Office of the Public Defender’s New Website

I have finally reached the first major milestone since coming to the Office of the Public Defender, the soft launch of our new public website, This has a been a four month long project involving Tyler Vu (design), Larry Roberts (design and content), Lea Villegas (PR and content), and myself (coding).

SF Public Defender website 1 The need for the redesign was apparent. The previous website,, had too much of a “government agency” feel to it and in some cases, it was felt that it was a turn off to clients. While it is true that the Office of the Public Defender is part of the local county government, it doesn’t mean that the attorneys defend their clients with any less zeal then a private attorney does.

Another problem with the old website was that the content is static. The city’s web CMS system has a very specific template layout that all departments must use. The template is too rigid for the needs of our office. SF Public Defender website 2

So based on my experience, WordPress MU was selected as the back-end CMS for our new office website. So far, it has been a perfect decision. It has allowed for Larry and Lea to concentrate on content and allow me the freedom to concentrate on coding and design with Tyler. Plus with WordPress’s theme system, we can freely redesign as many times as we like without having to worry about the content.

The official launch date is today, August 1. The existing website,, will feature a redirect to our new public site. Also worth noting is that the District Attorney also has their own website at, which appears to have been a contract job done by JS Technology Services.

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