*Now with support for new branding (**for licensed Bureaux only)
This system provides a modern, flexible and fully compliant Citizen Advice Bureau Website which is also easy to update and manage in Bureau. Please visit about us for information on the project background and a little about us too.
Please use the menu on the left to find out more about the web-site and the feature packed Admin Panel. There is also an FAQ (frequently asked questions) that may provide further information. Please contact us via our secure contact form or use our demo request form if you would like to see the system in action.
*pending final compliance testing: awaiting draft guidance from Citizens Advice
**Citizens Advice branding requires a licence; we only provide web sites with Citizens Advice branding to organisations that confirm they are legally entitled to use it. For further information about licensing please contact Citizens Advice.
At a Glance
The Web site system comprises of two parts; a front end web site for use by the public and a dedicate Admin Panel to manage and update the public front end. The system does not require a connection to our server; the Public site, Admin Panel and supporting data are hosted on your domain for maximum security and performance.
Public Web Site
- Modern, responsive, fluid HTML5 - Consistency across devices and platforms – works on PCs, Mac, Firefox, Explorer, Android, laptops, tablets and mobile phones
- Passes Google Friendly test
- In-built accessibly features (adjust font sizes and page colour), Privacy page template, Accessibility statement and Cookie acceptance system
- Fully prepared for New Citizens Advice *Branding
- Compliant structure and design that ensures better search engine ranking
- Optimised for fast page loading to support lower bandwidth connections
- Lightweight custom framework; does not require Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal
Use the in-built secure, password protected Admin Panel to update and maintain your site. Edit page structure, content, update contact information, and change the style and design of your quickly and easily; specialist skills or complex training are not required.
- Update telephone numbers, email addresses and other site wide information in seconds
- Edit page structure, style, content; change main page banner rotation, create new banners
- Add an entire District - Contact page supports multi Bureau and Out reaches; individual addresses, maps and opening hours
- Easily add & Manage News, Events & Campaigns
- Upload and Organise documents effortlessly
- Change site colour scheme and branding, or add your own
- Intelligent Advice Guide link system to ensure information is always up to date and links are valid
- Inclusion of user selectable web services to provide self updating content (Local Council, Local MP, CAB twitter feeds, Fix my Street etc)
Please visit the Technical Info section for full information
- Written in fully compliant HTML 5
- Fluid site design; scales to all screen sizes
- Build on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0)
*Final Branding awaiting Draft Guidance; the new Citizens Advice web site uses the same HTML structure as our system, we do not anticipate any issues conforming with draft guidance. Citizens Advice branding subject to licensing; please contact Citizens Advice for further information.
The Web Site System
The Web site system is a two part system; a front end web site for use by the public and a dedicate Admin Panel to manage and update the public front end. The Public site, Admin Panel and supporting data are hosted on your domain for maximum security and performance; no external server is required to run the Public site or Admin Panel.
The Public facing bureau site or ‘Front End’ is fully compliant with current web standards and legal requirements; please visit the Technical section to discover more information about the software design and installation requirements.
Current figures indicate continued growth in people accessing web sites via mobile phones and tablets. We are also aware that is some cases Internet connectivity may be poor; free WIFI zones, limited Mobile Internet coverage and some broadband connections can be painfully slow.
- The Public front end is both fluid and responsive; it will display correctly and quickly regardless of the screen size
- The site is optimised; with less to load pages open more quickly
- Direct, clear navigation and Intelligent Search to help site user locate information quickly; unnecessary page visits can be frustrating on a slow connection.
The site style is based on traditional *Citizens Advice yellow and blue to provide consistency to the user. If preferred, we can include the new *branding as soon as the colour scheme and logo are officially launched.
The page count and final design of pages in the Public web site are determined by individual Bureaux but each site we supply comes with core pages that are either updated via the Admin Panel or that update automatically
Most information found in the header and footer of every page such as email address, phone and registered office can be updated centrally, forcing an instant site-wide change.
Pages with dedicated manager in Admin Panel
- Home page – Main page banners and content can be edited
- Contact Us – Additional Bureaux and Outreaches can be added anytime; map markers are automatically plotted for all new locations
- Documents & Reports – Upload and categorise documents such as financial statements, annual reports, advice information and forms. Drag and sorting ensures that the documents display in the desired order.
