Any website created by or for Surrey County Council becomes part of Surrey's online digital portfolio, therefore Surrey County Council must be represented appropriately. All core Surrey services must be delivered under the corporate Surrey website, but where services or outcomes are tailored to a niche audience or requirement, a proposal for a microsite can be discussed. In these cases, the web team is here to assist and advise you to ensure that your site provides a high quality user experience against its objectives, and that it's well maintained.
The information below describes the different options available.
- What is a partnership website or microsite?
- Optimising your microsite for search engines
- Choosing the right web platform
- Domain name registration
- Surrey's partnership sites
What is a partnership website or microsite?
A partnership website - also known as a microsite - is a self-contained website which is separate from the main council website. Surrey has a number of partnership sites including Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development (SOLD), Travel SMART Surrey, Healthy Surrey and Recycle for Surrey.
Microsites can be particularly effective for highlighting a particular campaign/service or targeting a specific audience. However, if they are used incorrectly they can cause confusion, compete with the public website, and sometimes result in high costs and disappointing search engine rankings.
Web and Digital Services can help you decide on the most appropriate platform for your partnership project or service. We will review your requirements and recommend the solution which best meets your needs in terms of functionality, design, cost, maintenance, accessibility and of course search engine optimisation.
Optimising your microsite for search engines
Surrey's public website receives over 500,000 visits per month, it has high quality, regularly updated content, and is linked to by many other organisations. All .gov.uk domains are restricted sites and have to meet certain Government criteria, which means our content is trusted by search engines. Therefore we are able to achieve consistently high rankings with Google and other search engines for our web pages.
A microsite developed within the Surrey domain will automatically benefit from our high search engine ranking. However when developed independently of the Surrey domain, it can be harder to achieve such impressive results. If you need assistance with optimising your web content, contact Web and Digital Services.
Choosing the right web platform
Web and Digital Services can help you choose the right platform to meet your needs.
Surrey County Council's public website
We can create a new section for your partnership project or service within the award-winning Surrey website. You will receive ongoing support and advice from Web and Digital Services to create and structure your pages, and will be able to update the pages yourself.
Surrey Community is a user-friendly, versatile platform which provides free websites for community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations in Surrey. We can provide you with training and advice on using this platform, which is supported by our experienced in-house Web and Digital Services team. We have recently added a variety of design options for you to choose from, and can offer you advice and assistance on creating the best website to meet your business goals.
Sites created on the Surrey Community platform include Invest in Surrey, Healthy Surrey, Surrey Virtual School, and Surrey Against Domestic Abuse.
Third party supplier
Using a third party (external) supplier is the most costly and time-consuming solution, however in some cases it can be the most suitable option. Our Family Information Directory which provides information for families in Surrey is hosted by an external supplier who specialises in directory-based websites. Remember that if you create a website outside of the Surrey domain there are certain criteria you need to meet to comply with Government requirements and Surrey's web standards. Please contact Web and Digital Services for details.
An independent website or microsite may only be created separately from the Surrey County Council (SCC) public website if a request has been authorised by the Web and Digital Services Manager and Head of Customer Services.
Domain name registration
Web and Digital Services can assist you with choosing and registering a unique domain name (eg www.example.com) for your new website. We will check your chosen domain name is available, register it for you, and manage any redirection. The domain name will then be held in the council's domain name account ensuring no more forgotten passwords, or missed renewal dates - it will all be managed for you by Web and Digital Services.
We can also assist you with applying for a .gov.uk domain name. There are restrictions on the use of this top-level domain and we can advise you and manage your application. Read the Gov.UK: eligibility criteria and conditions of use.
Surrey's partnership sites
For information and advice on developing a partnership website or microsite, choosing the right platform for the job, registering a domain name, or improving your content for search engines, contact Web and Digital Services on 0208 541 8788.