Government uses WordPress for Civil Service website

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has relaunched the Civil Service website using the WordPress blog tool, one of the most widely used content management systems on the internet.

Details of the project have been made public on the GDS blog, which says the website was relaunched on 30 September. The approach contrasts with that used for the previous iteration of the site in 2008, which involved the customisation of an off-the-shelf content management system. The blog says this initially worked well but became dated and inflexible and incurred considerable hosting costs.

“We chose to use WordPress as it offers a simple, quick (with such a short development window) and flexible open source solution to a site primarily designed for publishing content,” it says. “As such it is easy to use for a wide range of content editors and, of course, provides significant cost savings for maintenance and development.

“Rather than develop a theme ourselves we chose to use a theme called ‘striking’ developed by Kaptinlin that fitted what we needed with a little customisation.”

It adds that the move makes it possible to use the plug-ins created by the WordPress developer community.

Job adverts for the Civil Service have been moved from the website to a new portal led by HM Revenue and Customs. The blog says it makes it possible to complete application forms online and enables departments to sift the forms and contact applicants.

The GDS now plans to develop a platform on the Civil Service site for users to share information and collaborate online.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates of news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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