WordPress CMS for Public Sector Website Design and Development


The evolution of WordPress from a basic blogging tool to a global CMS is quite impressive. If you missed it, WordPress now powers 39.6% of the internet and 64.1% of the CMS-built sites. WordPress offers a flexible and feature-rich CMS capable of powering even the most complex and information-rich sites, and it benefits large and small organizations alike. More recently, the public sector has been moving to and appreciating the benefits of WordPress.

A past presentation by Peter Slutsky, current Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Automattic, and Dan Munz, who worked as the Finance Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau presented the merits of WordPress for public sector. The advantages outlined in this video are still valid in 2021.

Source: vip.wordpress.com

Both presenters provided a comprehensive overview of the features that make WordPress a great platform for a variety of different government web projects, including the White House, Data.gov, the Department of Justice, Library of Congress, the US Army, and even the CFPB where Dan Munz himself worked. While their focus was primarily on federal government and enterprise level websites, WordPress is an equally effective CMS for other public sector entities on the local city and county levels as well, for a variety of similar reasons outlined below.

More recently, the White House used WordPress for the transition website for President Joe Biden.  With the very unique need for last minute changes, this highly visible site was created with flexibility and agility in mind along with best practices in security protocols.  WordPress was the CMS of choice for these very reasons. 

Why is WordPress a good fit for the Public Sector?

A CMS that is flexible and easy to use

Public sector and government entities have tight budgets and limited resources, which means the chosen CMS needs to be easy to use and flexible.  The flexibility of the WordPress CMS makes it easy to customize the appearance of a site and backend to make it easy for both website visitors and backend users.  WordPress offers the ability to select multi-author roles and permissions across multiple website properties allowing organizations to create a customized experience for each WordPress user.  This ensures each user is granted access to only the areas they specifically want in the CMS platform.

WordPress can also run multiple websites on a single code base and user system (multisite), vastly simplifying the administrator experience.  Using a multisite appropriately allows an organization to consolidate CMS bases and use one customized CMS platform, minimizing the effort and learning curve for new staff members.  Having a customized dashboard interface additionally makes it a platform virtually any staff member can navigate with ease. 

Gutenberg Blocks for ultimate flexibility

Being able to respond quickly to a changing environment has been particularly important during the past two years and will remain the norm moving forward.  The new Gutenberg blocks within WordPress allow almost unlimited possibilities to create landing pages quickly and include some variation in your templates without detracting from the overall design of the website.

wordpress's gutenberg user interface for adding blocks

Integrated and Complementary Technologies

There are over 50,000 plugins available for WordPress sites, which means no matter what your specific needs are, additional features can be added to your site to make it more dynamic and relevant to your website audiences.  Additionally, a knowledgeable React or WordPress developer can customize an existing plugin or additional code to cater to your required functionality.  Syndication features like RSS feeds and APIs are simple to integrate into an existing WordPress back-end.  Likewise for linking to social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

An Engaged WordPress Developer Community

As the presentation above mentions, security is one of the main concerns government and public sector entities are concerned about.  WordPress has a robust community of developers committed to identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities.  They release three major versions of WordPress every year to combat these vulnerabilities and keep WordPress safe from threats.

The development community also produces an ever-growing list of innovative features, including many of the 50,000+ plugins currently available to integrate into your WordPress site.  Like the security updates, these plugins are also updated regularly to adjust for any potential vulnerabilities and to ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress updates.

Getting Started with Professional WordPress Design and Development

As a custom web development and creative agency based in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, Materiell can help you exceed your goals on a timeline that works for you.  Our work with public sector and government agencies includes Social Security Administration, George Mason University (VA),  Arlington Public Schools (VA), and Haverhill Public Schools (MA).  We aim to exceed your expectations and overall site goals by creating a successful web design and development plan for your public sector entity.  Materiell can advise you on the merits of using WordPress as your CMS of choice and provide you with a high performing customized site built for your needs now and in the future.  We also provide DevOps services for hosting and maintaining your site after it is built.

Custom Gutenberg Block and React Development

In addition to our design and development services, we also offer application development and specific React/Gutenberg development, code auditing and reviews performed by highly experienced WordPress developers.  These audit services are available throughout every stage of the development cycle as well as on existing sites.  Contact us today for a consultation that caters to the unique needs of your public sector entity or government agency.