A public sector website can become like a broom closet – a lot of different department heads throw in a lot of stuff without much organization, along with items that may have at one time served a purpose, but have been useless for years.

That was the experience we had with one recent municipal client. The city recognized that redesigning and modernizing the look of its site was also a good opportunity to take a fresh look at the content, and where it could be updated. What they didn’t realize was how much clutter had collected on many of their pages, making it more difficult for visitors to find the information they needed.

Our goal is to be proactive in these situations – that means going above and beyond to review the pages that the client identified as needing the most adjustments.

There were pages in the Transportation section that fit more naturally under Code Enforcement. There were references to Commission meetings that took place several years ago. There were forms and permit requests scattered throughout dozens of pages, when links to a central location would have been more efficient, and eliminated a lot of repetitious language.

We caught that. They were surprised they didn’t.

There were also pages that were blank – apparently someone meant to fill them in at some point but never got around to it. There were pages that quoted paragraph after ponderous paragraph of municipal code about neighborhood beautification and landscaping, when most visitors to that page just wanted to know something simple, like if they could cut down a tree on their property.

The 360Civic Approach

When we are hired for a municipal website project, our first responsibility is to develop a new design while simultaneously reviewing content. Then we make certain the revised text complements the new design, so the page looks inviting and uncluttered.

We flag anything that looks out of place, as well as any dated references that should have been deleted a long time ago. That way, once we get to the content migration phase, we know that nothing gets transferred that doesn’t belong on the site, or isn’t appearing on the wrong page.

Obviously, the time you revamp your site is also the most logical time to clean out your online broom closet. But if you’re still happy with the design and functionality and don’t need a new website, why not take a fresh look at the content and make sure it is still well organized and up-to-date?

Concerned about ADA compliance? Our ADA experts will conduct a thorough review of every aspect of your website and online presence, and meet with you to review the results. We’ll also provide guidance on how to spot and fix common accessibility issues, and train content creators for ongoing governance.

Find out more about our ADA Review and Repair program

David Hofstede

Director of Content

From website content to press releases, blogs to whitepapers, If something has to be written, David writes it or approves it before it goes to our clients. He understands that good writing has a pu... Read more

Get great ideas and the latest trends in technology in the public sector.

Signup for our free 360Civic newsletter