A study conducted on several government websites between 2017 and 2018 revealed that people have become increasingly dependent on smart devices like mobile phones and tablets, and thus, government websites are mostly visited on these smart devices. However, the same study also revealed that the sites aren’t particularly mobile-friendly as a user might expect or don’t quite offer a great mobile experience. While that doesn’t particularly mean that the sites have usability issues, but it shows that the best government websites aren’t usually well-built. So, we’ve put together five best practices that can enhance the performance of government websites.
5 Best Practices For Mobile-Friendly Government Websites
- Optimizing CSS: Cascading Style Sheets or CSS as these are popularly known as, can save a lot of work and in fact control the layout of the web pages. However, one should never assign absolute dimensions and positions, as these don’t allow the browser to adapt the content to render properly on all device types.
- Optimizing Images: When you hire a reliable agency to handle the website work, they’d tell you how image file size hampers the load time of the website. In fact, page weight is indirectly proportional to the load time and the network data used. Agencies working on the best government websites know how the mobile crawler takes time in evaluating files and thus, clean and light pages are the best way forward. Resource compression, image dimensions, and image optimization are thus considered critical to having a successful website. Compressing images and reducing their file size doesn’t affect the visual quality but saves many bytes of data.
- Leverage Browser Caching: Here’s another great way of making sure that the site loads faster across all devices. Fetching resources time and again over networks is slow and expensive – something that delays processing and doesn’t allow the page to render properly. This is where browser caching comes into play. A good web development agency would make sure that the site makes use of local caching and minimizes the use of external scripts.
- Avoiding Pop-Ups: Let’s face it – the use of pop-ups on a desktop isn’t a bad thing but as the best government websites have started using responsive design principles, pop-ups can hurt the overall user experience on a mobile phone or any other smart device. They draw people’s attention away from the page and the experience often turns frustrating.
If you are planning on turning your website into something fruitful and meaningful, you must understand the needs of the people accessing your site. Most random agencies fail to see the requisites of a fully functional government website. This is why you should only work with web development companies that have prior experience in handling government projects. Collect user feedback and use the data collected to continuously improve the site. Make sure that the information you collect maximizes public utility.
Government websites and their server requirements are a lot different from typical business websites. This is why only professional agencies with prior working knowledge are able to meet the challenges of these sites. Find an agency that knows what they’re getting into. Check their credentials and prior work portfolio, and find out how successful they’ve been at their work on similar other projects in the past. Once you are satisfied with their work, make an informed decision if you are ready to hire them for the job. This is the only way of turning your otherwise sluggish government website into a fresh and fast, feature-rich, functional website – one that actually gets the job done.