Pursuant to Sec. 3(b)(2) of the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, PL 115-336, the Department of State websites and digital services with the most views or greatest usage by volume, as identified by the GSA-managed Digital Analytics Program and other recent Department studies, are listed below. The Data Analytics Program tracks 233 Department websites and digital properties. Of those 233 sites, 171 (73 percent) are usembassy.gov and associated country embassy websites.

The Department’s most highly viewed or otherwise important public engagement websites and digital services fall into two categories: consular services (primarily visa and passport services) and public engagement. These sites serve both domestic and foreign audiences:

Page Views*

Oct 15-Nov. 15, 2019

Visits**

Oct 15-Nov. 15, 2019

Consular Services
dvlottery.state.gov 193,481,711 19,252,156
ceac.state.gov 120,846,057 6,407,351
travel.state.gov 44,929,091 17,890,356
pptform.state.gov 11,699,277 1,179,593
passportstatus.state.gov 1,997,940 536,323
step.state.gov 1,808,603 220,233
passportappointment.travel.state.gov 732,789 166,363
Public Engagement
state.gov 3,244,870 1,722,253
mx.usembassy.gov 2,203,913 839,737
history.state.gov 1,243,761 777,945
china.usembassy-china.org.cn*** 1,172,463 639,309
careers.state.gov 811,614 270,813

*A page view is a visit to a website page. When a user navigates to a different page on the website and then returns to the original page, this action counts as another page view.

**A visit is a sequence of consecutive page views without a 30-minute break. A visit always contains one or more page views.

***The Chinese government blocks .gov and other U.S. URLs. Therefore we host this website on a local domain.

Pursuant to Sec. 3(b)(2) of the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, PL 115-336, the majority of the most viewed or otherwise important public engagement websites and digital services identified above have either recently been modernized or have modernization plans underway:

Consular websites and digital services have been evaluated for compliance with the Act and to identify modernization requirements:

Dvlottery.state.gov: The Bureau of Consular Affairs updates the Diversity Visa Lottery website (dvlottery.state.gov) twice annually, with current designs complying with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act, including accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508), consistent appearance, non-duplicative purpose and functionality, secure connection, user-driven design, and mobile-optimized. This is a transactional website where the purpose is for applicants to check the status of their application and only their own data. As such, it is not practicable to provide a search box since there is no static content on the site for users to search. While the site has been built to Section 508 standards, it has not yet been fully reviewed by the Department’s Section 508 compliance testing team to determine whether any remediation is required.

Travel.state.gov: The Bureau of Consular Affairs completed a redesign of travel.state.gov in December 2017. Travel.state.gov is in compliance with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act. Improvements were made to make important information about visas, passports, and travel safety easier to find, understand, and use. The changes include: compatibility for both desktop computers and mobile devices (phones and tablets); cleaner, easier-to-read format and consistent appearance; faster and more accurate site navigation and site-wide search; and fully accessible web templates, reinforcing the Department’s commitment to meeting federal Section 508 compliance standards. This website is accessible only through an industry standard secure connection. While the site has been built to Section 508 standards, it has not yet been fully reviewed by the Department’s Section 508 compliance testing team to determine whether any remediation is required.

Passportstatus.state.gov: The Bureau of Consular Affairs completed a redesign of the U.S. Passport Application Status website (passportstatus.state.gov) on August 24, 2017. Passportstatus.state.gov is in compliance with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act for accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508), consistent appearance, non-duplicative purpose and functionality, secure connection, user-driven design, and mobile-optimized. This is a transactional website where the purpose is for applicants to check the status of their application and only their own data. As such, it is not practicable to provide a search box since there is no static content on the site for users to search. While the site has been built to Section 508 standards, it has not yet been fully reviewed by the Department’s Section 508 compliance testing team to determine whether any remediation is required.

Passportappointment.travel.state.gov: The Bureau of Consular Affairs launched the Online Passport Appointment System website (passportappointment.travel.state.gov) in September 2017. The website is in compliance with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act for accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508), consistent appearance, non-duplicative purpose and functionality, secure connection, user-driven design, and mobile-optimized. When a customer makes an appointment, the site only collects their email address and phone number, which is purged from the database once the appointment has taken place. This is a transactional website, and as such, it is not practicable to provide a search box since there is no static content on the site for users to search. While the site has been built to Section 508 standards, it has not yet been fully reviewed by the Department’s Section 508 compliance testing team to determine whether any remediation is required.

Other sites: The consular services websites for the Consular Electronic Application Center (ceac.state.gov), U.S. Passport Applications and Forms (pptform.state.gov), and the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (step.state.gov) meet some of the stated requirements under section 3(a) to be considered modernized; however, they are intended to be redesigned as a part of the Bureau of Consular Affair’s broader digital service modernization plan, at which time all stated requirements will be incorporated. Cost and time for these modernization activities are yet to be determined. These sites were built to Section 508 standards but have yet to be fully reviewed by the Department’s Section 508 compliance testing team to determine whether any remediation is required.

Public engagement website and digital services have been recently modernized or have modernization plans underway:

State.gov: The Department’s flagship website was recently modernized and launched for public use in May 2019 and complies with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act for accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508), consistent appearance, non-duplicative purpose and functionality, secure connection, user search function, user-driven design and mobile-optimized. As part of the state.gov modernization, the Department continues to review existing websites to determine which ones can be aligned with the new design, branding, and infrastructure, and adopt the same content management infrastructure.

Embassy websites: For the U.S. missions, embassies, and consulates, usembassy.gov and all associated websites in that domain were modernized and launched for use beginning in 2017. This includes the highly viewed website for the U.S. embassies and consulates in Mexico (mx.usembassy.gov) and China (china.usembassy-china.org.cn). They now operate on the modern WordPress content management system and comply with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act for accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508), consistent appearance, non-duplicative purpose and functionality, secure connection, user search function, user-driven design and mobile-optimized. All such sites will be further upgraded beginning in 2020 to align with the new state.gov redesign.

History.state.gov: This site for the Office of the Historian is one of the Department’s most highly trafficked public engagement sites. It was most recently modernized in April 2016 leveraging the General Services Administration’s U.S. Web Design System and is in compliance with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act for accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508) and consistent appearance.  The site’s mobile-friendly, responsive design and its scalable server architecture was crafted around the needs of users by employing data-driven site management and development decisions.  At the same time, the site adopted the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) standard, which guarantees secure-only connections for all users, a full year before this requirement went into effect.  In December 2017 the site launched new date-based search options for the Congressionally-mandated Foreign Relations of the United States series full text archive, demonstrating that the site has continued to modernize by offering enhanced search functions and new options for a customized digital experience.  In every other respect, too, the website complies with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act.

Careers.state.gov: This site serves as a gateway to information about working at the Department of State. It was moved to a modernized platform using WordPress in 2016 and complies with the requirements listed in Section 3(a) of the Act for Accessibility for individuals with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508), is consistent in appearance, and uses the same search and content subscription service functionality as state.gov. It is not duplicative of any other sites and uses the Foresee Customer Satisfaction Survey and usability testing to regularly improve the user experience.

The Department will report its progress on website modernization and consolidation efforts in the annual report to Congress. In the interim, requests for new public facing websites are reviewed and authorized if they are determined to be justified as appropriate and necessary to meet mission objectives.

 

U.S. Department of State

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