Philadelphia has launched an alpha version of a new phila.gov.
The new site, located at alpha.phila.gov, is powered by WordPress with a custom theme that hopefully the city will open source at some point in the future.
To me, the site is perfect as is. It completely abandons outdated web features, such as the homepage carousel, gratuitous mayoral photo or city skyline, heavy graphics and department-centered focus on information presentation. The only change I’d recommend is going with standard casing (and not all-caps). In general, I love that the style is flat, light-weight, text-based, and works perfectly on all devices, much like what we designed for GovPress.
The text-based approach with limited, page-appropriate content and prominent search on each page shows restraint that we typically don’t see in government websites.
If WordPress is replacing the technology powering the current site (.asp), that’s another big win for the city.
Kudos to Philadelphia for winning on both the technology and design fronts with this.