Old thread, I know. Thought I’d bump it, since many cities and towns might have upgraded their Web sites.
One of my co-workers and I use Fort Collins, Colorado’s Web site as a baseline for a good small city site.
Official website of the City of Fort Collins.www.fcgov.com
I found that Web sites in areas where municipal branding isn’t really a thing — mainly much of the Northeastern US — usually leave a lot to be desired. My community is in the process of building a new Web site, and “not invented here” was out of the question for citing examples of good sites to model ours after.
You've struck upon something interesting here. Why is it that many jurisdictions in the northeast are so bad at branding and cohesive web design? Go have a look at websites for departments located in the Sun Belt and holy crap, the difference in presentation/style/organization is just huge versus many communities in the northeast, some of which are just abysmal in terms of execution. Is it a "slow growth vs fast growth" thing, or a sense of self-satisfaction and lack of need to attract newcomers in mature, built out communities that aren't "hungry", so to speak, that lends itself to subpar web design?