To be the “best of the best” has always been the goal for Sacramento County’s website, and over the years it has been fortunate to be in the top five. But, 2015 is the year Sacramento County receives first place honors from e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government Best of the Web Award.
“Being awarded first place is an exceptional accomplishment,” said Bradley J. Hudson, Sacramento County Executive. “I’m extremely proud of everyone who helped win this award.”
The annual Best of the Web Award is in its 20th year and remains the most popular state and local government website competition. Every year government organizations throughout the country look to the top five Best of the Web winners as a benchmark of outstanding government portals and websites.
Rami Zakaria, Chief Information Officer for Sac County, said, “This recognition and prestigious award are an honor I’ve been striving for since 2012. The County has made huge strides in its online presence and its focus on mobile access.”
Sacramento County has always aimed at providing a citizen-centric portal by using best practices and anticipating the needs of its users. An example of this is the County’s implementation of responsive design on its portal to better accommodate those using mobile devices. Since that implementation, there has been exponential growth in smartphones and tablets that are being used to browse the County’s websites. Recently, Google designated the County’s site as mobile-friendly, which increased the County’s visibility on the Google search engine. Another example of anticipating needs is through the use of web analytics and feedback from visitors to move information to more prominent or easy-to-find locations on the portal.
As more residents and businesses turn to the web to access services, the County has consolidated services into a comprehensive online service directory. Equally important is the new “How Do I?” section that provides easy access to information on how to apply, request, pay, locate, find and report issues.
Another consolidation of resources is the County’s Open Data website, which provides a wealth of public data ready to be tapped into for innovative uses by developers, media, and the general public. It has also been a cost-saver, as it saves the County more than $100,000 in labor costs to fulfill common information requests.
With our busy lives it’s hard to keep track of what the County does, its services and how it impacts our community. To help residents stay informed, the SacCountyNews was created, featuring more than 180 stories in the last year. These short stories provide information in a short amount of time, including images or videos and are shared on the County’s social media and through subscriber emails.
Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government, said, “These winners are recognized for responsive and mobile-first design, open government, open data, improved transparency and integration with social media. Congratulations to the awardees for their impressive work to make government more accessible and responsive to citizens.”
In addition to Sacramento County, three other California counties were ranked as finalists.
2015 BEST OF THE WEB WINNERS
County Portal Category Top Five:
- 1st Sacramento County, CA
- 2nd Baltimore County, MD
- 3rd Los Angeles County, CA
- 4th Bexar County, TX
- 5th County of San Diego, CA
- Alameda County, CA
- Chesterfield County, VA
- Collin County, TX
- King County, WA
- County of Maui, HI
- Travis County, TX