10 Essentials for Building a Great Municipal Website

City of Oconto Falls Website screenshot

Businesses aren’t the only entities that want a top-notch internet presence. Municipalities do, also. One important aspect of a municipality’s digital presence is its website. That’s where a city, village, or town can promote its brand in words and images.

Role of a Municipal Website

A municipal website performs multiple government-related roles:

  1. Provide names and contact information of municipal leaders and department officials
  2. Publish municipal meeting agendas and minutes as an additional way to comply with public notice laws
  3. Inform residents of elections and polling information
  4. List information about services like trash and leaf pick-up
  5. Post municipal ordinances regarding snow removal, parking, pets, etc.
  6. Post job openings, descriptions and application forms

A municipal website also performs multiple community-building roles:

  1. Show prospective residents a slice of life
  2. Highlight places of interest like parks and beaches
  3. Attract business and industry with economic development information like available property and funding resources
  4. Showcase events like a citywide rummage sale or concert series

Leveraging Social Media

To expand the reach of a municipal website, many municipalities publish a Facebook feed on their website. Others link their websites to their social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Maintaining ADA Compliance

The overarching role of a website is to share information with visitors in a way that’s easy to find and understand for everyone, including people who are blind or use assistive technology. Thus, municipal websites are required to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Just like ramps for wheelchairs, websites need to prevent barriers to accessibility for those with disabilities. Individuals who are blind or use assistive technology need to be able comprehend the information on a municipal website. Fortunately, accessible design does not necessarily mean the price of a website skyrockets. ADA elements like color contrast and behind-the-scenes coding can be built into websites to maintain compliance.

Updating a Website with the Latest News

An easy-to-update website is a must for municipalities because of all the meeting agendas, public notices, minutes, and other information they post on a regular basis. A content management system like WordPress makes posting quick and intuitive. If a municipal official is familiar with Microsoft Word, it is likely to be easy to transition to WordPress. For website clients who need an introduction or refresher, the Packerland Websites team offers complimentary training, plus video and written tutorials.

Presenting a Municipality at Its Best

Lastly, a municipal website needs to be built by a professional who pulls together design, navigation, hosting, and security. To see these elements in action, view our portfolio of municipal websites.

3 Key Elements of Every Municipal Website

  1. Fast-loading with reliable up-time, reducing frustration and wait time for website editors and visitors
  2. Easy-to-navigate, funneling visitors quickly and easily to the webpages they want to view
  3. Attractive-looking design, building a brand image that represents the municipality in its best light

Contact Packerland Websites

Every municipality needs a website, but government officials often lack the time, skills, and technology to create their own website. Packerland Websites partners with municipal leaders to design and manage websites that make you proud of where you live, work, and govern. If the website of your city, village or town is ready for a tune-up or complete rebuild, contact Packerland Websites.