When the Sheriff comes a-knockin’, you best answer the door.
That’s just what we did nearly a decade ago, when the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office first approached Winstanley Partners to build a new website with all of the necessary bells and whistles. Using the best practices of 2007, we built our own content management system (CMS), in order to make the site simple to manage for the end-user. That site went on to welcome about a million visitors in the next 10 years; it showed up to work and excelled on duty, but after a long run, it was ready to retire.
The Sheriff in town knew his website needed to reflect a new, digital world, but also publish the ongoing advancements made in law enforcement practices throughout his office. So again he came calling, and again we answered.
Since our last meeting, available website software has gotten better, security is a bigger issue than ever, and web-design has gotten cleaner and more dynamic, leaning toward striking visual content. Website-management systems like WordPress (the clear front-runner) have made end-user control and usability a standard offering, so now, we generally counsel our clients to move toward such systems. They allow the end-user the access they need once we hand them the keys, so to speak, but also allow us to make design-and-build choices more freely.
For the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, this ultimately translated into a feature call-out area showcasing news and events, downloadable PDF job applications; a home page slideshow that can be updated at any time to showcase specific projects or events; an integrated Facebook feed for better connection to the community at-large, and Google Analytics patrolling the back-end to record the next million views.