It seems like today so many agencies are plagued by the expenses of online web development and associated hosting; Manor was no different. Smaller agencies pay thousands of dollars to private companies to developed attractive websites that can be done at a fraction of the cost.
After discussing my frustrations with Luke Fretwell, the founder of GovFresh, he had a solution that would not only work for Manor, but many other cities as well. His idea was to build the entire site on WordPress, which is an open-source blog publishing application, with full-social media integration. I knew of WordPress, and had even used it for my personal blog, but have never thought of using it for a government site outside of a traditional blog.
After doing some research, it became quite evident that the WordPress platform was optimal for our agency, and would help empower the non-technical employees to become involved with the website. Soon after, we set out to make the WordPress idea into an actual site. Over the next day, Luke designed an amazing WordPress theme, while I transferred and tweaked page content. In about 48 hours the entire site frame and basic page content was completed. A few days later, the site was rolled out and is now live at http://www.cityofmanor.org.
The story isn't over yet. GovFresh has packaged the theme and made it available at http://tools.govfresh.com for any agencies to use at no cost. This story highlights the power of social media tools, like WordPress, to help make government more efficient, transparent and cost-effective.
Benefits to using WordPress:
-Simple Web design practices
-Easy site administration
-Social media integration
-Faster site deployment
-Ease of site administration
Site template features:
-Simple primary/secondary/tertiary navigation
-Home page template with rotating carousel
-News page template for updates and press releases
So for anyone that wants to see an social media ROI, visit http://www.cityofmanor.org and take a look around.