Preparing your Citizen Space to go live to the public is a two-stage process:
1) Deployment: the term we use for the technical aspects of setting up your Citizen Space instance; and
2) Preparation: the things you need to do after deployment to get your Citizen Space instance ready to go live to the public.
Stage one - Deploying your Citizen Space instance
There are a number of things we need from you in order to deploy a Citizen Space instance. Once you have gathered these, please email them to your Account Manager:
1) Citizen Space URL
As each Citizen Space instance has its own web address (URL), you will need to have a URL set up for this purpose. There are two options for the URL that your Citizen Space instance can have:
- It can have a similar web address to your main site, or a project name, for example: 'consultation.clientname.gov.zz' or 'clientnameprojectname.com'. If you would like this type of URL, you'll need to ask your technical team to register the subdomain and create a CNAME record (this is the technical name for something on our web server that points to another location). We will provide the CNAME address for your technical team to use for this. Please see our article explaining setting up a DNS CNAME record.
- If you prefer to use our Citizen Space domain (eg. 'clientname.citizenspace.com'), you will need to let us know what you would like the ‘clientname’ part of the address to be.
2) A contact email address
You will need to supply us with an email address to use for correspondence that comes from your Citizen Space instance. We will then set up a 'firstname.lastname@example.org' email address (you can choose the words that appear before the @). The latter will be the address that all of your general Citizen Space emails come FROM and any contact form messages go TO. This email will be routed to the generic email address you provided.
For more information, please see the article What is the site email address used for?
3) Site admin details
When we deploy the site we will set up your first user and give them "Site Admin" permission, i.e. the highest level of access across the site. This person will then be in a position to register anyone else from the organisation who needs to be able to access Citizen Space. We therefore need their full name, email address, work contact phone number and job title.
4) Department name
Please choose the name for the first department on your site. This is the department your site admin user will belong to. Citizen Space uses a department-based structure to enable you to manage users' access to the data they need. The name of this department will also appear in the URL of every consultation that belongs to this department, as follows: https://example.citizenspace.com/department-name/consultation-title
5) A corporate logo
You will need to supply us with a high quality logo to go at the top of your Citizen Space instance. Ideally, logo dimensions should be no taller than 100px and preferably no wider than 250px.
6) Brand colours
The colour of your Citizen Space buttons, heading text, and title blocks can be customised to your desired corporate colour(s). Ideally, if you can send your brand guideline colours to us this will allow us to choose the most appropriate ones for your site. If this isn't possible, please provide your colour choices as hex values, such as '#CC9966'. If you do not know the hex value of your colour, please supply us with the website address where we can find the colour(s) you want to use. Please note that we must take into account colour contrast ratios from web accessibility guidelines when setting the colour of text and other items.
7) A favicon (optional)
A favicon is a tiny image which sits in the browser bar and tab heading when someone is on your site. If you can send us your preferred favicon image, we will apply this to your site. If this isn't possible, then we may be able to take the image from other sites you own.
8) The site-wide background wallpaper (optional)
You can have a full-width wallpaper image on your site, which really makes your site come alive.
To find a good image think in terms of wallpapers which usually have repeating elements and still look good if the sides, top or bottom are cut off. Avoid images with text, logos or specific focal points. This is because the image is used as a background image and what you can see of the site-wide wallpaper will be different on different sized devices. There is no guarantee a user will see any specific part of this image as it sits behind other items on the page.
Please supply an image that is around 3000px wide by 1000px tall. This allows us to crop and resize the image as required. Please note that this is not a set image size as how tall the image depends on how much text you have on your Consultation Hub. Our recommendation is to keep the hub text succinct and use the 'About' page for further detail about how your organisation approaches consultation and engagement.
9) If your subscription includes Geospatial (this is optional and not included in all Citizen Space subscriptions as standard)
If deploying Geospatial for Citizen Space you will also need your organisation’s Ordnance Survey API Key. You (or a relevant colleague from your organisation) will add these directly into your Citizen Space so you do not need to send them to us, but you will need them for stage two when you are preparing your site to go live to the public.
A couple of extra things to note:
You don't need to provide an SSL certificate, we will organise and purchase one on your behalf. We will need to know your Citizen Space site's URL (see item 1 above) prior to this taking place. You can learn more about SSL certificates by reading this article.
Citizen Space Aggregator site
We provide an Aggregator site which gathers together all of the public consultations happening across Citizen Space sites around the world and puts them all in one place for other organisations to browse. This site is publicly accessible but will only ever show consultations that are already in the public domain. Please let your account manager know before your site is deployed if there's any reason why you would prefer for it not to appear on the Aggregator.
Stage two - preparing your Citizen Space instance ready to go live to the public
After deploying your site, we will have a set up call with you. This is really important as it allows us to run through a variety of other options which can be enabled or disabled depending on your needs, things like security configurations and other features.
However, there are some other things you may want to start thinking about right from the start, which you will need to do before your Citizen Space is ready to use.
1) Write and add copy for your editable pages
Some areas of Citizen Space require words that you'll need to add in:
- Home page introductory text. This is a few lines of text (with links if desired) which can sit on your Consultation Hub to introduce your Citizen Space site to the public.
2) Add Departments/Teams and Users
Departments/Teams must be set up, as both consultations and administrative users must be assigned to a Department when they are added. We have some further information and top tips about creating your department structure that are worth a read.
Users are your admin users who will manage the site and create and manage consultations.
3) Interests, Audiences, Areas (optional)
If you choose to have Interests, Audiences, and Areas on your Citizen Space hub, then before any consultations can be published, Citizen Space will require you to put in these sets of information:
Interests: an Interest is a searchable topic which can help your participants find consultations that relate to their interests.
Audiences: an Audience is a specific respondent group. By putting these in you allow respondents to search for consultations you have tagged as applicable to certain audiences.
Areas: Areas, if you decide to use them, must be set up and then assigned to consultations so that respondents can find consultations by postcode or ward area. Areas are applicable for local government organisations, rather than national bodies.
You can read the following articles for information on how to set up these details:
4) For Citizen Space Geospatial only - think about the default valid map area and your tilesets
If deploying Citizen Space Geospatial you may choose to set a default valid area on your base map (your GIS Team or similar should be able to provide you with this as a GeoJSON file). You will also need to decide if you would like to restrict the tilesets that your admins will be able to use. Your Account Manager can talk you through these things during your post-deployment call.
5) Integrate Citizen Space into your existing website (optional but recommended)
Please read the article How do I integrate Citizen Space into my existing site? for information on how to do this.
6) Setting up your first consultation
It is useful to start thinking about your first consultation once your Citizen Space has been populated with items 1-3. For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, please see the article How do I set up a new consultation?