Wagtail for the public sector

Will Heinemann
Will Heinemann

New Business Director 14 Oct 2020 2 min read

The open source Wagtail CMS is an emerging force in the UK public sector digital landscape.

Wagtail now powers most of NHS.uk - a site with typical traffic of 50m uniques/month, but closer to +70m uniques/month during Covid-19. The migration of NHS.uk from Sharepoint to Wagtail has been described as ‘probably the UK government’s biggest content migration

Having a proper content management system (Wagtail) instead of the old Sharepoint monolith makes it easy for our content designers to draft, re-draft and publish content in this challenging environment

James Higgott, Senior Product Manager, NHS Digital

Beyond the impressive NHS.uk platform, Wagtail powers the NHS Digital Service Manual (similar to the GDS Design Manual), the new NHS X website and mission critical sites for NHS Improvement, including their corporate website and the Pricing Portal for hundreds of healthcare providers.

Elsewhere, The Department for International Trade is using Wagtail as a headless CMS to power a large part of great.gov.uk.

Making Wagtail work better for government

We’ve been working with government to make Wagtail work (even) better for their use cases - our recent work includes:

Meeting accessibility standards

Wagtail’s user interface now complies with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards, making it one of only a very few open source content management platforms that actively ensure accessibility for content editors and creators. This work was started at the UK Department of International Trade and is now part of Wagtail core.

World-class support for internationalised content

The new Wagtail localize project is set to become the standard way to build internationalised Wagtail sites. It aims to help with localisation in general (e.g. to account for cultural differences, currencies etc. in addition to language). Again, this work was started with the UK Department of International Trade (and since funded by Mozilla Foundation), and will be available as a Wagtail app in the next few months.

A new way to moderate clinical content

The Wagtail-review project enables non Wagtail users to annotate and comment on draft pages (e.g. clinicians reviewing conditional content on NHS.uk). This work was started during a NHS Wagtail sprint with NHS technical architects and is now a supported Wagtail app.

Running Wagtail on Azure

We supported NHS Digital to run Wagtail on their Azure infrastructure, including optimisation of their Docker containers and migration from MS SQL to Azure-hosted PostgreSQL. NHS Improvement are also running Wagtail on Azure infrastructure.

Ways we can help

We’re always looking to make Wagtail work even better for government. We can:

Get in touch to find out more or if you’d like a Wagtail demo.

Will Heinemann
Will Heinemann

New Business Director 14 Oct 2020 2 min read

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