Many of our clients get funding for the projects from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The HLF has particular requirements for digital projects, which are included in its Terms of Grant and explained in its guidance on using digital technology in heritage projects (updated in 2012).
These requirements are summarised below, together with an explanation of how CommunitySites can help you meet HLF best practice guidelines and requirements.
‘Projects should use open technologies where possible’
CommunitySites supply websites and catalogues built with open-source software which has been customised to provide the same functionality and ease of use as our own long-established proprietary software. We use WordPress open-source software for websites (as mentioned in HLF guidelines) and Omeka open-source cataloguing software.
‘Digital outputs must be ‘usable’ and available’ for five years from project completion’
CommunitySites provide an on-going web hosting and maintenance service. The price of your site can include a 5-year hosting and maintenance contract which is paid for up-front.
‘Websites must meet accessibility standards’
CommunitySites websites and catalogues meet the W3C accessibility standard required by the HLF (single A rating) and higher AA or AAA ratings can be achieved if required. However, note that the highest accessibility ratings require editorial disciplines as well as technical disciplines and may not be appropriate or realistic for all sites.
‘Project should contribute digital outputs to appropriate heritage collections’
CommunitySites software provides export facilities so that the content of websites or catalogues can be migrated into archive and museum catalogues. Several of our websites have been successfully archived by the British Library and we can feed catalogue content to the Culture Grid if required.
‘Digital content must be licensed for use by others under the Creative Commons licence ‘Attribution Non-commercial’ (CC BY-NC)’
‘Projects should develop skills and encourage community engagement’
CommunitySites will help you meet HLF’s desired outcomes in terms of developing skills and encouraging community engagement.
This is because of our expertise and experience in training non-technical users (often volunteers) and encouraging public contribution to websites. Our testimonials demonstrate how ordinary people can be drawn into the process of creating online heritage – even if they are worried about computers beforehand!