City administrators: Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a proprietary system for your city’s website. We’ve launched WordPress.com/cities as the go-to place to start a site for your city or other municipal body, and there’s no charge to get started. (“Free” is a price that will get every taxpayer on board, and since WordPress.com has been approved as a hosting site for federal government agencies, you can be sure we take security seriously.)
To supplement the impressive stable of existing WordPress.com features like custom domains (i.e., a .gov or .com of your choosing), we’ve added a couple of new ones to help you build the best site you can for residents and visitors alike:
When you sign up, we automatically create the pages most commonly needed on city websites, such as Parks & Recreation, City Hall, and Law Enforcement, and add them to your site’s main menu. You just have to fill in the blanks, and you’re ready to launch.
Each city site also includes a sitemap link in the main menu that makes it super simple for visitors to navigate everything on your site.
An integrated events calendar displays all of your city’s upcoming events without any additional work – just plug in the URL of a Google or iCal calendar, and your site will be updated automatically when you add an event.
Sites, Not Blogs
While millions of users turn to WordPress.com to build their blogs, organizations like yours can also take advantage of our platform to build a non-blog site too.
When you sign up via WordPress.com/cities, you can use the front page of your site to showcase timeless content and important links and resources for your visitors and still take advantage of a separate News section to post city updates.
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS; visit WordPress.com/cities right now to put it to work for your city.
Reblogged this on Place Management & Branding and commented:
Interesting tool for city managers and it could actually be a very good idea.
This is a cool idea for utilizing features we already have, but I hasten to add that not all of us live in municipalities ie. cities. Some of us live in towns, regional district areas and rural electoral areas. I think “places” would be a better choice that the word “cities”.
We haven’t used the Cities option, but we manage to run 1/2 of our web presence with WordPress: http://cookcountyil.gov
Reblogged this on Joey Kudish and commented:
Making it easier than ever for a city or town to create a beautiful and easy website for their community. Proud of my coworkers from Automattic for launching this project.
Oh wow Christopher! That’s terrific feature and WordPress here can create a big impact. An example of a city using WP.com would do great help. Got / building any?
quick question about this package. does the events’ calendar feed to google, as in someone can subscribe to the city’s event calendar from their google account and hence city events be populated onto their personal google calendar?
which event calendar are you using? a plugin? if so, which one please? it would be helpful to know…
This is a beautiful innovation, it would in a very long way help, in the poverty striken Saharan Africa where Site hosting is so expensive.
Are ‘Events Calendars’ available for other formats?
Interesting! But why you don’t make available these features, of real “website”, on WordPress.com? Because many users have often asked you the opportunity to create real pages on their current “blogs”.
I maintain a “Village” website of a small population (1000 households) in England using WordPress.com . We would love to use the Cities approach but some things don’t quite fit. You could tailor this for smaller communities. We have a parish council and community groups. Lots of things are different. How could you help the UK with this?
What do you mean by “WordPress.com has been approved as a hosting site for federal government agencies”?
This is fantastic Chris. Is anyone not related to the municipalities (as a city employee) using the new product for business? And can it be monetized? What are the guidelines for click-outs to affiliate links? Can ad space be sold or is that all a job for the This would be a very good match for my geographical area. In other words would I need to use the paid hosting option for anything other than non-profit or government?
I’ve been using WordPress for my village website for the last three years: southmarston.org.uk
I’m not sure that there is really anything new being offered by cities, that wasn’t already available in the standard WordPress, and I was making use of them where possible ( though the upcoming events is very useful the previous technique of mapping the iCal to an RSS feed was quite hacks).
Some questions, which I will have to raise over in the forums:
Are there any other advantages to trying to port the website to using the cities framework?
Is it possible to migrate existing websites over to ‘cities’, or is it a matter of recreating the website again starting with the cities link?
Reblogged this on Thunderstorm Striker and commented:
Perhaps not only good for a city, any institution or individual can include it as an option? “City” here sounds like a imaginary background story of a math question to illustrate a concept rather than the specialization of a feature.
How do you make your “Events Calendar” look so awesome? I plugged in my Google Calendar into the site and it looks pretty awful
My family comes from China. From Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. I currently live in Honolulu, Hawaii. Just who is supposed to create a Honolulu site? http://WordPress.com/Honolulu and how about China for people such as I?
Hello! I really like the layout and the idea.
Question: Is it possible to connect the Google calender like you do in the citytheme when you are working under wordpress.org. Is it a widget?
Regards from Eva Erbenius, Stockholm, Sweden.
This is a great idea. Would it be possible to use wordpress.com/cities for other entities, say a civic organization? Like, say, a local 4-H group? This would be a great format for groups and organizations and clubs to use.
This is a great initiative from WordPress.com. I had visited a lot of city website, some of them just too bad in design & maintenance. When look at their page, you know it ancient web design and layout. What about non-US cities, do you consider for them to use this service too?
HOPE the cities and governments also innovate the way WordPress grows :)
Thank you for the mail. I want to know if I can use this to promote Christian and social activities, including fund-raising.
I set up an unofficial blog/website along these lines last year http://www.leytonstonetoday.net. Leytonstone is part of a London Borough on the border of the Olympic Park in Stratford. However, I’m now looking to move to WordPress.org as I have some businesses wanting to advertise on the site and I know I can’t accept paid ads on WordPress.com (any ‘ads’ you see on the site are entirely for free). I’d rather stay with WordPress.com though, it’s so much easier to run a site on WordPress.com for those of us who don’t come from an IT background, particularly when you’re doing it in a voluntary capacity (i have no idea if any paid advertising will materialise if I do transfer, so I could simply be out of pocket). London has a number of community sites like mine that follow historical community boundaries, but not necessarily municipal boundaries and WordPress is a great platform for this kind of site. I think it’s great that WordPress is thinking along these lines and thank you for providing such good products.
This is wonderfull and can be adapted to smaller estates. I hope a similar virtual home breakthrough will be available for charities.
This is awesome. WordPress just keeps getting better.
That’s awesome i know a lot of cites already using WordPress. When are you going to conquer the Non 4 profit world too?
Hello, this is only available for cities inside the U.S.?
You guys say domains are $13 on the website but they’re $18 on the signup form?
Is there a way to change my existing wordpress.com blog into this?
Wow! I wish I were a city …………… You folks are beyond awesome.
I wish I were a municipal council! I would be perfect for the the wordpress.com/manchester blog!