When the basic Transparency Requirements are covered for a Parish Council site you can start to add "fun" stuff such as a history of your village, a photo gallery or other functions such as forum or an events calendar and booking pages. Some of these were offered by EssexInfo, but often didn't work, on their platform.
Some of this "fun" I have worked out how to do, there is a tremendous resource that can be found on the Internet and especially the W3S Schools website. Some of these features may require the use of a CMS such as Wordpress. While I do not use such systems I am prepared to mentor someone who wants to provided they understand what I have achieved on this website. I will not go down this path if I see the attempted use of CMS to produce a "simple" website.
I personally do not use Social Media but I see that many Parish Councils do. There are various ways that you can provide links to Social Media. I have been removing such links from my pages as I do not wish to give a visitor the wrong impression.
Forms and Comments
Again, in a similar manner to "Membership", having Contact Forms and Comment features on your site, the problems you introduce in doing so have to be mitigated.
Firstly, a Feedback Form is relatively easy to implement and is offered as "standard" with most Wordpress themes. However, you have to be very careful to check the integrity of user input and realise that if message is sent via this form you have fewer options in its operation than you do with just provding an email address. From the perspective of the visitor sending such a message unless you provide an auto-response to the message the visitor is left not knowing if their message has been sent. From the webmasters perspective you will have to expect spam messages.
Having a Comment facility is even more fraught to abuse from visitors and "bots". The unfortunate consequence of having an "open" form is that it is an open invitation to those that find it to post nonsense to it. There are "plug-ins" that you can install to combat this activity but you then have to weigh the hassle of this against any of benefit you get from the form.
- W3C Schools Resources - some clues on getting fun stuff working
- Wordpress - Content Management System
- Site Membership - registering as a member on your site, for news letters, a forum or other features.