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Council’s new website live today

Bristol City Council logoAfter the recent spate of revelations about Bristol City Council’s IT problems (news passim), it’s good to be able report some positive IT news from the Counts Louse.

Drupal iconThe Council’s new website, built upon the open source Drupal content management system (CMS), went live today and first impressions are very favourable: the new site looks far cleaner and less cluttered than the old one.

We recommend you take a look: http://www.bristol.gov.uk

One Response to Council’s new website live today

  1. Profile photo of Steve Woods
    Steve Woods August 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Here’s the Council’s press release announcing the new website:

    Bristol City Council launches a new website today to improve dramatically its service to residents.

    The site should be much easier to use – all the content has been reviewed and refreshed, only taking across the most popular pages from the old site, and a more modern look and feel has been created.

    The site – http://www.bristol.gov.uk – has a number of new features:

    – An improved navigation system and better search engine – powered by Google.
    – Quick links to pay, apply and report online.
    – ‘My Neighbourhood’ facility – a new postcode driven application for local information such as maps, planning applications and local facilities

    Council Leader Barbara Janke said: “Bristol is widely recognised for its strong media, creative and digital economy. But for a city with such a strong record, the council’s website was outdated and cluttered with far too much information that had built up over time.

    “The new site should be much more user-friendly, and include easier ways to pay, apply and report online, which will be developed further over the next few years.

    “It will also provide a more effective and modern service to visitors and investors.

    “In times of budget savings, the decision to invest in the new site was carefully considered. But large savings will be made in costs of transactions, remote and flexible staff working. A much more cost-effective and efficient service will also be available to
    residents.”

    The cost to the council of an online transaction averages at 40p – this compares with £4.62 to handle a transaction over the phone and £7.03 for face-to-face. The aim is to increase the number of residents using self-service including online to 40% by 2012/13, up from 15% now.

    The new site’s budget averages £160,000 per year over five years. This includes design, development, migration of content and ongoing support.

    When developing the site, the website team talked to some of the city’s digital companies on the best approach and decided to go with an open source content management system called Drupal.

    This further underlines the Bristol City Council’s continued commitment, where possible, to using open source software. Drupal saves on licensing costs and is a fast developing product that gives future flexibility. The team will be working with some of these local companies over the coming months on further improvements.