Nov 28 2018

Which States Receive Top Marks for the Best Websites?

In recent months, various state governments received recognition for digital services provided to their citizens.

To provide better citizen services, many state governments upgrade their websites, adding functionality and bolstering availability. However, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation recently conducted a review of 400 state government websites and concluded that all states have room to significantly improve their online public services

The foundation judged state websites by four criteria: page-load speed, mobile friendliness, security and accessibility. Only one of the 400 websites passed all four tests: Virginia’s website for hunting and fishing licenses. According to the foundation, “State government websites for fishing and hunting licenses passed the mobile page-load speed test more than any other type of state government website — 62 percent passed. States can improve their page-load speed by compressing images and avoiding the use of page redirects.”

Overall, 77 percent of state government websites passed the desktop page-load test, while 50 percent passed the mobile page-load test. Only 67 percent of state government websites passed as mobile-friendly. Many suffered from content not designed to fit mobile screens as well as from too-small buttons and links.

To test security, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation used HTTPS and Domain Name System Security trials. Only 44 percent of state government websites passed the HTTPS test, while 13 percent passed the DNSSEC test and just four percent passed both.

Fifty-nine percent of state websites passed the accessibility test. The foundation recommended consulting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 for a list of best practices for accessibility.

MORE FROM STATETECH: Find out which 30 state and local government IT blogs you need to be reading. 

Best State Websites Concentrated in 4 States

Virginia, Georgia, Idaho and Vermont dominated the top 10 best-performing state websites overall, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation:

The top 10 states overall ranked by their scores:

  1. Virginia, 83
  2. Idaho, 82.3
  3. Massachusetts, 80.2
  4. Georgia, 80.1
  5. Colorado, 77.5
  6. Missouri, 77.4
  7. Michigan, 75.5
  8. Arizona 75.3
  9. Vermont, 75.1
  10. California, 75

Alaska’s state website topped page-load speeds, Mississippi excelled in mobile friendliness, Utah and Idaho ranked highest in security and Michigan was No. 1 for accessibility. 

MORE FROM STATETECH: Discover the average internet connection speed of every state. 

States Recognized for Best Overall Online Experience

In September, the Center for Digital Government offered a different take on states with the “best online experience” in its second annual Government Experience Awards.

“State and local governments are responding to citizen wants and needs with increasingly sophisticated online experiences,” said Dustin Haisler, chief innovation officer for the Center for Digital Government. “This year’s Government Experience Awards winners have well-designed websites and innovative channels that provide citizens meaningful information and services, robust data integration and an exceptional user experience.”

Top rankings for overall government experience included:

  1. Utah
  2. Maryland
  3. Indiana
  4. Mississippi
  5. Arkansas
  6. Michigan

The center also singled out seven individual websites for awards in state government experience:

These rankings show the best of what state government websites have to offer and can serve as models for states looking to modernize and improve their online presence. 

This article is part of StateTech's CITizen blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #StateLocalIT hashtag.


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