Since launching our new Parish Council website theme earlier this year we’ve worked with a number of parish councils both locally and nationally to help them develop and publish a new website.
So what have we learned? Quite a lot in a short space of time! A lot of councils have survived for years on free or cheap websites built using Wix, Google Sites, SquareSpace or other platforms, and often these sites were developed by someone on the council, or someone’s friend, as a favour. With all the new WCAG accessibility guidelines for councils that are coming in this month, the requirements for parish council websites have changed dramatically and often the free platforms just don’t stand up to scrutiny.
The other thing we’ve learned, and this isn’t that different to all our other web design clients, is the wide range of technical ability that we see amongst council members. Some have digital agency backgrounds, others have skills that lie outside the web development arena, so it’s been clear to us that we need to able to provide a solid training programme and provide support and assistance to clients once the sites go live.
The most common question get asked is about migrating content and populating the new sites. Unlike some competitors, we don’t just handover a blank website, we’ll work with you to develop and fine tune your site map, provide a content audit to ensure your website is built in a logical and sensible fashion, then we’ll work with you to move your content across. If you’ve got 10 years worth of council minutes and agendas, don’t think you’ve got to add all of those manually one by one – we can help.
Our new theme features functionality that is used by all our council themes, so when we update code with new features, these new features are rolled out to every site. This means that if one council has a good idea for a new feature, all the councils can benefit. We’re also able to build documentation that is shared with everybody showing how to add a new councillor or upload a new document. This functionality is specific to our council themes so we need to ensure that all our councils feel confident in using and updating the sites.
If your parish council is looking for some website help, then do get in contact with us.
You can also visit our Town & Parish Councils dedicated page for the latest updates.