I feel somewhat obliged to highlight the latest blog post by Stephen Hale, head of digital at the Dept of Health. As regular readers will know, Stephen switched the department’s web publishing strategy over to WordPress just over a year ago, and he’s written subsequently about the joy of making such a move.
The countdown is now well and truly ‘on’ for government’s move to its new bespoke web platform: in less than a week, Directgov and BusinessLink will have been switched off. Government departments’ corporate sites will make the transition over the next few months: initially as ‘islands’, but reaching a critical mass ‘in around February’, according to the Inside Inside Government blog. A post on another Health blog quoted a completion date of April – and that certainly tallies with conversations I’ve had.
All of which leaves Stephen in reflective mood.
In DH, since we switched our main content management tool for dh.gov.uk to WordPress, we’ve expanded the range of people who can publish DH content. We’ve been able to do this because it’s now dead easy for people to do it. WordPress removes complexity for the editor – form relates to function pretty well.
As a result the digital team spend much less time publishing than we once did, and less time training and supporting editors. So we are able to focus more of our effort on ambitious uses of digital for health and care, and our policy engagement work.
– which is exactly the message I have been pushing around Whitehall for several years. How great to see it reflected back on a *.gov.uk website.
Stephen’s post closes:
I’m expecting [with] the publishing tools for the Inside Government bits of GOV.UK … our editors won’t need a manual and a training course to do their jobs. From what I’ve seen, it’s looking good.
Is it just me, or is that a veiled threat?