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Getting Started

While there's no single right way to get started, here are some general guidelines to follow.

Establish and maintain top-level support

When we asked county, city, and town Web site managers to identify some of the most important factors in the development and launch of their sites, all said that getting top-level support was critical to their success.

Some of their sites had top-level support at the beginning; others earned it along the way. In one instance, the city clerk was told by the city council to gather information and build a site. Completely redeveloping the town's site was a newly elected supervisor's first priority. Another municipal site was developed and launched out of the planning agency; top-level support came later.

Whether they are in it from the beginning or come in later in the process, top-level officials are necessary allies. They're critical in the effort to promote a vision that will get others to participate in the development, implementation, and management of the site.