State of Texas Municipal Web Sites: A Description of Website Attributes and Features of Municipalities with Populations Between 50,OOO-125,OOO
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The purpose of this research is to describe the attributes and features of government websites of Texas cites with populations between 50,000-125,000. Regardless of a city's size, the internet and government websites have become strategic tools to deliver government services and information online to all citizens. Although many government website reviews and assessments have been conducted for the United States and worldwide cities, there have been no studies which have specifically examined the websites of smaller cities in the State of Texas. Descriptive categories identified in the literature led to the development of a conceptual framework. The framework allowed the researcher to identify specific website attribute criteria and develop a coding tool to conduct a content analysis of 31 municipal websites within the population range. The overall presence of the website attribute criteria varied. The most common features found included consistent navigation functionality and the availability of public meeting minutes, budget information, and public agency/official contact information. Online forms and payment services for traffic fines and utilities were also prevalent on most websites. Two areas requiring significant improvement throughout were Security/Privacy policies and accessibility issues regarding compliance with the American Disabilities Act, Title II and Section 508.