Streamlining multiple council microsites to drive efficiencies
Nothing was too challenging for Rohallion. They were always available to listen to our requirements, answer questions and problem-solve. A big benefit was that due to Rohallion’s track record with LocalGov Drupal, we knew we wouldn’t be starting from scratch.
Digital Programme and Website Officer
Westmorland & Furness Council
When the decision was made to replace six district councils and Cumbria County Council with two new unitary authorities, a number of existing microsites needed to be migrated to a new platform with centralised control.
Cumberland Council and Westmorland & Furness Council had decided to use LocalGov Drupal as the CMS for their main websites, so it made sense for the microsites to be built on it too, including:
- HM Coroner Cumbria
- Barrow Dock Museum
- Cumberland Family Hubs
- Cumbria Local Nature Recovery Strategy
With many of these using different proprietary platforms, the main challenges were:
- Reducing the human resources needed to manage multiple sites
- Cutting the associated costs of using various platforms
- Centralising content control to make it easier for users
Across the previous sites, members of the public needed help finding the information they needed, resulting in lots of calls to the council that took staff members away from other duties.
We recommended LocalGov Drupal based on the core of Drupal to deliver several
benefits across the two new authorities.
- The microsites are quick and easy to set up and get running
- It’s easy to use different branding for event and partnership sites
- The previous platforms can be switched off, reducing technical debt
Bob Bulman, Digital Programme and Website Officer, Westmorland & Furness Council, has already noticed the benefits. “We’re now empowering users with LocalGov Drupal logins so they can quickly and easily update site content themselves. There was previously an issue with a bottleneck of requests because other platforms were more technical and difficult for editors to use,” he states.
The built-in accessibility checker ensures updates are consistent and to the same standards. The councils explored other platforms, but one of the main drawbacks would have been the lack of knowledge sharing that comes from all sites and staff
using the same CMS.
Another benefit comes from sharing code, which team members couldn’t do previously with the various solutions being used. “When you build a new feature for a LocalGov Drupal microsite, it’s automatically available across all because they use the same common code base,” Bob says.
Bob has seen a positive effect across different areas on the migrated microsites.
- Increased web traffic
- The service-driven design has led to fewer people calling up
- There’s more of a business case to build new functionality due to higher
Another efficiency has come about due to only providing staff training on one CMS. If someone’s already comfortable updating an existing microsite, they’ll be able to do it on any other LocalGov Drupal site.
He’s also keen to emphasise the ease of moving all the content from the various providers to LocalGov Drupal. It’s been quick and hassle-free, which is a huge positive as a dozen sites must be migrated by October 2024 due to other platforms reaching their end of life.
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