The best government websites offer easily-accessible, resident, and state visitor-centered information wrapped in an appealing experience. Similar to a small business website, this is accomplished via high-quality and immersive images and videos, clear site navigation, interactive features, and options that enable users to personalize experiences. To help inspire your government website design, we’ve included the best state website examples below.
Here are the top 17 state government website designs:
Hawaii.gov’s organized, no-scroll homepage offers clickable tiles, including a “Near Me” tile. Once clicked, you can search state resources and destinations, then see their locations on a map, as well as any relevant contact information. The homepage “Calendar” tile shows you state events by day and the “Mobile” tile gives you a list of apps that help you navigate state resources and destinations on mobile devices, like city tours or bike share services.
Due to its design, the site has won many awards, like the 2019 Communicator Award and 2018 Web Marketing Association Award. It offers intuitive navigation, with minimal text that only serves as labels of tiles which overlay full-screen, high-quality state scenery images. Tabs at the top include “Government,” “Residents,” “Business,” and “Visitors” for each visitor targeting. A fifth my.hawaii.gov tab offers accounts for tracking personal activity, like tax payments.
The Ms.gov Mississippi state website is the 2018 overall winner of the Center of Digital Government Experience Award. Its homepage offers a well-organized scrolling index of all the website has to offer, including popular links for residents, visitors, business owners, and people searching for government services. If you would like a more traditional navigation, click the three lines at the top left-hand corner of the screen and traditional header navigation tabs will appear.
For ease of use, three titles sit prominently in the center of the page: the “Explore myMS,” “Agency Directory,” and “Online Services” tiles. The “Explore myMS” tab allows you to create an account to personalize weather, license renewal, and amber alerts. If you remain idle on the site, the site’s AI powered bot assumes you aren’t finding what you need, so a popup appears with a link for the Missi Chat. Type in a keyword and the bot recommends links that answer your questions.
Also an overall winner of the 2018 Center of Digital Government Experience Award, the Utah state website offers an immersive homepage experience. Large background videos and images help you experience the state from your computer. Click the down arrow to explore key state information in an interactive format; zoom in and out on a Google Map to explore the city and access calendars to learn how to get involved in key events.
For ease of use, Utah.gov offers mobile apps to help you personalize your experience. Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage to find the mobile device icon. Then, click to find a list of apps for staying up-to-date in real-time on state happenings and services via your mobile device. Apps offer services like the ability to find books on local libraries, find local job listings, and maps of the city.
Virginia’s State website offers a more traditional two-tone newsletter design. Its blue and white color scheme gives it a simple, professional feel. As you scroll down, you view useful sections like the state’s latest government news and upcoming events, with a few images of state representatives and happenings sprinkled throughout. Tabs across the top of the page send you to pages for “Government,” “Business,” “Education,” “Recreation,” and “Services.”
For ease of use, the Virginia government homepage offers a search bar you can use to find topics or services you need on the website. Also, a homepage service section offers a well-organized directory of state services, including education, recreation and culture, licenses, and transportation. Click on the links to find the latest news and information relevant to residents. Each page offers a modular format so it’s easy to find the details you’re looking for.
The Michigan State website offers a full-width header image with a search bar overlay. The content of the homepage targets both residents and state visitors; this includes resident-relevant information like a list of the latest job postings and state-visitor content-of-interest like state events visitors may like to attend. Residents can even search for jobs using the find-a-job search bar.
At the bottom of the homepage, Michigan State offers a mobile app that makes personalized information available to visitors and residents wherever they are. The MiPage mobile app allows you to create an account, then personalize it to receive news and event alerts about favorite state places; view Medicaid and state health care information; and view traffic, construction, and lane closure information.
California’s state government website homepage is highly focused on offering state residents quick and useful information. Visitors immediately see a full-width image of California’s beaches, overlayed with a search bar. You can input a search term, then click a button below the search bar to specify whether you’re seeking a state agency, state service, or answers to common questions. Tabs like “Getting Services,” “Doing Business,” Working,” and “Living” run along the top.