- News, Campaigns & Events – Quickly add and manage News, Campaigns & Events
Pages that update programmatically
- News feeds – Live feed information from Facebook, Twitter and the CAB Press office (other feeds can be added)
- Intelligent Search – Provides live Advice Guide search facilities to site users; covers all topics covered by Advice Guide. As there are no manual links to update, Intelligent Search ensures the very latest information without any maintenance. Find out more about Intelligent Search here.
Standard Pages editable content
- Layout, content and style can be edited on all standard inner pages such as About Us, Volunteer, Donate etc using a friendly, easy to use drag & drop Page Manager
*A licence is required to use Citizens Advice branding; please contact Citizens Advice for further information.
Intelligent Advice Search
*Intelligent Advice Search now updated to search citizensadvice.org.uk
Our research revealed that many Bureau Web sites provide an online Advice section. In most cases advice relies on static links to relevant information on the Adviceguide.org.uk Website. Although this method certainly works, it is neither efficient for a Bureau to maintain and in many cases, for clients to use.
The main drawback with this method is that unless these links are updated manually the information may be out of date or indeed incorrect; in some cases the linked page may have been removed completely or renamed.
The practice of using hard links can require significant maintenance. A further issue is that a bureau Website typically provides only a small subset of Advice Guide information which clearly can cover only limited situations.
Our approach provides an Advice Guide search function fully integrated into your bureau Website. The Advanced search system allows bureau Website users to search Advice Guide directly and return all relevant information; the user is not required to leave the Bureau site.
User experience is much improved and often less frustrating as this approach vastly cuts down the amount of page visits required to locate relevant information. Reducing unnecessary page visits is particularly important for users with accessibility issues, mobile internet users in poor coverage areas and other users with slow Internet connections.
- Rapid system searches the entire range of Advice Guide information
- Self updating links, no manual editing or upkeep required
- Helps clients find relevant informant information quickly
- Information is always current
The search system works very much like Goggle; a bureau Website user selects the search term or phrase which then returns up to date and accurate links from Advice Guide. This system does not store any data from Advice Guide, it retrieves fresh and up to information every search.
Packages & Requirements
Please visit Technical Info section to discover more information about the software design and installation requirements.
All files may be edited so the site can be fully customised to your exact requirements. The files may only be used to provide a single Bureau Website covering an independent Bureau or a District and may only be installed on a single domain.
Aside from ongoing services such as Hosting there is one off purchase fee with no on-going costs. Support packages after the first 12 months are available.
The package also includes initial file setup on your hosting platform and the design and layout of up to an 10 page site. Also included are control panel code service updates and database backups for the first year.
We usually require 7 days to setup and configure your web site. To complete the site, simply add further contents and images using the easy to use site control panel.
- Domain Configuration - One off cost to configure your domain on our server. Includes set up of secure domain (HTTPS) and HTTP. Installation of SSL certificate
- Hosting package - Dedicated server at a super fast UK data centre; includes site back-ups and SSL certificate
- Additional page - We can design and install additional pages; new pages may be set up any time.
Use the in-built secure, password protected Website Management area to update and maintain your site. Edit page content, update contact information and change the style and design of your quickly and easily. No special skills are required
- Custom Header Images
- Update all site telephone numbers, email addresses from a central point
- Choice of Home page and inner page layouts
- Quickly change site colour scheme and font styles
- Editable page content, change pages quickly and simply
- Change Banners and add your own text
- Most site updates can be performed quickly in house
- Site style changes keep the site prevent the site becoming stale
- Create a high impact new on-line campaign or initiative quickly
- HTML5 Compliant
- CCS 3 Compliant
- Highly optimised for Mobile devices and slower Internet Connections
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) Compliant
- Fully Fluid
- SEO Friendly
The underlying structure and style of site meet the latest standards (HTML 5 & CSS3). Compliance also ensures there are no errors in either document. The benefits of compliance include
- Increased Browser cross-compatibility
- Better Device cross-compatibility
- Better rendering for screen readers and for other Accessibly aids
- Improves SEO
Increased Browser cross-compatibility means that the Website is more likely to work correctly on different web browsers such Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari etc.
