Many districts are not currently using a .gov domain, or they don't realize they can get one. However, we are starting to see more and more districts setting up their website with a .gov. Some states are even pushing for it, like AB 1637 in California, which could mandate the use of a .gov by districts. If history has shown us anything, it's that California often sets the tone for districts across the country. So if .gov domains become a requirement in California, other states could follow suit (note: a .gov domain is not currently required for districts in any state).
Setting up a .gov domain does require a lot of paperwork, but the impacts just might be worth it. Let's dive into some of the impacts of using a .gov website domain.
Impacts of using a .gov website domain
- Credibility: A .gov domain is reserved for government agencies and organizations, having a website with this domain can increase credibility and trustworthiness among visitors.
- Trust: Visitors to a .gov website are more likely to trust the information provided, as they know it has been vetted and approved by a government agency.
- Authority: A .gov website is considered an authoritative source of information, which can increase the visibility and ranking of the website in search engines.
- Security: The .gov domain is managed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which has strict security protocols to ensure the safety and protection of government information.
- Accessibility: Government websites with a .gov domain are required to comply with accessibility guidelines to ensure that all visitors, including those with disabilities, can access the information on the website.
Districts can even use their .gov as the primary email-sending domain, which also has many benefits, like:
- Improved email deliverability: Email providers may prioritize emails from .gov domains, which can improve the likelihood of messages being delivered to the intended recipients' inboxes.
- Enhanced security: .gov domains may have stricter security protocols in place, such as DMARC policies, which can help prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks.
- Better branding: Using a .gov domain can help reinforce the organization's brand and mission, particularly for government entities that have established a strong reputation.
It is important to note that obtaining a .gov domain can be a somewhat rigorous process. You will need to gather a variety of documentation, and there are strict guidelines governing the use of these domains. The website must be used solely for official government purposes, and any content must comply with federal and state laws and regulations.
Stay tuned for our complete "Getting a .gov Guide," and let us know if we can help your district reach its website goals!