Recently, Artonic was asked to plan, design, and develop a website for Macon Township. Each township website is as unique as the township its created for, and Macon’s website is no different.
What Is a Township?
What Do Townships Do? by MichiganTownships.org is a great resource for those who are planning or building a township website.
It states that “Michigan townships, large and small, provide services tailored to meet the needs of their residents. Township officials represent the level of government closest and most responsive to the wishes of the people.”
It also lists the services and actions performed by township officials, such as administration and tax collections.
“The three broadest mandated responsibilities are assessment administration, elections administration and tax collection, which are legally assigned functions of the supervisor, clerk and treasurer, respectively. State laws also specify details for performing these functions.”
Does Your Township Need a Website?
Yes, your township needs a website, just like every business needs a website. Why? People use websites to find information. As a township, its your duty to provide specific information to the citizens of your township.
What Does a Township Website Need?
Here are a few necessities you’ll need to include on your website:
- Easy-to-Use Design
- Works On Mobile
- Contact Form
- E-mail Capture
- Active Blog*
A website that’s easy to use is a must for today’s visitors. People expect your website to be user-friendly, and they will leave if it’s not.
Each detail of your website impacts its functionality. If you have a lot of large files, you may have a slow website. If your navigation menu is not properly structured, visitors may get lost. (Find out what good website design looks like.)
Works On Mobile
Your township website should work on mobile phones. Most websites today are built to be responsive – that means they look good on all screen sizes, from mobile phones to tablets to laptops. (You may be interested to read How Critical is a Mobile Friendly Website?)
A contact form is standard for townships. When creating your contact form, think about the person who is likely to send a message. Ask for some sort of contact information from the person, like a phone number or e-mail, if you need to answer their message. (You’ll want to make those fields required for users to complete.)
Don’t fall into the trap of asking for too much information, as that’s likely to discourage people from contacting you.
An e-mail capture form is a way to collect e-mail addresses. Asking for your visitors e-mail addresses and sending them scheduled e-mail messages are great ways to send traffic to your website on a regular basis. (E-mail is an excellent way to stay in contact with the people who use your website. Read Beginners Guide to E-mail Marketing for more insights you can start using today.)
If you want to bring in even more website traffic, consider adding a blog to your website. The caveat is that someone has to maintain the blog and publish articles consistently. (If you’d like more information about blogging, check out Business Blogs: Are They Worth Your Time?)
Who Uses Your Website?
Think about the people who will ultimately use your website: who are they? It’s likely that the people who use your website can be segmented by how they relate to your township. For example, you may have the following people using your website:
- Citizens of your township
- Township employees
- Potential citizens
- Potential employees
- Township visitors and tourists
Who Else Uses Your Website?
There are other people who may use your website that also need to be considered:
- Website support team
- Marketing team
- Advertising agency
If your township invests in marketing or advertising, those activities must be planned for ahead of time. Likewise, knowing who will update and maintain your website is also a factor in how your website is built.
Once you’ve determined who will use your website, it’s time to figure out which pages you’ll include. You want to include pages that your visitors want and need. (Then you’ll need to learn how to get visitors to your website.)
What pages should you include on your website? We usually suggest that you start with these standard pages:
- About / History
- Contact Form
Additional Website Pages for Townships
Of course, the pages listed above are only the beginning. Depending on the size and service level of your township, you may need more pages.
Here are additional pages that you’ll find on many township website online:
You may want a specific page for each township official if there is additional information you’d like to include that isn’t included on the pages listed above.
- Board Members
- Town Hall
Consider the departments in your township. Does each department need a unique page?
- Building Dept.
- Police Dept.
- Fire Dept.
- Public Records
- Transparency Reporting
Many township websites also include community-centered pages, like:
- Community News
- Job Board
- Local Businesses
- Local Resources
These are only suggestions. Do a little research online before deciding which pages are best for your township website.
Your Township Logo
Before you start the design of your website, ensure your township logo is up to par. Is it professionally designed? How old is the design? Consider updating your logo to keep it relevant and interesting to your township’s citizens.
Artonic created a logo for Macon Township before designing the website. (View Artonic’s recent logo designs.)
Professional photos of your township are vital to the overall aesthetic and brand of your website design. Photography is a huge part of how your website looks. If you have amateur photography or use only stock photos, you may not get the aesthetic you wanted.
If you’d like to learn more about how Artonic captures custom photography for websites, check out one of our recent projects in Photo Stories: Onsite with Doctor Flue, inc.
Putting It All Together
After lots of planning and designing, your township website will come together beautifully, just like Macon’s:
Your Township Website
If you’re creating a township website, it’s important to get all the details right. Need help? That’s why Artonic is here – to support your goals and make your website a success.
Each website we build is completely custom. We do not use templates. (Find out why a custom website design matters). Every piece of your website is created specifically for YOU – your goals, your audience, your strategy, and your brand.
Find out what it’s like to work with an agency to create the website of your dreams: View videos and read case studies about stories from our clients.
Give Artonic a call or email us if you’re interested in website design, development, or marketing.