As you scroll down, tiles offer links to find a job, renew your driver’s license, file for unemployment, and search for property. To address the state’s not infrequent earthquakes and forest fires, warnings along the top of the homepage offer links to learn disaster statuses and a disaster recovery section offers links to recovery resources. Click on header tabs to view more resource and service links like “Apply for a business license.”
The Texas state government website offers a resident-centric website infused with Texas charm. The homepage offers large background images of historic and rustic Texas scenery, overlaid by sections like “Our Most Popular Services,” “Driver” services, lists and maps showing the names and locations of state agencies that serve the public, and an active map where you can search key state landmarks and service providers like parks, libraries, and courthouses.
This website makes visitors feel right at home with a charming, Texas-style welcome. Statements like “Dern it! Need to go to a government office? Let us help you find one” put visitors at ease. A large homepage search bar allows visitors to search for any service, agency, or state information they want. Also, a “Contact Us” button allows visitors to “Leave a Note” with their contact information so a state representative can answer their question.
The Indiana website is a winner of the Center for Digital Government’s Government Experience Award for 2018. Its homepage offers a grid structure full of clickable tiles with labels like “Education,” “News and Events,” “Forms and Online Services,” and “In.gov Digital Channels.” Side-by-side headshot images introduce residents to their state representatives and a bright blue, white, and gray color palette offers a cheerful but professional feel.
For user convenience, a search bar overlays the website’s header image so website visitors can search phrases to find relevant information. Two lines of tabs across the top of the website—which include menu options like “Visiting and Playing”—help state visitors easily navigate the website and plan their trip with just a click of a button. Uniquely, an “Accessibility and Settings” tab allows you to translate the website, view it in a text-only format, or listen to website content.
The Nebraska state government website offers a cheerful gray, light blue, and pastel yellow color scheme with lighter bubble tiles instead of the typical clickable square tiles. A short-scroll homepage displays bright, rainbow-colored pie graphs highlighting the state’s strong points, including a low unemployment rate. The design offers a light, airy feel which is only enhanced with the aerial header image, minimal text, and lots of visuals.
For easy searching, a search bar overlays the homepage image. For those who wish to browse, however, header tabs—like “Employment,” “Education,” and “Business” tabs—line the top of each webpage. When visitors hover over them, concise submenu labels take visitors to common services with labels like “Find a job,” “Tourism,” and “Colleges.” Finally, a live chat footer menu option offers daytime visitors instant access to a representative.
Ohio’s state’s website centers a full-screen Ohio forest scene, overlayed by the traditional search bar. As you scroll down, convenient grid-format sections offer residents key information at a glance, like the latest state news, a calendar of upcoming state events, a section of tiles dedicated to helping residents find jobs, and a tourism section with a state parks search bar and map that pinpoints the location of parks throughout the state.
To make browsing easier, Ohio state’s website includes a search bar and a “Help” button at the top of each page. Once clicked, the “Help” button takes visitors to FAQ pages with links organized by topic, covering things like education, health, tourism, and taxes. There is also a contact information directory for state agencies, departments, and boards. During local business hours, the live chat button enables you to ask questions from a representative.
11. Rhode Island
The Rhode Island state website offers a to-the-point website experience. A search bar appears in a solid teal box. Below the search bar is a display of frequently used links with short, keyword-only labels, like “Taxes,” “Labor & Training,” “Criminal Records,” and “Employment.” Across the top of the homepage is a simple line of tabs, including “Online Services,” “Government,” “Living,” “Business,” “Visiting,” “Employment,” and “Press” tabs.
Rhode Island’s website stands out due to its simplicity. Very little text and no images keep the homepage uncluttered. When you click a tab, a large text submenu appears devoid of images. When you click a tab, you may be taken to a simple form needed to complete a relevant task, or a minimalist newsletter-style page with a couple of images and large boxes with succinct text information.
The Vermont state website stands out by offering a visual experience via a gallery format. When you view the site’s homepage, you’re immediately immersed in a colorful fall scene of the state capitol backdropped by a hilltop of fall trees. As you scroll, a grid collage of similarly enticing images are overlaid with key links visitors will find helpful, including an agency directory, a section with tools for finding a job, and fish and wildlife informational links.
