One quarter of the government’s websites will be scrapped as part of cost cutting measures which will aim to save the Treasury £100m. 

A Public Accounts Committee report finds that some central government websites are too expensive, while a third fail to meet the government’s own accessibility standards. One website, for UK Trade and Industry, was found to cost £11.78 per visit.

This UK trade website cost a total of £4.7m to build and run, and has been visited by just 399,501 users, which equates to 28,085 per month. 

Another expensive website, and the most expensive of any on the list was Business Link, which provides advice for UK businesses. This site cost £35.78m and attracted 16.7m visits last year, 1.6m visits per month, at £2.15 per visit. 

You might think that a site costing £35m would be an incredibly useful and valuable resource, but the Business Link website looks outdated, and some of the information contained on internet marketing is out of date. The money could clearly have been better spent. 

Other findings from the report include: 

  • A quarter of government organisations did not know the costs of their websites and had no consistent way of measuring and reporting cost.
  • 16% of government organisations had no information on how their websites were being used. 
  • A third of all government websites did not comply with government’s own user accessibility standards and all should meet the requisite standards by 2011.
  • The total costs of the 46 government websites in the study came to £128m. The total number of visits was 568m. This comes to roughly 23p per visit.