establish a support system for troubleshooting and resolving issues quickly.

8. Budget and Timeline

  • Realistic Budget: Plan a budget that covers not only the initial development but also ongoing maintenance, updates, and improvements.
  • Timeline Management: Set a realistic timeline for the project, including time for planning, development, testing, and launch.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that your new council website will be a valuable resource for your community, providing easy access to information and services.

A well-designed website is an ongoing commitment, requiring regular updates and improvements to remain effective and relevant. We have a range of maintenance options on offer, to suit all council types and budgets. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

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