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back to article Coalition promises to kill three-quarters of its websites

The coalition government has promised to get rid of 75 per cent of its websites - although it admits that it is not actually sure how many websites it is running. Francis Maude, Cabinet Office minister, told Parliament there was no centrally held data on how many government and "non-departmental public bodies" websites there …

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Flame

Oh FFS !!!

Why cant they just setup a single server farm duplicated in another city, and just host All Goverment websites there.

Eggs basket yes i am aware, but HOW MUCH CHEAPER !!!!!!!

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Bronze badge

I don't know

How much cheaper?

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hosting is only part of the cost

They would still need web designers, programmers etc to keep the sites updated and those costs far outweigh the hosting costs.

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Simplify

A single CMS designed for the government would be ideal. One web dev team with perhaps external designers.

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FAIL

IT Project?

But designing the CMS would be a Goverment IT project and we all know how well they work.

It would take 3 years of consultancy to determine the features required, would take another 5 years to implement and would cost £millions.

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Alert

Welcome to kneejerk policy

I despair. What happened to finding out what they have and doing a needs analysis before commenting on how many should go? The right figure might be all bar one.

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Flame

unlikely

They didn't do a LEGALLY required equality impact analysis of the emergency budget in June* so the chances of a needs analysis are utterly remote

*72% of the £8Bn cuts fall on women, http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/aug/01/budget-legal-challenge-women-equality

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Its the blues, son

Need analysis? HAHAHA. just shut it down.

they'll start with a list with what costs the most to turn at at the top, read a 500-page overview report that says 90% of sites can go or be 'merged' and they'll interpret that as kill off 90% of all sites, starting with the most expensive, regardless of purpose, need, or HPD/w/m

seriously. expecting the tories to show even the slightest urge towards comprehending technical things is a waste of time.

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Stop

Closing Museums?

"Maude said that since 11 May, the government had already found another 81 sites - giving a total of 742 websites which are either run directly by the government or run by charities, museums or other bodies with government involvement.

Maude promised an announcement alongside the spending review to cut 75 per cent of these."

Does this mean they will be closing the charities and museums or just stopping them for having websites?

Does it really matter how many sites there are as long as they are being used by the public and kept upto date by the admins?

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Nail, head, hit

Closing Museums and Charities that people use is nasty. So, close their Websites for "efficiency". Now no-one knows they exist, and even if they should find out they won't be able to get any details. Museums and Charities fall into disuse, then you can close them. Simples!

Heeeeeeeeere's David !!!!!!!!!! (Can we have an axe icon please, we're going to need it)

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cloudy

They'll just end up jumping on the buzzword bandwagon and decide they need a cloud. Then end up hiring some consultants and eventually throw some money at EDS to set it up... 10 years from now it'll fall apart with nothing productive been done.

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Anonymous Coward

oO

erm. wouldn't this occur anyway as a result of 90% of quangos being axed?

The redundant "Cheese Board" will no longer require a website past it's expiration date.

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Silver badge

Guangos and comes and goes again

Apparently it will cost as much, if not more, to dismantle the existing quangos.

In themeantime there are even more 'advisory bodies' being created -- Philip Green's outfit is one that is slagging off government spending while spending government money to do so.

No doubt there is also a website for it as well.

With the de-centralisation (yeah, my arse) of HM.Gov there will be more websites, not less.

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Unhappy

eggs one basket cheaper???

Whilst it would be cheaper for central government sites...

it would then work out a lot more expensive for museums/charities and other organisations that have a partial funder remit.

The costs of setting up secure network links to meet HMG standards to manage the site are far more than having some standalone website in rackspace , some other hosting provider or even in the organisations own data centers.

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IT Angle

*.gov.uk

How difficult is it to for an admin to query the dns server for the .gov.uk domain and get a list of resolvable addresses?

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you make a big assumption

What if the website isn't .gov.uk ?

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Boffin

ok...

add:

*.mod.uk

*.nhs.uk

*.police.uk (I think)

There is no reason for any government department to use a .org.uk, a .co.uk or any other domain in isolation of one of their own domains above.

Unless they have something to hide from their auditors?

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FAIL

Slice and Dice

This is a real case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Despite the number of websites produced under the previous administration, some were actually useful, particularly professional forums. Back in May the ConDems simply archived most of the sites, which disabled search facilities and messed up many of the links from those that remained. So much for consultation with the people who actually used them.

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I don't care how many website

So long as they don't have a search marketing budget to go with them. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing an advert for a government service that has the phrase Search for 'xyz'" What's wrong with publishing the URL?

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Silver badge

@closing museums

Close the website for all local museums, swiming pools, libraries etc.

Closing the website means nobody can find where it is or when it's open - so reduced visitors, so you can close it down = saving money.

Then you close websites for things like the inland revenue, which forces people to write and request extra forms or info, so they are later filing taxes, so you fine them 100quid. Enough people do this and the deficit is cleared.

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Anonymous Coward

A better idea

Look how to kill 75% of the website costs - as I am sure killing 75% of websites would probably only save 5%

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WTF?

What do they mean ?

Well, what do they mean by website ? Separate infrastructure and hosting ? different URL ? what ? by all means consolidate the hosting to save money, that would be the first step , but don't drop information until you know its not being used, Surely that's sensible .

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It must be convenient...

...to be able to throw all these inconvenient reminders of life before the coalition into the memory hole.

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Anonymous Coward

Costs

Surely if the website is designed, up and running then any future running costs should be relatively small . If the website is well used AND it provides a valuable service, I sincerely hope the value of any site is fully understood and costed.

By all means rationalise their locations and domain names, but closing for closing sake is not joined up thinking. Web services can dramatical reduces costs. (snail mail vs. email)

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Thumb Down

Hosting

A quick look shows that out of all the sites I looked at that were run my my local council, all were on widely different IP addresses, so I assume these are all different hosting companies...

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Agreed in spades

"Nothing frustrates me more than seeing an advert for a government service that has the phrase Search for 'xyz'" What's wrong with publishing the URL?"

Apparently, there's a government or local authority directive that says councils must NOT quote URLs or link to third party sites, even when they provide a service that complements or is even provided "in conjunction with" the council.

That's what my local council tells me when I ask for a URL to my site instead of "details on the XXX web site".

Its twits that make silly rules that need to go, not web sites.

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