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GovCMS out-of-the-box

Build and host a new site quickly on a resilient, secure, monitored and fully managed public cloud platform backed by a 99.95% uptime SLA. Salsa will work with you to leverage GovCMS’s ‘out-of-the-box’ features with basic theming to reflect your brand on GovCMS SaaS (or PaaS) hosting, with the flexibility to enhance your site in the future.

What is GovCMs?

GovCMS is a whole-of-government open source web content management system designed by government for government and hosted on a secure public cloud. Find out more about GovCMS

Why you might need GovCMS ‘out-of-the-box’ services

GovCMS out-of-the-box is ideal if you want to quickly build or migrate a small or medium sized site with basic functionality, basic brand theming and no major functional upgrades, to a robust and secure hosting platform. There are several reasons you might need GovCMS 'out-of-the-box' services including:

  • Cost efficient low maintenance hosting: You current legacy hosting is no longer suitable or secure and you need a robust platform with options like a fully managed hosting service requiring minimal ongoing platform maintenance and administration.

  • Uplift in platform extensibility: You want to improve user experience and hosting stability while having the flexibility to build more features and functionality in the future.

  • Branding update: You might want/need to rebrand your site, or update the visual look and feel of your site and only need a small amount of theming and simple functionality.

  • New web presence: Your department has merged/split and you need a new website.

  • Online campaign: You're launching an online campaign for a specific audience and need a new small or basic website with a distinct visual theme.

  • Compliance: You're currently non-compliant with the DTA's Design System and/or WCAG AA standards and need to update your site to meet compliance requirements.

  • Active user community: Close community support available if you want simple guidance or advice on how other agencies manage site content or carry out functional enhancements.

Benefits of GovCMS ‘out-of-the-box’ services

Benefits of an out-of-the-box site build include:

  • Build quickly and simply: Get a fixed scope and a fixed price onto a robust and secure platform that offers a Software As A Service (GovCMS SaaS) hosting option that releases internal resources and allows minimal ongoing platform maintenance and administrative overhead.

  • Scope to extend and grow your site: Develop your own new functionality, or plug in any existing GovCMS modules and features developed by other agencies.

  • A fresh new design: Deploy sites that meet GovCMS standards and design best practice.

  • A fully responsive design: View your sites on devices like tablets and smartphones.

  • Compliance: Meet DTA Design System and WCAG accessibility standards.

  • A community which supports each other: Whether you’re a small or large agency, get access to a highly engaged community that can help you with advice or guidance on site content administration and/or enhancements.

Engagement Process

Salsa follows the engagement process below:

  1. Review questionnaire or brief: Agency to complete a light questionnaire (or send Salsa a high level project brief) reflecting basic requirements and/or key project business drivers.

  2. Intake and alignment: Salsa conducts a free 30-45 minute intake phone call to align on scope, expectations and overall engagement requirements based on the questionnaire or brief.

  3. Light discovery: Salsa conducts a 90-minute phone call workshop to ensure clarity on the functionality, content types and UI theme, assumptions and any dependencies.

  4. Build and QA: GovCMS environments built as scoped and internally validated. 

  5. Content loading and UAT: Content is manually loaded and then the agency completes user acceptance testing (UAT).

  6. Go-live and support: Salsa coordinates activities to launch PaaS site live. If SaaS, Department of Finance GovCMS team ‘forklift’ and activate the site in the GovCMS distribution. Any Salsa ongoing support arrangements are activated.

For a fixed scope fixed price site build using ‘out-of-the-box’ GovCMS features with minor theming, we offer a mature and transparent process: 

  • Acceptance criteria: Engaging with the agency product owner to establish clear acceptance criteria.

  • Capture: Use of mature tools such as Jira and Confluence for requirements/criteria capture and general project documentation.

  • QA testing and remediation: Internal QA to validate requirements against stated user acceptance criteria and remediation of issues identified.

  • UAT support and remediation: Agency support during UAT and remediation of identified issues.

Project deliverables

The outputs from the GovCMS ‘out-of-the-box’ site build are:

  1. Site functionality matrix: Visual representation of all desired functionality.

  2. GovCMS viability matrix: Each functional requirement is classified to determine the level of configuration/customisation, and therefore compliance, with GovCMS SaaS.

