There are 310 municipalities in Finland, and according to our database, over 100 of them are using WordPress as their publishing platform. At the moment, there are about 40 implementation partners who have supplied municipalities WordPress sites, and many of them have experience with several municipality websites.
North Patrol is a consulting firm specialized in the design of digital services and information systems. We shape ideas into a vision and service concept, find the best architectural and technological solutions, design a functional user experience, and compete to find the ideal partner for implementation work. We do not sell implementation projects, nor do we sell licenses; we are genuinely on the side of the customer.
Roughly speaking, there are three types of companies that have implemented WordPress sites for municipalities:
- Companies that have created several municipality websites, and have even productized their municipality website offering. Examples of agencies like this are Valu Digital, Geniem, JJ-Net.
- Companies that have experience implementing municipality websites with their own products or other widely used CMS, but have started to also provide WordPress sites, examples being Poutapilvi, Tietotalo, and Cubescom.
- Local companies that have provided a near-by municipality with WordPress websites, for example Aamos, Nicemedia, Satavisual.
Companies experienced with WordPress municipality websites
Valu Digital has by far created the most WordPress websites for municipalities. Geniem and Poutapilvi also have experience of several municipal websites. Also, all of these companies have currently ongoing municipality website projects.
Examples from companies who have created several WordPress websites for municipalities:
- Valu Digital: Seinäjoki, Hämeenlinna, and Nokia
- Geniem: Lahti, Vaasa, and Valkeakoski
- Poutapilvi: Orivesi, Kurikka, and Mynämäki
Companies that have created a few municipal WordPress sites include, for example, MEOM, Creative Crue, WebAula, and Digitaali. Tietotalo and Cubescom are companies experienced in using their own products to create municipal websites, and they still use those platforms for new sites. When a website has been created with the company's own platform, the customer cannot change the partner during the lifecycle of the site, but must trust that the product development will continue.
Some examples from companies that have created a few websites for municipalities:
- MEOM: Nurmijärvi and Rautalampi
- Creative Crue: Uurainen and Akaa
- Digitaali: Enonkoski and Sulkava
- WebAula: Tammela and Isokyrö
- Cubescom: Virolahti (WordPress) and Pirkkala (eMedia Enterprise)
- Tietotalo: Lapinjärvi (WordPress) and Rovaniemi (Infoweb)
Here are some examples of single, but interesting municipality websites:
As WordPress is the most popular publishing platform in the world and in Finland, there is plenty of WordPress expertise in Finland. Companies that have created websites for the public sector in general include names such as Aucor, Frantic, Exove, and Redland. In general, there are many experienced WordPress companies in Finland, see for example the list of them on the Vierityspalkki blog (in Finnish).
What to consider when choosing the right WordPress partner
Once an organization has chosen WordPress as its publishing platform, it needs to address a few issues, as companies that make websites have profiled themselves in slightly different ways.
When choosing a partner for the project, it's important to decide what is the priority:
Experience with municipalities: Knowing how municipalities operate helps the website partner to better understand their customer and thus provide a higher quality implementation. When the company has already experienced the development of several municipal websites, they likely have developed functionalities tailored for the needs of municipalities, which is likely to be reflected in the project's work and cost estimate. Especially those who have productized municipal websites have ready-made solutions, examples being Valu Digital and Geniem.
Visual aspects: Visual appeal is emphasized when municipalities want their website to stand out from other municipalities and, for example, attract tourists. Especially if there is no advertising agency partner, there may be an increased need for the visual expertise of the website implementor. For example Creuna and Evermade have shown visual expertise.
WordPress technical expertise: The partner's technical expertise affects how much time it takes to build a website and how well-functioning, sustainable, and accessible a website is. Technical expertise is an important asset, especially if there are functionalities that require special skills, for example, for the needs of transactions and e-commerce, or for creating custom sections such as map user interfaces. Creuna, Geniem and Valu Digital, for example, have experience of demanding WordPress implementations.
Partner company's size: Implementing small sites with WordPress isn’t technically very demanding, so there are a lot of small and medium-sized digital agencies that have made sites with WordPress. However, large websites require a lot of special expertise and experience that may not be found in small agencies. For small municipalities, a small digital agency can be the right partner, especially if there is nothing particularly demanding in the project. Companies that have made websites for municipalities with WordPress are not from the biggest end of WordPress partners in Finland. Evermade, Valu Digital, Geniem, Creuna, and Avidly have the largest revenues from the creators of the municipal WordPress websites. The WordPress revenue of all of these companies reaches over million euros.
Locality: Understanding the operating environment may be important, especially if the website extends beyond the services provided by the municipality, for example from a vitality perspective. However, local partners are often small, so for the needs of a small site, a local digital agency is a viable option for a municipality. If the website is more extensive, enough expertise may not be available close by, and therefore locality can't be the top criterion when choosing a partner.
When a municipality is updating its website with WordPress, there are enough partner options for all priorities. But because there is so much variety in the field, it's worth paying attention to selecting the right partner for the project.
We at North Patrol have assisted many municipalities in conceptualizing websites, selecting technologies, making good requirement specifications, and conducting tenders.