Government vs. Private Sector Websites

As COVID 19 continues to cause offices to limit hours of operation or cease in-person business, an online presence for government organizations has become vital. However, potential website visitors have expectations for how websites should operate based on their experience with privet sector websites. And it can be hard to know what differentiates government websites from private sector websites.  

The main difference between government and private sector websites is that government sites are driven by citizen behavior. This means websites built for government organizations target citizens with different needs. But, websites for private sector organizations typically have target audiences that they are designed service.  

The design and features of government websites are meant to optimize user experience for citizens with varying needs. This is done in several ways. 

Information Flow

Most often people visiting government websites need to complete a task. So, it is important that websites are deigned to makes those tasks as easy as possible. The best way to do that is to organize information in an easy-to-find way. Most government websites are broken into headings and subheadings, this helps prioritize information flow on the site.  

Adding an on-site search function also makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. An on-site search function allows users to search page content and files on the website for information, so they can find what they need faster. Unlike private sector sites which focus on catching the eye, government websites are task-oriented. So, it is important that they are designed to make information clear, concise, and accessible.  


ACDA Responsive Website Design

The Allegheny County DA’s Responsive Website.

Many citizens need on-the go access to government websites on their mobile devices. So, it is important that government websites are responsive for use on all devices, including desktops, phones, and tablets. All websites designed by GovUnity are tested to ensure that they are responsive.  


As mentioned above most government website users have a task to complete. And, limited office hours make in-person business hard to conduct. This means the need to communicate sensitive information though government website is increasing. So, to protect both your organization and your site users, you need to make sure that your website is secure 


Part of ensuring that government websites are designed to serve all demographics means making them accessible. The goal of website accessibility is to ensure all citizens, regardless of a disability have equal access to your websites information and functionality. Government websites need to be designed with accessibility best practices in mind.  

Government websites are meant to serve a different audience than private sector websites. They must be designed to meet the needs of both the users and the administrative staff. At GovUnity we work with clients to create websites that are both easy to use and manage. Contact GovUnity to learn more.