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ProudCity Turns to Partners to Unbundle Web Tech, Service

The company, which offers technology to help local governments set up and run their websites, is using certified partners so that agencies can use different firms for things like implementation and content development.

Blue and white pixels forming the phrase ".GOV."
Seeking to make it easier for local governments to take on all the challenges of creating and running a website, gov tech company ProudCity is starting up a Certified Service Partners program.

The company provides open source technology for local government websites, but to actually own a website takes much more than technology. Content strategy and development, accessibility and workflows are all considerations.

Thus, ProudCity’s new program is meant to help governments use service partners to handle those various other aspects of website ownership. The company will certify partners who can show that they “have a strong understanding of content strategy and implementation — including structured content, plain language and accessibility best practices.”

The first of these certified partners is Department of Civic Things, a consultancy run by celebrated former local government leader Rebecca Woodbury.

In a blog post, ProudCity CEO Luke Fretwell wrote that the service partner program is meant to help governments move past the paradigm of one-vendor website projects, where those companies take on implementation, content and support along with technology.

“Ultimately, local governments are left with a lack of an authentic, long-term understanding of how to deliver digital services on their own, but also with technology that doesn’t get managed the way it should in 2021,” Fretwell wrote. “When it comes to websites, this leads to neglected content and a need to completely overhaul an outdated system, which usually happens in the form of a ‘refresh’ every few years.”

By separating those processes, he hopes to bring website ownership closer to the more common modern technological approach of continuous improvement.

“At ProudCity, our focus is on delivering great government software. What we mean by this is that every city receives regular updates — new features, enhancements, bug fixes, security and accessibility updates — whereas the traditional approach is to build a website then take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to product and technology updates,” he wrote.