A municipal government website, built on WordPress, featuring custom post types and custom fields to handle the display and management of items such as meeting minutes, area business listings, and bulletin board announcements.

Moweaqua.org homepage shortly after launch

A highly customized WordPress design and installation I made for the village of Moweaqua, IL. Check it out here! It includes many features that make it possible for residents of Moweaqua to find information about municipal services quickly and easily:

  • Searchable meeting minutes going back almost 2 decades. This allows for easy access to past Village Board meetings for both residents and current board members (In the past, the paper copies of meetings would have had to be searched by hand).
  • Village information pages including current village officials and board members, emergency service information, FAQs, and an easy contact form to speak with village officials.
  • A community calendar that primarily displays dates of upcoming committee and board meetings, but is also able to include events submitted by community members.
  • Area business, organization, and church listings, as well as area amenities and school district information.

While Moweaqua’s old website still served the purpose of presenting information, it did so in an outdated and hard-to-use manner. The two major problems that the website faced were that it was (1) hard for the village to update, and (2) hard to view on a mobile device.

The old website was not maintained in-house by village staff–instead, meeting minutes and any other updates that needed to be posted were sent to an outside party who maintained the site. This frequently resulted in delays in the posting of village information, such as meeting minutes not being updated for months on end. With the new site, we needed a way for village staff to easily post their own updates in a timely manner. We decided to build the site on WordPress, a content management system that has proven itself to be versatile and easy to use, whether you’re a developer or not. With WordPress, village staff are now able to post updates quickly and easily. They can upload meeting minutes right after they are approved with no delay, they can add custom pages to fit any need, and they can easily maintain the area information listings.

The switch to WordPress means that information is available to residents quicker than ever before, and it also means that the village saves money by moving the maintenance work over to their own staff.

The old website looked decent on a desktop computer, but the reality of the web today is that more than 50% of users are browsing the web on mobile devices only. What looks good on a desktop computer will surely not look the same on a mobile phone, and with these design issues come functionality issues. The old website wasn’t usable on a mobile phone, which leaves a large portion of users out of the loop when it comes to easy access to village information.

With the new design, we strived to make a completely functional and beautiful browsing experience no matter the size of the screen the user was viewing on. To do this, we employed a tactic called “responsive design,” meaning that the design and layout of the page responds to the user’s screen size. The mobile version of the website isn’t a separate website at all–it’s the exact same site, things are just moved around to fit on the screen. This means that any content that is put on the website is accessible on desktop or mobile right away–there is no loss of content or functionality going from phone to computer.