Device cross-compatibility is the same but this concerns site appearance across portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
Screen readers and other accessibly aids work much better when the structure of the site is compliant. Errors in the site structure can make screen reader output unpredictable; images without ‘Alt’ tags means that users with impaired vision may not understand the context of images.
SEO means Search Engine Optimisation; in this case the search engines (Goggle, Bing, Yahoo etc) can understand the site better because the site structure is compliant.
Highly optimised for Mobile devices and slower Internet Connections
All pages are highly optimised which means they will load quickly on slower connections. All images are compressed to minimise download time; our servers then automatically compress all pages to ensure they open quickly.
Local Browser caching is also fully implemented to save unnecessary page downloads and to increase site performance.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) Compliant
This Website was built to conform to level A of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. These guidelines set out how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly for all people.
Fluid Design ensures that regardless of screen size, the site will scale proportionally. The site will display correctly on a Smart phone, Tablet, Laptop or Desktop and will also retain original proportions.
Responsive design is based on browser detection or the screen size. Certain page elements are activated programmatically depending on the viewing device capabilities. A good example is a large home page banner; this can be excluded or displayed subject to the detected screen size; the banner would display incorrectly on a mobile phone and thus is automatically excluded.
SEO means search engine optimisation; this is the process of ensuring a Website can interface easily with search engines like Goggle, Bing and Yahoo. An optimised site will help the site perform better in search results simply because search engines find it easy to reference.
Optimisation methods include:
- Compliant site structure, HTML and CSS helps Search Engines to navigate and reference
- Optimised images with ALT tags
- Correct use of URL, Page Title, Meta Tags and Robots txt
- An XML site map
Further optimisation is carried out as content is added. This includes keywords, strong page urls, Anchor texts etc.
At present the Web site template requires a Linux/Apache hosting environment which is a very common hosting package. The system is predominately coded using PHP and requires PHP version 5.3.10 or above. No database is required but PHP support for SQLite must be enabled.
- A Linux/Apache hosting environment
- PHP 5.3.10 or above with SQLite support enabled (enabled is default)
- No database requirements - Less to maintain and administer
We may create a Windows/ISS version in the future; please contact us if you prefer Windows server version.
Our package includes initial configuration of your domain and all on-going server maintenance. As we have direct control of the servers, we insure all updates and security patches are installed.
Our hardware is a modern Quad Core platform with ultra fast SSD drives to ensure web pages load in record time. If server performance dips due to a large number of site users, loads can be balanced across the infrastructure to maintain normal performance.
The hosting package also include a dedicated IP address, SSL certificate and configuration of a secure site which helps maximise the security and privacy of Website users. A padlock will be displayed on pages with contact or other forms which reassures users that data sent via the Website is secure.
Our service provider, Tagadab is a hosting, virtualisation and dedicated server arm of the Claranet Group, one of Europe’s leading managed server providers who we have used all to host all of our off-site servers since 2008. Their uptime is staggering and their support is truly first class.
- Hosted in a UK data centre
- Secure hosting; servers exclusively dedicated to CAB Web sites and services
- Super fast Quad Core CPU servers with high speed SDD hard drives
- Dedicated IP Address per Bureau
- SSL Secure Certificate Included
- Website and data backed up daily
- Load balancing in case of heavy demand
- Day to day server management
Pricing & Demo
We will only supply this template system and pricing information to an official Citizens Advice Bureau. Please use this form to request pricing information and if required, arrange an free online demonstration with your basic Bureau information pre completed. Aside from giving you a very good idea how the finished site will look, you can evaluate advance features in the Admin panel.
Request a demo
The drive to design this template and supporting system was inspired after reviewing a series of quotes on behalf of a Bureau looking to update their Website. On the whole the quotes were packed with impressive technical jargon and much inflated prices. Others were unsuitable as there was no support for Mobile phone and tablet users.
Current UK and EU legislation regarding Privacy and Accessibly were omitted. In some cases basic security was overlooked as communication from site users was not encrypted at all. Some sites relied on complex 3rd party frameworks such as Joomla and Wordpress; not that easy to manage and update.
With this in mind we decided to create an advanced Web template based on a custom light-weigh framework that ticks all the boxes and at a moderate cost.