You guys all know I love WordPress, of course. And, I guess this sounds weird or old-school, but I also really believe in our government and the people who work for it. And then I saw this combination: WordPress for Government!
I think this could be a great way for us as taxpayers to save money. A site built on WordPress (or I would say, any of the open source CMS’s) it usually less expensive than a bespoke site, and can often fill your requirements just as effectively. Atilus.com has a “large business” website costing anywhere from $15,000-$100,000. I assumed a smaller federal agency or large city’s website would cost at least this much, if not a great deal more. However, by one estimate, the Obamacare site, which was widely criticized, cost approximately $515,000,000. Yes, $515 million. Also, it was built by a Canadian company. I know of several American web designers who would be thrilled to make a website that didn’t work, for just 1/10th of that money.
It would challenge gov’t to bring their workers up to speed on the Web (not to paint all federal or state employees with the same brush, but some branches of gov’t have the reputation of being a little behind, technically). But if they take the step into using a CMS like WordPress, I think the inevitable next step is for any bureau or department to begin taking more ownership and agency in managing their own web presence. Websites need to be living things, constantly updated and interacting with their target community. More and more government-citizen interaction is taking place online (because Microsoft). And a site made on WordPress is easy to update!
I am hopeful this will help make our government’s web presences (city, state and local) more nimble and affordable, while starting to development a deeper bench of website management experience among employees. What do you think?