Tips for Improving Local Government Websites

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If you’ve ever looked up your city or county’s website, you might be appalled at some of the broken links and re-directs that have you chasing your tail in circles. On a larger scale, government websites can have you pulling out your hair as you try to navigate the maze of links and information. (Don’t even think about accessing larger government websites on a busy day!)

So, why are government websites notoriously bad? Well, for a few reasons. 

The first reason is that government websites are often created and forgotten about. What that means is that when the website is created, there is often not a direct employee to update it as needed, and as things are updated in a hodge-podge manner, things become broken. Secondly, government websites are often created with one specific goal in mind, with the larger picture in mind. When more local residents begin using the website, scaling issues are brought to light. 

If you’re in local government, what are some ways that you can smooth out your website to run better and offer a more intuitive interface for your county or city? Let’s look at some of the tips below.

Look into cloud-based software options

Local governments are often notorious for not upgrading to cloud-based applications, so as soon as someone is out of the office, all the information they needed is stuck on that desktop computer. This doesn’t only hold things up for residents, but for city employees as well. The clear advantage of cloud-based apps and software is that you can access the same information from any device at any time. It is often assumed that cloud-based software and applications are not secure, but when using cloud-based applications, security is inherently built-in. If the single computer with information suddenly goes kaput, you’ve lost all that information. By having automatic backups, you’re reducing the chance of losing this information. 

Make it easy for residents to contact you online 

Using an online software to improve the interaction of government with residents can be incredibly effective. With Acessse311’s local government software you can quickly capture details from emails and online web forms automatically from local residents. No more manual integrating means that you can spend more time actually addressing these issues instead of chasing them down. With the ability to create and assign cases to the right personnel, your time is spent doing things that actually contribute to the solution.  

Use social media

If you have an outsourced website built for your local government, it is unlikely that you have an in-house employee that understands a significant amount about technology to keep it updated frequently. One option to reduce this confusion is to make sure that when your website is updated or built that it includes your city’s Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. These are much easier to update for the average user. By doing this, you can quickly mention that there is an unexpected road closure, or mention that a parade is occurring downtown. 

Improvement doesn’t have to be hard

The government may move slowly, but with these easy tips, you can change how your residents view your website. Problems may be able to be fixed more quickly, all because of a functional government website. 

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