Make WordPress.com Your City’s Virtual Home

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:

Starter Content

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.

A screenshot of a dropdown menu, pre-populated with Business, Visitor, and Residents sections.

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.

Events Calendar

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.


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Christopher Finke

50 Comments

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  1. Egill

    Reblogged this on Egill and commented:

    Something for all the cities out there!

  2. Moco Scribe

    What a great idea. I must confess when I saw ‘virtual’ I thought you were referring to my type of virtual world but a great way to support community sites. When are some of the slicker features going to be available to other non city sites/blogs such as events listing or are they already available?

  3. Ares

    Reblogged this on Place Management & Branding and commented:
    Interesting tool for city managers and it could actually be a very good idea.

  4. timethief

    Hi there,
    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”.

  5. sabbadoo32

    We haven’t used the Cities option, but we manage to run 1/2 of our web presence with WordPress: http://cookcountyil.gov

  6. Joey Kudish

    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.

  7. Waqas Ali

    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?

    • Christopher Finke

      There are a number of cities that maintain blogs or sites on WordPress.com, but all of the ones I’m familiar with predate today’s city-specific launch.

  8. Patti Klein

    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…

    • Christopher Finke

      The events calendar requires an existing calendar URL (since many cities already maintain a public calendar that residents can subscribe to), so yes, people would be able to subscribe and have the events shown in their personal calendars.

      The Upcoming Events widget was very recently built for use on WordPress.com, so it’s not available right now as a plugin for .org sites.

  9. Tomi Otegbade

    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.

  10. HipsterApproved.net

    Are ‘Events Calendars’ available for other formats?

  11. La vie qui passe... avec plein de p'tits bonheurs

    Hello,
    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”.
    Thanks.

    • Christopher Finke

      You can certainly create a static homepage on any WordPress.com blog: http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/front-page/

      Or if you’re interested in just creating static pages, see this documentation: http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/

      • La vie qui passe... avec plein de p'tits bonheurs

        Hello,
        I have not been clear in my comment. I know you can create static pages with WordPress.com. What I did not specify, is to have the ability to choose the page that we want our blog post appears, without necessarily having to create custom menus.
        Thank you.
        Sylvie

        • Christopher Finke

          You can do this under Settings » Reading by setting “Front page displays” to “A static page” and then selecting a page from the “Posts page” dropdown. Your blog posts will then appear on the page your selected in the “Posts page” list.

  12. martin1786

    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?

  13. Gwynne

    What do you mean by “WordPress.com has been approved as a hosting site for federal government agencies”?

  14. Heather Ryerson

    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?

  15. dojones1

    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?

    • Christopher Finke

      There’s no need to port an existing site; all of the features built for cities are available across WordPress.com (with the exception of the starter content, of course).

  16. 荔琦

    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.

  17. baldaccifamily

    How do you make your “Events Calendar” look so awesome? I plugged in my Google Calendar into the site and it looks pretty awful

  18. himyaosui

    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?

  19. evaerbenius

    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.

  20. Mr. V.

    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.

  21. Chorwin

    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?

    • Christopher Finke

      All cities are welcome; some of the starter content may be US-centric, so we’d appreciate any feedback on making it as relevant as possible for non-US cities.

  22. G

    HOPE the cities and governments also innovate the way WordPress grows :)

  23. simondannie

    Thank you for the mail. I want to know if I can use this to promote Christian and social activities, including fund-raising.

  24. ldhltd

    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.

  25. fanmarwp

    This is wonderfull and can be adapted to smaller estates. I hope a similar virtual home breakthrough will be available for charities.

  26. The GroundHog

    This is awesome. WordPress just keeps getting better.

  27. gogorichie

    That’s awesome i know a lot of cites already using WordPress. When are you going to conquer the Non 4 profit world too?

  28. andaz7

    Hello, this is only available for cities inside the U.S.?

    • Christopher Finke

      All cities are welcome; some of the starter content may be US-centric, so we’d appreciate any feedback on making it as relevant as possible for non-US cities.

  29. Roc

    You guys say domains are $13 on the website but they’re $18 on the signup form?

    • Christopher Finke

      Registering a domain is $5/year; mapping the domain is an additional $13. So if you already own a domain and want to use it with WordPress.com, it is $13/year.

  30. Mia

    Is there a way to change my existing wordpress.com blog into this?

  31. MindMindful

    Wow! I wish I were a city …………… You folks are beyond awesome.

  32. Jane Mc (Janey Liz)

    I wish I were a municipal council! I would be perfect for the the wordpress.com/manchester blog!

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