  3. High level project artefacts:

    1. Information architecture (IA)

    2. Wireframes

    3. Content guidelines

    4. User acceptance test (UAT) scripts

  4. Content loading: Four hours content loading support for migration.

  5. Basic training material: 10 x three-minute training videos covering the installed modules.

  6. Basic support: Six hours of go-live support for first 30 days (content, enhancements, general support, etc.)


  1. Agency to have set up and approval for a new GovCMS SaaS or PaaS account.

  2. Project delivery and execution will be completed remotely/offsite.

  3. GovCMS installation using default features/modules and theming options.

  4. Final approved content is ready and provided by the agency at the time of content loading stage.

  5. For existing site migrations, no changes to the following are made during migration:

    1. Site structure or information architecture (IA)

    2. Content (content will be manually migrated ‘as is’ with no changes/edits)

    3. Visual design/theming (migrated ‘as is’)

  6. Basic theming only, including application of brand colours, fonts and logo.

  7. Single agency stakeholder interface for the project with appropriate mandate.

Fixed price packages

You can choose from three packages in our GovCMS out-of-the-box services:





Included features

  • Home,

  • Standard

  • Search pages

  • Application of brand colours, fonts and logo

  • Small plus:

  • News/Media,

  • Publications

  • Attachments

  • Moderate layout theme adaptation

  • Medium plus:

  • Extended features and page template (TBC in discovery)

  • Considerable layout theme adaption


approx. weeks

162h / 5w

216h / 6w

288h / 7w

Total cost

$29,950 +GST

$39,900 +GST

$53,200 +GST

*If additional development hours are required, these can be added to any of the above packages at $195p/h +GST.

What you get

Salsa’s GovCMS ‘out-of-the-box’ service delivers a new, responsive site on a secure and robust hosting platform with an option for a fully managed service for minimal platform maintenance and administration. Once built on GovCMS you can enhance your new site further with custom modules and features, or leverage the library of ‘pre-developed’ modules and features built by other agencies for the GovCMS community.

In addition, you also get access to:

  • The digital agency that’s the official service provider of the entire GovCMS platform and program

  • A highly qualified and experienced digital agency that has delivered over 30 GovCMS projects since 2015

  • GovCMS product and project delivery specialists with expertise in theme development/enhancements and overall frontend development/enhancements.

  • GovCMS technical solution architect to provide a high level of technical governance and oversight to your project.

Case studies

New default design theme template for govCMS

Salsa Digital was engaged by the Australian Department of Finance to create a visually appealing govCMS design template that was flexible enough to meet the needs of many different agencies and, when customised, could give each govCMS site individual personality.


New govCMS site for ARPANSA

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) brought their old, outdated system across to the new govCMS platform.


New visual design and site for Stay Smart Online

Salsa Digital was engaged to update the Stay Smart Online website’s look and feel and rebuild the site as an independent govCMS site.


GovCMS Drupal 8 and UIkit Alpha

Salsa Digital and Acquia worked together to test Drupal 8 and version 2 of the UIkit for govCMS and the Department of Finance.


Related articles

Continuous design, continuous improvement

Salsa Digital worked with a Victorian Government department to create user-centric designs informed by our user research and testing. The final designs were a product of three-way collaboration and used a continuous design and improvement cycle, feeding in client input and user research. This delivers benefits to the Victorian Government, citizens, tax-payers and vendors like Salsa. 


Design systems — reuse, create your own or something in between?

There are a few design systems now available for government agencies to use. But how do you decide whether to use an existing design system, create your own, or combine both options by leveraging an existing one and adding your own elements to it?


Digital Transformation in Government Insight #65:
The Australian Government Design System

In April the DTA released the Australian Government Design System to help Australian government agencies deliver citizen-centric websites quickly and easily.


Other GovCMS services

Salsa’s other fixed price GovCMS services include:

Website assessments and advisory services

Make an informed decision on whether GovCMS is right for you.

Website rehosting and installation

Migrate your Drupal site onto a resilient, secure, monitored and fully managed public cloud platform backed by a 99.95% uptime SLA.

GovCMS theme development and enhancement services

Theme your GovCMS Drupal site to represent your agency’s brand and visual look and feel

Content migration and consolidation

Migrate your proprietary and/or legacy site onto Drupal GovCMS backed by a resilient, secure, monitored and fully managed public cloud platform with a 99.95% uptime SLA.

Site audits and technical reviews

Site audits and technical reviews help you identify any problems in your site, including security and performance issues.

Theme review

Make sure your site is accessible by all users and optimised to be viewed on different devices and internet browsers.

Code review

Does your website’s module code follow best practice to maximise your site’s performance and stability?

Ongoing GovCMS application support

Whether you’re on GovCMS SaaS or PaaS, ongoing GovCMS application support ensures the application layer for your website continues to remain secure and up-to-date (PaaS only), while also allowing you to build new enhancements and ad-hoc features.


User testing

Salsa provides user testing packages across visitor experience, content author experience, and user acceptance testing (UAT).

Back to all fixed price GovCMS services


Get in touch

Use the form below or call us on 1300 727 952 for an obligation-free chat about your agency’s GovCMS needs.

Contact us

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