Off the shelf solutions

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of GovLoop GovLoop 2 years ago.

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  • #172416
    Profile photo of William Blumberg
    William Blumberg
    Participant

    WordPress.com just announce their new web pages for cities. So what do you think about using a non-self hosted site to meeting the needs of local government. I am fan of off the shelf solutions but I worry because of the lack of control when you use a service such as wordpress.com. Now you are tied to their terms of services and limited on what you can do with the site. Yet, it does seem simple and I have found most local government IT departments are limited on time and resources.

    Is this a solution? If so, when and how to use it?

  • #172428
    Profile photo of GovLoop
    GovLoop
    Keymaster

    More and more cities are going to hosting in the cloud for a variety of reason (cost savings, elasticity, etc). I think it actually helps on the time and resources area as you don’t have to spend nearly as much time worrying about configuring and keeping the site up in times of issues. Most of the gov’t agencies who have gone Drupal actually use Acquia to host in the cloud for example.

  • #172426
    Profile photo of Daniel Bevarly
    Daniel Bevarly
    Participant

    I would not be as concerned with the site being externally hosted as I would be with the structure of that site to mirror or replicate traditional public communication and data transmit or exchange. Government should be working with any third party provider of its online relations with the public to ensure such structure, processes and policies are maintained. If that is not reflected in the terms of services or creates limitations or challenges, then government should seek out solutions elsewhere.

  • #172424
    Profile photo of William Blumberg
    William Blumberg
    Participant

    I am hopeful that gov’t IT will move towards managing cloud base services instead of trying to keep up on the ever changing technology. The time and resource should be for creating good content and services as you suggested.

  • #172422
    Profile photo of William Blumberg
    William Blumberg
    Participant

    I am often surprised about my fellow government employees not reading the terms of services. Ok, I have found most people do not read the TOS. But you are right, there are lots of solutions with third party provider and with more agencies seeking these solution, I am sure that companies will provide great products.

  • #172420
    Profile photo of Daniel Hanttula
    Daniel Hanttula
    Participant

    When I worked in the private sector, WordPress was the solution for deploying to a non-technical customer or team — especially if we had specialists that would be contributing large amounts of content to the site. My biggest frustration was the need to constantly update the WordPress code base (from a security perspective, WordPress is a high-value target), but with a managed solution such as this, that goes away. Another plus is that the system has a great amount of plug-in support (as one developer once told me, if you can’t find a WP plug-in for your needs, they probably aren’t real business requirements) and the system (at least the commercial version I have seen) allows you to export your posts to XML at no-charge or have it ported to a hosted instance of WP for a reasonable fee.

    So, in my opinion, it is an excellent solution to deploy when you have a number of contributors to a single site and need advanced rights management for pages in an easy to deploy and simple to maintain system. If you have a dedicated webmaster who is the “gatekeeper” for content, then it probably isn’t as necessary, but anyone who has considered a CMS (Content Management System) for the web should seriously consider WordPress.

  • #172418
    Profile photo of William Blumberg
    William Blumberg
    Participant

    Thank Daniel,

    I like your thoughts of WordPRess being a solution for non-technical teams and that if there is no WP plug-in then do you really need it.

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