City Website Technology Protocol

City Website Technology Protocol is the policy for all city operating departments to adopt the established website technology protocol. Policy components include the definition of the standard, procedures to approve deviations, and cost allocation related to deviation of protocol.

1. Purpose

This procedure establishes guidelines for all city operating departments to adopt the established website technology protocol.  

The policy has several components:

  • City website technology protocol standard 
  • Procedure for approval of exception to protocol
  • Allocation of costs related to deviation of protocol

County offices and elected officials have the option to utilize the standard tools available and adhere to the same policies governing and related servers.

2. Scope

The standard is established to meet several goals:

1. To present a unified face to the public with consistent methods whereby to find government information and services. 

2. To provide a unified method to manage and maintain web-based government information and services, promote the efficient use of existing resources, and leverage on the investment made in the technologies that support the City of St. Louis public Internet presence. 

3. To conform to standards for usability and accessibility and meet the American with Disability Act web standards consistently, uniformly, and reliably throughout the site. 

3. Background

The creation of the standard is the result of consolidation efforts that have spanned over a five year period aimed at fostering efficiency, eliminate redundancy of services, reduce cost, and improve the quality of the City website and its content. Outcomes are:

  • A unified web presence with a consistent look and feel, standardized navigation, shared information architecture, and compliant with accessibility standards.
  • The elimination of redundant telecommunication and web hosting costs
  • City offices, agencies, and departments can manage their own information and content and provide a timely, accurate, and complete web presence.
  • Web development efforts can be directed to application development instead of content creation and individual websites development, maintenance, and management.


4. Definitions

Content Management System - A tool for managing content on a website, that separates the design, interactivity, and content from one another and makes it easier for content authors to provide content.

Information Architecture - the information structure of a website that organizes information, using a strict taxonomy, so content is findable, manageable and useful.

Navigation - the means by which a visitor can navigate the content of a website.

5. Legislation

Not applicable

6. Policy

6. 1 City website technology protocol standard 

6.1.1. The policy of the City of St. Louis is to maintain a website built on a standard unified framework.  The framework is outlined in Website technology document

6.1.2 The website is supported by a set of technology standards adopted by the City's Information Technology Services Agency (ITSA) and includes a suite of software solutions, hardware, standard design, accessibility and usability guidelines, governance structure, and policies and it is available at no additional cost to operating departments, county offices, elected officials, and quasi-agencies.

6.1.3 All Departments, Agencies, Offices, and Quasi-Agency organization are represented on the website with a profile page that provides at a minimum contact information, address, phone number and link to and external website if applicable.

6.1.4 Operating departments of the City of St. Louis are to adhere to the technology standard available. However, due to the diversity of service offerings and people served, the policy provides for exceptions to the use of the City's standard technology protocol.

6.1.5 County offices and elected officials have the option of utilizing the standard solution at no additional cost. Alternatively, a fee for service option is available to non operating department and quasi agency that meet the criteria outlined in the Procedure for approval of exception to Protocol defined in this document.


6.2 Procedure for approval of exception to protocol


6.2.1 Procedures for Operating Departments - To be granted an approval of exception, operating departments' appointing authority must submit a request in writing to the Mayor's Office and director of the ITSA.  A request must meet at least two (2) the following criteria:

  • A site is hosted and managed by a third-party contract outside of the City's governmental structure.
  • The sites is managed fully and paid for by the operating department using funds other than general revenue funds.
  • Site has a well established brand and has been in existence for at least 24 months
Example of operating department's exempt site: 

Lambert International Airport

6.2.2 Procedures for County Office, Elected Officials, or quasi-agencies that opt out of the standard protocol can:

(a) support their non-standard website presence as specified in Section 6.3 or

(b) avail themselves of third-party services for website hosting, website design, maintenance and dynamic application development. 

6.3 Allocation of costs related to deviation of protocol

6.3.1 A standard fee is charged for all websites outside the adopted protocol maintained with the ITSA web development section.

6.3.2 An hourly rate is charged for work performed in addition to the standard fee.

6.3.3 The payment structure is subject to adjustments by the Information Technology Services Agency Appointing Authority.  

6.4 Compliance and Enforcement

6.4.1 The Website Policy Committee will review suggestions that given web pages are not in compliance with this policy and make recommendations to the appointing authority to correct the situation.

7. Procedure

All Operating Departments, unless otherwise approved,  must comply with the approved website technology standard and establish their organizational website presence on the Official website of the City of St. Louis.

Appointing authorities of operating departments that seek an exception to the protocol must submit a request in writing as per Section 6.2 of this protocol. 

Appointing authorities of elected offices and quasi-agencies that seek an exception to the protocol must submit in writing their plan for website hosting as per Section 6.3.

Related documentation to be read in conjunction with this protocol:

8. Verification / Authorization / Approved by

Policy requested by Mayor's Office and approved by Mayor's Office on 7/13/2011.

Policy committee approved policy on 11/16/11


9. Notes

11/16/2011 6.4.1 added by policy committee on 11/16/2011




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