Monmouthshire County Council in Wales is reporting an annual 250 percent increase in visits to its website from residents using mobile devices after it relaunched its site on WordPress.
The council made the move three months ago partly because of the relative simplicity of creating a site which is responsive, meaning the website alters to fit the screen size of the device residents access the website from.
19 percent of all websites in the world now run on WordPress but very few councils have made this change.
Helen Reynolds, Digital and Social Media Manager, said: “Mobile visits were already increasing and in the short time after we launched our mobile-responsive site we’ve seen more and more visits from phones and tablets.
“Our website is moving with the way people use the internet – we don’t want to wait until we get home to find out information. The ‘Google It’ generation decide what they need to know and look for it there and then, often on mobile devices.
“We decided to make a radical change as last year statistics from our site showed us most people come to our site from a search engine – not many people I know go to a council website for a leisurely browse! They’re there to find out something specific. We needed to improve the site to suit how people use it.”
The main changes in the new version of www.monmouthshire.gov.uk are:
- It can now be viewed on mobile and tablet devices
The site will will rearrange itself if you are viewing it on a smartphone, tablet or PC device.
- It is now designed to be used easily by people with visual impairments and other disabilities
These colours were chosen to meet branding guidelines and also help people who use the site who have visual impairments and other disabilities.
- Pages have been re-written into plain English
The web team aimed to remove jargon and unhelpful information and the website was edited from 20,000 web pages just over a year ago to about 500 pages.
- Residents can login if they wish – allowing them to comment on pages and change the menu on the front page
The new offers a login feature where people can log into the website and access extra services like commenting on pages and changing the menu on the home page so it displays most used and favourite webpages
- It’s easier to use
The site is faster for residents in poor broadband areas and has an improved search box, meaning people can find what they need more readily.