Apart from making websites more accurate, attractive and user-friendly, the government has also planned to make them more secure and participative, said Science and Technology department secretary Dhananjay Dwivedi.
“Our objective is to improve the overall content of the websites and deliver more reliable, trusted and updated information to users. We also want to streamline the entire process of website design. Thus, we have issued guidelines to all the departments to achieve this objective,” he said.
Dwivedi’s department recently formulated a comprehensive set of guidelines for integration of social media and for designing, maintaining, promoting, updating, developing, and securing the websites.
These guidelines have now been sent to government departments, boards, corporations and societies for their implementation and follow up.
One of the key features of the guidelines is the use of Gujarati language and use of social media platforms to promote the website and engage with users.
Now, all the departments will have to ensure that content of their website would be available in Gujarati as well as in English against the present case wherein several websites have only English text.
“Websites shall be bilingual (Gujarati and English). In case the current website is not bilingual, the respective organisation shall take necessary steps to render it bilingual within six months”, stated the guideline document sent to
various departments. The departments have also been asked to integrate various social media platforms into their websites. These platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, should also be used to promote the website, stated the guidelines.
“Just like websites, social media has become one of the means to reach out to people and tell them about various government schemes. It also enables us to get quick feedback and establish dialogue with stakeholders. Thus, we have also decided to enhance our presence on the social media for greater engagement,” said Dwivedi.
The guidelines also put an extra emphasis on regular updates. Now, the departments will be required to update their website once every 15 days and also have to regularly monitor and assess the content to ensure authenticity and eliminate duplication.
To carry out these tasks, the government has also permitted these departments to appoint a nodal officer to suggest necessary changes and modification time to time. Apart from the nodal officer, the departments have also been given permission to appoint a designated officer for regular monitoring of website performance, security, and availability.
He is also required to supervise periodic security audit and conduct analysis of website traffic as well as to provide feedback to the development team, as per the guidelines.
Just like corporates who give a special emphasis on ensuring that the website user visits it again, the guidelines also asked the departments to keep the content on the portals engaging and user-friendly.
“The content of the website should be kept user-friendly, attractive and informative for maintaining stake-holder’s interest for re-visiting the website,” stated the guidelines.
To promote the websites among the masses, the government has now made it mandatory to print the domain name (URL) on various stationery used by respective department.
“All the necessary items of the organisation, such as letter-heads, visiting cards, publicity material such as brochures and annual reports, must carry the domain name (URL) of the website. This URL should also be part of e-mail signature for all the outgoing emails,” as per the guidelines.