Six communities from across the state were recognized as winners of the MMA’s annual municipal website awards during the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 19.

The awards recognize excellence in customer service, functionality, convenience and government transparency delivered by a municipal website in Massachusetts.

Awards are given in five population categories:
More than 35,000: Plymouth and Pittsfield (tie) — and
25,001 to 35,000: Norwood —
12,001 to 25,000: Newburyport —
5,001 to 12,000: Brewster —
Under 5,000: Hawley —

Municipal websites are evaluated using the following criteria:
• Current and timely information
• Use of social media and tools for online community engagement (including an events calendar)
• Intuitive navigation tools and organization of material
• Ease of access to resources for residents, such as the ability to apply for licenses and permits, pay bills, order documents and make suggestions
• Availability of public records
• Clear branding as the official municipal government site
• Robust search function
• Mobile-responsive design
• Details about municipal departments
• Visual appeal and overall experience

Previous winners are not eligible to re-enter the contest unless their website has undergone a significant redesign.

This year’s contest judges were Amanda Linehan, a city councillor in Malden and communications director at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council; and Deb Radway, a former president of the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association, former member of the MMA Board of Directors, and a retired director of human resources and human rights in Amherst.

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