Website Bootcamp: a better special district website with very little sweat

Posted by Sloane Dell'Orto on June 3, 2019

When we speak to special districts about their websites, we often hear familiar complaints:

• We're too busy doing our real jobs! (Providing water, sewer, fire protection, etc.)
• It's too hard! (Technology is confusing.)
• It's too expensive! (Most vendors charge a big up front fee to build it.)
• Nobody cares! (Our community doesn't give a damn what we're up to.)

The truth is, special districts - possibly more than any other type of organization - need to tell their stories, and there is no better, or less expensive, way to do so than on the web.

Imagine this: your special district needs to raise rates to fund infrastructure improvements. Or your district has to do _______ (fill in the blank) to fulfill its mission, but you know it won't be popular unless your constituents really understand the "why" behind the decision.

There are so many reasons to make sure your district is part of the conversation online. The last thing you need is some angry citizen creating a Facebook page about how evil you are for raising rates, and to have nowhere to tell your side of the story! People now get information by searching online ("Googling" for it) - and your website should be the one that shows up when citizens want to learn about you. Having a place to tell the public about the indispensable services you provide, and how and why you do so, is more important than you might think.

While Streamline offers a website platform to help special districts with this specific need, you don't have to be a customer to benefit from our 25+ years of experience working with website technology and in special districts. 

In early 2019 we hosted a webinar series titled Website Bootcamp - a better website with very little sweat involved that we are delighted to share with you.

Topics include:

(each module has links to the others to help you navigate between the topics)

1. Why it matters- special districts need to care about this, and we'll explain why
2. Images - where to find them, how to best use them on your site 
3. Video - things to consider if streaming meetings, providers for special districts
4. Writing for the Web - creating content that people will actually read
5. Making your content "findable" - navigation and PDF formatting tips
6. Social media for special districts - the potential (and potential pitfalls)
7. Section 508 and making your site accessible for visitors with disabilities
8. How to track - what are your visitors reading on your site? (Google Analytics)

We tried our best to keep each subject to 20 - 30 minutes, so the links above lead to some brief videos that may help you in your website journey. Feel free to view any that seem interesting, and reach out if you'd like more information - most of this content was derived from more in-depth talks, webinars, and other resources we'd be happy to share if you need more information.

Topics: Accessibility Best practices