What Government Websites Need From Their WordPress Hosting Provider

By Elizabeth Clor

In the wake of the pandemic, websites have become the foundation of how the government engages with the residents it serves. From important tax information to healthcare, financial assistance, identification and more—the functionality and security of government websites are of the utmost importance to local, state and federal agencies. 

It’s no surprise then that WordPress has emerged as one of the most popular content management systems for U.S. government agencies—including the White House, U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy websites. In fact, WordPress powers about 40% of all websites today, thanks to its highly customizable interface with thousands of plug-ins and pre-built themes, versatile open-source platform and focus on security.

However, with all of the options and capabilities that WordPress offers, there can also be added complexity when it comes to making sure a website is running smoothly. For more complex government websites, constant monitoring by WordPress users may be required to ensure the site is not only fast, but also in compliance with regulations like FedRAMP and equipped with the most up-to-date security. 

Just as citizens look to the government for a helping hand when it comes to the critical services they need, government agencies can turn to a third-party WordPress hosting provider to make sure their websites have everything they need. A trusted hosting partner can ease the burden of day-to-day WordPress upkeep and maintenance. With BlackMesh, Contegix’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution, government agencies using WordPress get exactly what they need to optimally run their websites, and don’t have to worry about site performance or security. Instead, they can focus on more strategic initiatives, such as growing their website and its capabilities. 

Performance Tuning to Keep Websites Racing Along

When it comes to digital services, expectations are sky-high. Today, 92% of people anticipate a fast, frictionless and secure online experience—whether they’re shopping at a retail site or using an online government service. And speed, responsiveness and reliability are at the top of users’ lists. Google, which uses page load time as a major factor in its search engine rankings, found that more than half of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. 

While speed is critical to all websites, the numerous factors that contribute to WordPress performance can be complex to understand, and even more complex to maintain. This is where a trusted WordPress hosting provider can shine—providing both guidance and round-the-clock technical support to ensure WordPress sites run at peak performance (and stay that way). 

For example, Contegix’s WordPress experts can help government users avoid common pitfalls that cause slowdowns, from the server hosting itself to refining the website by optimizing plug-ins, scripts and modules. In addition, BlackMesh provides an optimized LAMP stack that can be easily integrated into users’ WordPress. This web architecture includes a range of caching capabilities that make website loads as quick as possible for users, even during spikes in traffic

To take performance improvements even a step further, BlackMesh can also configure Apache SOLR to make searches on a website faster and more accurate—and enable load testing to identify slow-loading website elements and how to refine them. 

Compliant Solutions Take the Heavy Lifting Out of Security and Regulatory Requirements

For government websites in particular, security and regulatory compliance present the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to website or application hosting. While WordPress and its open-source platform offer near-limitless customization, it also introduces added complexity and, potentially, risk. 

Government services online that deal with sensitive information are subject to major compliance standards like FedRAMP and HIPAA, which leaves IT teams spending a great deal of time applying security and compliance updates. But WordPress experts at a third-party hosting provider can be trusted with the critical, but daunting task of website security and compliance.

From performing routine scans and ensuring no security vulnerabilities exist to applying routine security updates and enabling website disaster recovery, BlackMesh software can handle the heavy lifting associated with website security and continuity so that IT teams can focus their energy on more strategic projects. In addition, BlackMesh is uniquely equipped with numerous compliance frameworks to ensure regulatory requirements are met. Whether its FedRAMP, HIPAA, GDPR or another compliance framework, BlackMesh has everything IT teams need to adhere to compliance rules on their websites. 

Round-the-Clock Support 

Keeping a WordPress website running both smoothly and securely is not an easy feat and requires investments of manpower, time and money. However, choosing the right hosting provider can not only save on resources, but also bring peace of mind.

With a partner like BlackMesh, government WordPress users gain access to a team of experts 24/7. From keeping everything up-to-date to guiding teams through a cyberattack or another disaster, BlackMesh’s experts are always ready and available to spring into action at a moment’s notice. 

Even as the pandemic subsidies and a return to normalcy is in sight, the influx of online users and digital behavior driven by the pandemic is here to stay. By turning to a trusted hosting partner with deep WordPress knowledge, government IT teams can ensure both the technical implementation of their websites is sound, as well as build a foundation and put a trusted team in place to guarantee continued digital success and innovation in the future. 

Want to learn more about how BlackMesh can help you to deliver faster, more reliable and secure WordPress websites? Please contact us for more information.