When choosing a parish council web provider it is very important that your new site is safe, secure and compliant.
Town and parish council website legal requirements
There are a host of regulations out there that local council websites must comply with.
The main ones are that your site is:
WCAG 2.1 AA compliant
- This means that your website is accessible to people with disabilities such as visual, cognitive or motor impairments. You can read about how to make your town or parish council website WCAG 2.1AA compliant here: WCAG 2.1 AA Website Accessibility for Town and Parish Council Websites
- This means that your website complies with GDPR data protection and privacy laws. You can read more about how to make your website GDPR compliant here: GDPR Compliance for Town and Parish Council Websites
Transparency code compliant
- This means that you publish all the necessary information to provide transparency to your parishoners and website visitors. This includes publishing minutes, agendas, financial information and Councillor’s details in a timely manner. You can read about what you need to do to make your website transparancy code compliant here: Transparency Code for Parish Council Websites
Town and Parish council website hosting
When choosing a host for your website there are a number of factors to take into consideration
- Security – where to begin on this huge subject… Well it’s imperative nowadays for sites to have an SSL certificate which means that the connection between the visitor and the server is encrypted. You should also make sure you use strong passwords.
- Backups – it’s imperative to maintain backups of your site content. We’ve heard from so many people who’s sites have been hacked and they have lost everything because it wasn’t backed up.
- Speed – it’s important for your users that your web pages and files load quickly, especially for those living in rural areas with slow internet connections.
- UK-based hosting – while not imperative, this is desirable. It means that when your visitors click on your site the signal doesn’t need to be bounced to America and back (for example), which helps with site speed. It’s also desirable for GDPR, ensuring that your information is hosted in the UK.
Easy to use websites with help and support
You want a website that is easy to maintain and update.
It’s best if you are able to do this yourself as this means that you don’t experience delays in getting someone to make changes to your site and can do alteration as and when you need to.
You can’t beat having a friendly voice on the end of the phone or email who will answer any questions you have – so much quicker and easier than poring through help documents or watching endless YouTube videos.