The purpose of the Hawaii State Template was to establish a consistent look and feel for all government sites. We did this by creating an elastic and versatile foundation upon which both NIC Hawaii and the State can build websites that are responsive and display beautifully across a variety of tablets and mobile devices, while continuing to meet strict ADA requirements.
Hawaii gets its first CIO
In 2012, we responded to a proposal by Hawaii’s first CIO, Sonny Bhagowalia, to build a state template for all agency sites. We had roughly six months to build and implement everything and as of Jan 1, 2013, 28 sites were launched just in time for the start of the legislative session.
The original design
Prior to the template, the Hawaii executive agency sites were not mobile-friendly or action oriented, had little if any Hawaiian imagery, and few standards for contacts, design or structure. In the beginning, we released a limited variety of pre-configured themes, each with a set background image and color scheme inspired by the beauty of Hawaii.
As of today…
The State has over 80 WordPress installs, hosting close to 500 sites and all state agencies are using WordPress. The State Template is managed and maintained by 3 ETS staff and 2 NIC Hawaii staff. We’ve released countless new designs, themes, and templates and we work closely with the ETS team, to stay on top of security, bug fixes, and ADA enhancements.
Built with WordPress
With over 1 in 3 sites on the Internet using it, it’s no secret that WordPress is the tool of choice for just about everyone building websites these days. It’s ease of use makes it a breeze for our partners to manage their own sites – with no coding experience required. It’s also open source which means it’s free to use and build upon and the State never gets locked in to a contract or proprietary system.
Significant cost savings
By using open source software since 2013, the State of Hawaii has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars that a commercial CMS typically costs. Ease of use has also made the administration of the sites incredibly simple, eliminating hundreds of hours of training.