What the best municipal websites are made of

Based on the many aspects of life that a local government website is a part of, a municipal website can no longer be seen as a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity.

In today’s society, it’s become almost impossible to imagine a business not having a website. Individuals nowadays live on their phones: to order meals, research holidays, buy plane tickets - even to date. Having an online presence is a long term investment for businesses and local governments alike. 

A local government website regardless of the size of your community serves to: 

  1. Communicate to citizens: burst pipes, agenda and meeting notes, recycling day, fees for the various licenses. 
  2. It encourages transparency of the work the government is doing in the community. Transparency goes both ways: flowing from the local government to the community and the community interacting and responding to the information. This flow of information is needed to have a well-run town or city. 
  3. Local government websites promote the location, its services and its people. Whether you live in a little tourist village or an up-and-coming city, that is booming - business owners and investors look to the web to form informed decisions. Investment and business employ individuals and encourage economic growth and development in the community. 
  4. Websites offer services to people: access to license application forms, dog license renewal dates and informing the public about events in the community.

Based on the many aspects of life that a local government website is a part of, a website design for government, can no longer be seen as a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity. 

To give you and your community the best, arm yourself with information on what local municipalities need. A website design for government differ from commercial websites in that they offer a steady flow of information, all the time. The information differs from complex documents like meeting notes and agendas to easier ‘digestible’ information like events and town hall business hours. This means the website and the information have to be easily accessible by everyone, including differently-abled individuals. 

Another characteristic of the best municipal websites is accessibility: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 stipulates that municipal websites need to be ADA compliant. The American with Disabilities Act, that came into play in 2012, serves as a guide to all mediums of technology (websites, apps etc) to be accessible to differently abled individuals. 

Furthermore, website design for government must be armed with the tools to deliver emergency notifications in the event of a snowstorm or water outage. Information about the town and its services, like tax rates and garbage days, together with contact details of elected officials and different department contacts must be easily accessible. 

Here we chat through a couple of the must-haves for the best website design for government:

  1. Mobile-friendly modern design. Think first impressions here! An up to date design also means the website runs on the best tech practices currently available.
  2. Connecting with the younger generations is easier if you have social media platforms. These can be linked to the website. If you are throwing your hands in the air, because your to-do list is already the length of your arm: pick and stick, get an amazing website up and running, before taking on the next tasks. 
  3. A communication platform that can be easily updated. This sounds more complex than it is: a communication platform enables local municipal staff to send out notifications, upload board meeting packets, agendas and meeting notes, it holds a calendar with town events and offers quick links for the most important questions. 
  4. Contact information to the town hall, its people and the various departments is a must. Emergency services contact details shouldn’t be forgotten. 
  5. A view into life in your city, town or village: historical facts, the annual carnival or festival or access to boat launch permits for summer tourists. Whether you offer a secluded fishing spot or a park with great hiking trails - showcase all the amazing your community has to offer.
  6. Resources for residents and businesses: garbage and recycling calendars, tax fees, building and operator’s licenses, zoning information and business development practices.

Last, but not least, a vendor that helps with the maintenance, hosting and security of your website design for government is worth gold! Leaving your capacity to deal with community needs, while they sort out the tech side. 

ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds were signed into law in early 2021 to assist the recovery nationwide. Having lived through a pandemic and having seen the impact this had on individuals, families, businesses and all levels of government, it is wise to seek out support provided to businesses and organizations to recover. ARPA funds can be used for building local public services, which enable and support local communities - this means, ARPA funding can be used for websites and digitization tools for local municipalities. 

Look at your local government website as a long term investment into the community: assisting local government to look out for its constituents. For all of this and more, contact Town Web: for the best municipal websites around. 

Town Web services are approved for use with ARPA funds!