For Web Teams
Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and make your life easier.
Digital leaders, developers, and content designers (and editors and web managers) from councils all across the UK are working together to produce a best practice web publishing platform that is reliable and efficient to deploy, saving councils both time and money.
It is free and here for you to use.
Improved websites and service delivery
The LocalGov Drupal CMS and Microsites Platform have enough flexibility to produce customised sites you and your team can be proud of, without compromising usability.
They have proven functionality and content types that can be deployed quickly, and are adaptable enough to create unique websites.
Everything we’ve built is based on user research and tried and tested by the public sector. Many of our content formats and patterns are based on Government Digital Service standards. The base theme is lightweight, WCAG AA accessible and responsive. LocalGov Drupal and the Microsites Platform are built on Drupal 9.
For Heads of Digital
Heads of digital can provide their service owners with better outcomes.
At a product, technical, and strategic level we understand the needs of those managing large teams, with competing internal organisational pressures. We always think long-term and are helping create council websites on a platform that will stand the test of time.
Current and former heads of digital (and equivalent roles) regularly contribute to the project, pooling expertise and providing mutual support and shared learnings. They are the people driving the product group which steers feature development.
All those involved are focused on the same thing - meeting user needs - rather than negotiating service contracts or other peripheral tasks.
Many of them also find it incredibly valuable to have peers to talk to.
Happy teams and service owners
The feedback from digital leaders who are part of LocalGov Drupal has been overwhelming positive. Deployments are faster, money is being saved, content and UX designers are impressed with the CMS and enjoy working with it, developers enjoy the collaboration and working on new features.
Perhaps most importantly their service owners are happy, seeing improved delivery and greater responsiveness from the web teams.
Our 2021 survey of 35 councils shows councils spend on average £120k on building a new website, not including costs for support and maintenance or content design.
LocalGov Drupal councils are typically spending £20k to £60k, depending on the amount of front end design and integration work needed. They also receive functionality that’s benefitted from £500k worth of DLUHC investment.
Developers spend less time building the basics and more time developing advanced new features.
However there is a big development community of developers at councils, supplier companies and freelancers, all with a shared interest in open source and building more and better public assets.
We always welcome more developers and agencies into the community to further improve and enhance the distribution.
We aim to follow Drupal coding standards and best practices in open source development. We include automated checks for coding standards with phpcs.
It is packed with features and developers familiar with Drupal should find LocalGov Drupal easy to install, adapt and extend.
From the start we have tried to keep functionality modular and optional. There are over 30 modules specific to the distribution to allow each council to deploy what they need without using all of the content types and functionality.
While smaller councils could use LocalGov Drupal without too much customisation, we also see the distribution also as a starting point for extension. Many councils choose to extend the default functionality with custom development for their sites and we aim to take this into account when releasing future updates.
Following the lead of Drupal core and other distributions, we include phpunit tests for as much functionality as possible. Github automation is set to run automated tests against pull requests to help us avoid introducing bugs with new changes.
Guidelines on contributing changes encourage peer review of all non-trivial changes to code and we have regular calls to review and discuss pull requests. Developers find this regular peer review hugely valuable to help maintain code quality but also to learn from each other.
Community and collaboration
We encourage all councils and development teams to extend with re-use in mind and to contribute code and experience back to the project to allow other councils to benefit. It is this spirit of collaboration, shared functionality, and peer learning that is making LocalGov Drupal so valuable to all councils and developers involved.
Easy to try out
Any developer with composer, docker and lando installed can run our quick start install detailed in the README.md file in the installation profile.
We have included the localgov_demo module to install demonstration content across all content types.
You can even get a free 30 day trial of LocalGov Drupal on AWS - see the Resources page for details.
For Content Designers
Content designers and editors have more freedom to create great sites, with best practice information architecture and content patterns. They can also react more quickly to needs of the public and service owners.
Created by digital teams from councils across the UK, LocalGov Drupal sets content designers (and editors and web managers) free.
The evidence-based, collaborative product design puts the needs of content designers (and service users) at the heart of things.
The intuitive user interface provides a fantastic experience for editors alongside an array of useful tools for those who regularly work with the platform.
It is a tried and tested platform that provides better site structures, more streamlined content and consistent, best-practice, accessible designs.
The distribution also has enough flexibility to produce customised sites you can be proud of. Much of the heavy lifting is already done, leaving you to be more creative.
More than that, your feedback and opinions help to shape the features, and the collaborative working helps editors find quick resolutions to problems when they arise. You can discuss ideas with and pick the brains of colleagues in other councils facing the same issues as you. As well as our Slack channels there are now regular informal meetings of content designers.
The final product that councils create with our platform gives service users an excellent front-end experience, thanks to this unique structure, design, and content approach.
We encourage all councils and development teams to extend with re-use in mind and to contribute code and experience back to the project to allow other councils to benefit. It is this spirit of collaboration, shared functionality and peer learning that is making LocalGov Drupal so valuable to all councils and developers involved.
The greatest benefits however are to be had from actively participating and helping to shape feature development. Participating councils work together to decide upon and develop new features and functionality, based on user research and service needs.
Councils who join the project in this way agree to commit some time to further the aims of the organisation and where possible share skills and resources.
Community and professional development
One of the side benefits many of our members report is faster development of their professional skills. This comes out of collective knowledge and skill sharing, whether it be having access to best practice user research, developing code together, or collectively figuring out how to best fix a service design problem.
If you would like to find out more or have any questions just drop us a line at email@example.com. We are always happy to chat about LocalGov Drupal, provide a demo of the platform, or show how councils are using it.