Content tool supports 20 county websites
San Mateo County, Calif., is using OpenPublic to support a streamlined platform of more than 20 departmental websites. Each of the sites has different content needs and functionality requirements.
OpenPublic 1.0 is a Drupal-based content management system (CMS) and open source solution that packages government-focused functionality in a secure, intuitive app-based Drupal distribution. What sets it apart from other government CMSs is the encapsulation of all functionality in a clean collection of apps.
Flexibility and administrative control is crucial, says Beverly Thames, content and collaboration manager for San Mateo County. “OpenPublic allowed the county to maintain a strong central brand while meeting user demand for autonomy and flexibility.” Thames says county leaders could only be convinced to adopt open source if they were assured the system was secure and accessible. “OpenPublic delivered both,” she says.
Accessibility, security and responsive design are all incorporated in the OpenPublic system, explains Thames, adding that there was no need to start from scratch, as the system had already been successfully implemented on other government websites.
The setup simplifies updating the county’s website. County agencies—including departments ranging from the coroner’s office to public works—can add unique applications based off of specific needs. “Having a flexible platform like this is really giving us the ability to customize the experience depending on where you are in the site,” says Thames.
Since 2011, multiple government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, have used OpenPublic to increase civic engagement.
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