For easy navigation, a large search box overlays the homepage featured image, as traditionally appears on a state website. What’s unique is that this search bar pins to the top of the page as you scroll down so it is always available if you aren’t finding what you’re looking for. For additional clarity and guidance, when you click a header menu tab, a submenu offers both a link for each submenu and a short description of what you will find after clicking.
The Idaho state website immediately welcomes visitors via a full-screen sunset scene backdropping a cheerful orange and teal color palette. A traditional search bar overlays the scenery image and buttons below offer key links to directory, services, and jobs pages. As you scroll down, a minimalist page consists of text-only descriptions of popular destination spots, including state skiing and kayaking spots.
For ease of use, when you click a header tab submenu, you’re directed to pages with minimalist designs. The information on these pages is organized by expandable, accordion-style sections; users simply click on one to reveal relevant information. Links on website pages are alphabetically listed for easy browsing and each page has a header search bar in case you’re not finding what you hoped.
The Georgia state website stands out by offering information at website visitors’ fingertips. “About Georgia,” “Agencies,” “Blog,” “Cities & Counties,” “Elected Officials,” and “Popular Topics” header tabs line the top of the homepage. A traditionally placed search bar that overlays the header image of the website’s homepage ensures visitors can locate any information they seek within just a few seconds of entering the site.
Further, the Georgia website offers popular links without even having to scroll on the homepage. By design, the “Popular Topics” tab stays expanded, offering a list of submenus so visitors can click to learn more about obtaining “Food Stamps,” “Fishing Licenses,” and “Marriage License,” among other topics. When you click on a tab, information is to-the-point. Also, a survey displays at the bottom of many website pages asking if visitors have found what they are looking for.
The Massachusetts state government website doesn’t overwhelm visitors with clutter and information. Instead, the homepage is a short-scroll page offering only a search bar. Below the search bar, view a list of popular searches. Then, begin scrolling to find a grid-like list of “Popular Service” buttons—like “Personal Income Tax,” and “Applying for Unemployment Benefits.” Finally, the homepage closes with a gallery of latest “News and Updates” articles.
To offer international visitors a user-friendly experience, the website includes the “Select Language” link at the top of every page. This lets visitors view the website’s content in 12 different languages. Lastly, to ensure website visitors receive an exceptional experience on the site, a one-question survey at the bottom of all non-homepage website pages asks visitors if they found what they were looking for.
16. New York
The New York state government website offers an interactive experience from the moment you enter the site. Click “Play Video” in the overlay button on the header image to view a video designed for tourists. Below the video, you can sign up to receive state updates via email. Below, buttons in the Popular Services section allow you to complete tasks like applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or paying the penalty for a traffic violation.
For ease of use, the New York State website offers a “Translate” option at the top right-hand corner of the screen; this allows visitors to translate content into 100 different languages. You can also scroll down to the search bar labelled “Select County.” Type in your county to view only information relevant to your area, including resources and local events like career days, attractions, job openings, and fairs.
Tennessee’s state website’s homepage offers a highly visual experience. You’re first presented with a slider header of Tennessee’s latest news and resources—like a Tennessee travel guide. Each resource is displayed with its title link and a high-quality image. Below, high-quality images are structured into a grid gallery with links to state-provided resources for a variety of demographics, including children and families, tax payers, business owners, and job seekers.
For ease of use, Tennessee offers customization tools for creating an exceptional website experience. You can scroll down to the footer menu and choose the “Font Size Button” to make the font larger or smaller or click the “Translate” button and choose from over 100 languages. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also click the live chat button at the bottom of any website page to speak to a representative from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central time.
Bottom Line – Best Government Websites
The best government website designs offer an exceptional experience for both residents and visitors. Many do so by offering high-quality image sliders and galleries, the ability to create personal accounts for making payments and submitting information requests, search bars that narrow in on relevant content, and visitor surveys that help designers improve the site experience.
With so many state and local governments offering high-quality web experiences, it’s critical that new sites meet user expectations. Squarespace makes this eminently possible even for non-tech-savvy users. For $12 per month, it offers a custom domain, unlimited storage, and a drag-and-drop builder for building interactive website experiences to help visitors easily access key information. Click here to get started with Squarespace.