Pre Sale FAQ

NetWise has been providing websites to the public sector since 2015. During that time we’ve streamlined our products and processes in order to eliminate costly and unnecessary steps during the procurement stage. Many Councils already have limited resources without the burden of writing a website specification.

We only supply websites to Councils and so we are already familiar with the compliance requirements. This negates the need for a costly and lengthy tender process resulting in a cost efficient solution for your tax payers. You can read more about this here.

We’ve prepared an FAQ below covering some of the more popular questions that we get asked by new clients. If we haven’t covered your question below then please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Compliance Questions

Yes, our sites are fully compliant with The Transparency Code. You can add all the required details for each Council Member in addition to publishing the required documentation relating to meetings and finance. Once the website is published, compliance rests with the Council to ensure that they continue to publish the required information at the correct times.

Yes, our websites are fully compliant with WCAG2.1 aa. In addition, we can provide you with an Accessibility Statement to enable your Councils compliance. We publish regular guides about maintaining compliance. You can read more here. Despite our websites being fully compliant with all the technical aspects of WCAG2.1aa we must stress the importance of ensuring that any content added by the Council should meet the same standards. We are always on hand to advise even once the website has been made live.

As a side note, our websites are already compliant with the forthcoming WCAG2.2 standard, as already stated however, the responsibility for new content compliance lies with the person responsible for adding content to the website.

Yes, our sites are fully compliant with Section 55 of the Local Government (Democracy)(Wales) Act 2013. You can add all the required details for each Council Member in addition to publishing the required documentation relating to meetings and finance, council members etc. in accordance with the Statutory Guidance re Access to Information on Community And Town Councils.

If your Council has a Welsh Language Scheme and its practice under the Welsh Language Scheme is to produce material bilingually, then that applies the same to material that is produced electronically. In this instance we have solutions to assist you in achieving this.

Our websites are compliant with GDPR however, much like accessibility, this isn’t a one time thing. Adding new content could affect ongoing compliance and so we’d always advise caution by ensuring that the person responsible for adding content to the website is familiar with the regulations.

Our websites are fully responsive meaning that they instantly adapt to display on any size screen including mobile devices and tablets. They also display on all browsers.

Migration Questions

Yes that’s fine. We create your new website on a temporary development domain that you will have access too. It’s only once the website is complete that we move it over to your domain name. This means that your existing website can remain live whilst we’re designing your new one.

We’re able to supply a new domain name including and There is currently no requirement for you to have a .gov domain and so this is a personal choice of the council. Be aware however that the cabinet office need to approve new .gov applications and as such they have strict naming protocols.

NB: Although a gov domain isn’t mandatory at the moment (2023) we expect this to change quite shortly.

Using a Parish Council as an example, you have two choices: or

Under certain circumstances they will also approve abbreviated acronyms for long area names.

You can read more about ordering a domain with us here

This isn’t a yes or no answer as there are a few variables.

If you currently use WordPress then technically we can migrate your content over to the new website however we don’t advise doing this for several reasons.

  1. Generally a Council needs a new website so that they can comply with several regulatory codes. Old websites are often not compliant and so bulk migrating content also means that potentially we’re bulk migrating non compliant content at the same time. Think of it like buying a new car but asking the garage to change the new seats and interior for the one in your old car.
  2. Our system, has been developed to enable the easy upload and organisation of documents such as minutes, agendas, financial reports etc. It’s not possible to bulk migrate documents from a different system.
  3. We use a simple two section process to create your new website. Section one involves requesting simple information from you so that we can create your website.  Once we’ve created your website we then move to section two. It’s during this stage that you start adding content. This is guided by short video tutorials. This ensures that once the website is ready to go live, you already know how it works, how to add and change content etc. You can see this simple form and video guidance here

That’s no problem, the email service we offer on our standard and premium package is intended for light to regular users. We’re aware that larger councils have different requirements and increasingly some use services such as Microsoft365. Our Premium Plus Flex package offers an email system similar to that of 365. It also comes with ten free email accounts with 10GB storage on each. You can find out more here Email for Councils

Generally speaking we’re able to create and make a website live within 14 days. We have before now turned a website around in less than 48 hours but usually we work to whatever pace you dictate. Sometimes we work with Clerks that only work limited hours and so the process can take weeks depending on the Clerks workload.

Yes of course, you can transfer your domain to us including any existing domains that you have. We’d advise doing this just before the new website is due to go live. We’re happy to advise on and assist with this.

General Questions

Yes, we can either add feeds from or links to your social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. It’s worth noting however that feeds from third party providers such as Facebook can affect your WCAG2.1aa compliance and as such should perhaps be noted in your accessibility statement. It’s expected that such platforms are to improve their own content in accordance with accessibility however it’s worth reading our article about social media and accessibility.

Absolutely not! You’re free to add as many pages and as much content as you wish. We’d always advise to start simple and then to grow the website organically once it’s live. The reason we suggest this is because we’ve seen councils set out with overly ambitious menu structures in the past only to realise half way through the process that they’ve set themselves an unrealistic goal and that collating and inputting all the content can take months instead of days.

We’d always advise starting with a basic menu structure until the website is live and then adding new pages each month. This makes the job much more simple.

Equally so, you can add as many document categories, news categories, events and notices as you need with no restrictions.

Prior to Covid-19 we used to offer on site training. We then switched to training remotely via Zoom. In addition we switched to our two section process and created a series of video tutorials. This has resulted in the person responsible for the website becoming proficient very quickly as they learn as the website becomes populated.

In addition we provide ongoing training and support via a ticket system.

Our servers are located in a secure data centre in the UK. We’ve invested heavily in security and employ multiple levels of defences including hardware firewalls. In addition, we have remote off site backups to protect your data. An important question to ask any new website supplier is if the hosting offered is shared hosting or dedicated hosting. NetWise operate dedicated hosting that only hosts public authority websites. They are located in state of the art secure data centre in Leeds. You can read more about the importance of this here.

Our normal service provides everything including software updates, tech support etc. We don’t however offer to upload content, minutes etc on a regular basis.

We do have relationships with Clerks and RFOs that have had years of experience using NetWise websites and who offer Clerk services either on a locum or permanent basis. They are able to assist existing clerks or stand in temporarily or permanently in the event of a vacancy. Several of our clients now use this service and we’re happy to make an introduction. You can read more about this here.

Ready to order?

If you’re ready to place an order then please follow the two simple steps below.

  1. Register on our client portal using the details of the person responsible for the accounts and day to day running of the account.
  2. Once you’ve registered then please email us on stating that you’ve registered and confirming the following:
  • Which package you’d like to order (see our prices page)
  • The domain name that you plan to use, please state if it’s an existing domain name or if you need us to supply it with your order.

Once we’ve received your email we’ll then process your order and supply next steps information.