In 2015 I put forward a proposal to Cheddar Parish Council to rework their web site which for many years had been hosted by Parish-Council.com as an ad-funded free site on the Spanglefish network. Over the years it had become increasingly frustrating for the Clerk to maintain, whilst all around, other Parish Council web site installations were moving with the times towards the WordPress platform. Finally the old site went down for almost a day after a hosting power outage caused by winter storms, so it became clear a more robust site was needed.
The new site makes use of a flexible WordPress theme which works on desktops and tablets, and has a range of features not previously available on the old one:
a site-wide keyword search across pages, posts, and documents such as minutes and agendas
- a quick login and update process
- a fresh new look with new photos in a slideshow gallery
- a comprehensive document database with click and drag upload
- a new Parish Council Twitter feed automatically tweeting new posts
- Statistical information about popular pages
- Contact form with CAPTCHA for spam prevention
- Broken link checker to alert the Clerk to hyperlinks that are not working
- Multiple logins for Clerks and Assistant Clerks with a revision history and rollback facility in case of problems
- New web site hosting arrangements under the Parish Council’s control
Councillors were given the opportunity to see the site in preview mode and put forward suggestions for improvement. Time was also spent showing the Clerks how to get in to the dashboard and make routine updates, such as adding agendas and minutes. Feedback has been very positive and it has enabled the Council to become more connected to the community it serves. If you have any questions about creating a Parish Council web site please send a message via the contact form.