WordPress: So Easy a Congressman Can Do It

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform launched a new site on WordPress today. This is really cool for a few reasons. Rep. Darrell Issa tweeted about it this morning, saying WordPress is “rare” for government and said it was “to support fast improvements in response to your feedback.”


Government moves at a pace best described as glacially, so for them to recognize that WordPress can help them react quicker, that’s just huge. I’ve learned in D.C. that ease of use and speed of development are very rare things for .gov sites, even those built on open source. Not to mention cost-effectiveness in an age where federal government IT procurement is being upended. Look, they even created cheesy WordPress-in-government infomercial:


The video takes a shot at bad government websites, and while the new site isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, I like the point they’re getting across: Government can excel on the web using the same free publishing software as many of their constituents. It won’t be rare for long.

Related: Ben Balter’s post on WordPress and government from last week is making waves.

Bonus: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently gave their WordPress site a new coat of paint.

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Andrew Nacin

Lead developer of WordPress, living in Washington, D.C. Follow me on Twitter.

10 thoughts on “WordPress: So Easy a Congressman Can Do It”

  1. I used to use WordPress as the blogging platform for the .gov site I’m responsible for in my full-time gig. The thing that swayed me to ExpressionEngine when we did a site-wide redo was EE’s ease-of-use to set up multiple channels (custom post types for WP) and different types of form fields within those channels, plus the ability to create relationships between channels.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a *huge* WordPress fan. My own site plus most of my client’s sites are WordPress. But that particular ease-of-use in EE was the major decision factor for me.

    Kudos to the Oversight Committee for doing this. Hopefully the agency that did the work will make inroads when the new class comes in next year.

    1. Brett, while I understand that EE maybe more advanced in WP in that particular area, nothing still beats WP overall. It’s the best CMS today and for years to come. Nothing comes close..Sorry, real WP fanatic out here.

  2. Yeah, well, looking at the prices wordpress.com charges for support (who I am sure are drooling at the prospect of charging the US Government millions of dollars for fixing word press), combined with the ability of untrained members of a Congressional staff to install plugins that are poorly written from a non-vetted public source, alarms me more than it comforts me, and I spend a good part of my time support word press sites.

    It would be nice for developers to come down to base their expectations a little more rationally. There is nothing free about open source, it involves lots of time, which can be very expensive. This reliance on Twitter and its limited method of communication might be good for prodding herds of consumers, sometimes in directions we don’t admire.

    Good luck with that theory, there are a number of word press sites out there, but not all of them are at the top of the list, and for good reasons. In other words what is good for the public, may not be good for a government administration who may benefit from a more controlled environment.

    Too many bugs associated with Word Press and too little quality control to really think or believe a Congressman should use WordPress for official purposes, and if they do, the costs will quickly escalate trying to get support than if they stuck with traditional or proprietary systems.

    No such thing as easy when it comes to web site design, it is a continuing effort to keep a web site up.

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  4. Love that Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is using WordPress, but please, somebody (with clout) tell them to update! They’re still on WP 3.3.1. :\

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