Download the complete service offering docx format of mass_gov_hosting_services_definition.doc

1. Description of Service

Mass.Gov is responsible for providing a secure, high availability web hosting and web publishing platform, training and documentation of best practices and guidelines.  We are responsible for keeping all products up to date and ensuring they comply with all relevant enterprise standards and policies.

Mass.Gov provides website hosting for three types of public facing sites:

"Portalized" sites

These sites make full use of the Mass.Gov content publishing toolset and Mass.Gov branded templates, and have a user-focused Mass.Gov information architecture.  Sites are built and maintained using the Percussion CM System CMS.  Content is separate from presentation.  Presentation (display) is fully controlled via the portal templates, cascading style sheets, and JavaScript, which provide not just consistency, but "built in" accessibility for navigation and display.

  • Percussion Content Management System for content authoring.
  • Citizen Alerts.
  • Portal User Group, Lead Site Administrator Group,  and Portal Advisory Board.
  • Link checking, spell checking and limited accessibility checking from SiteImprove.
  • Periodic content archiving from
  • Web form processing.

Conventional HTML Websites

These sites are conventionally coded in HTML.  Content may or may not be separate from presentation.  Site administrators are responsible for ensuring that presentation code and content comply with Commonwealth Web Accessibility Standards.  An FTP / WebDAV connection is used to store web files and publish to production.  Content development/maintenance may take place on separate agency-owned servers.


Mass.Gov provides and hosts standardized blogs for customers of our website hosting service.  These blogs are based on WordPress and leverage a consistent layout and design.  Blog provisioning is based on the approval of a blog governance and publication plan.  Blogs should be requested by Lead Site Administrators or by a site’s Portal Advisory Board representative. 


Services Not Included

  1. Hosting of applications
  2. Support for content or transactions requiring authentication

Customers interested in adding stock photos to their website should review recommended options from Mass.Gov team on wiki.

Support services include:



2. Service Targets and Metrics


Note: An expected minute of unavailability refers to planned as well as unplanned unavailability.

Service Requirement


Content Delivery

This allows public access to including search functionality.

Service availability hours are 24x7 excluding planned maintenance and unplanned outages which occur during non-business hours.  Customers will be notified of planned maintenance via email lists.

Content Authoring

This is the ability of content authors to make changes to their content.

Service is available 24x7 excluding planned maintenance and unplanned outages which occur during non-business hours.  Customers will be notified of these changes via email lists.

Incident Management*

MassIT Service Management Office has standard processes to managing incidents, requests and changes.

Outages or urgent issues should be reported by phone to receive the quickest response 1-866-888-2808.
Mass.Gov Environment: Maintenance is performed periodically and is scheduled using the MassIT change management process.  During maintenance, services are generally not impacted.  Any planned maintenance that impacts service will be described on our support page on the Wiki.  
Daily BackupsBackups are performed daily and require no downtime.






Not available at this time  




Not available at this time  


3. Service Reporting

The following reporting information is provided to customers as part of this service:



Reporting Interval

Disk Storage ReportThis report shows file storage in each directory.  This is used as one factor to determine chargeback.  An ancillary report for portalized sites only shows the largest document content items per site.Published monthly on MassIT website under statistics.
Web Usage Metrics

This report shows traffic to a site including requests and bandwidth.  Bandwidth in this report is used as one factor to determine chargeback.

See: Statistics for Public Sites

Given the limitations of current web usage metrics, we are encouraging all sites to make use of Google Analytics and we may limit generation of web usage metrics based on log data to include only details related to chargeback billing.  The Portal Advisory Board will be consulted prior to any decision on major changes to these reports.

Published monthly on MassIT website under statistics.

4. Service Requests

COMiT Service Requests *


Lead Time-Business Days

Request New Content Management LoginThis is a request for a new content author login using tools used to publish content to the website.4 Days
Technical SupportThis is a request for technical support for a Mass.Gov hosted website, application or service.Lead time depends on specific request

*For new service requests only. To manage existing requests, please log into COMiT.

5. Customer Responsibilities

Customers are responsible for posting their own content and for the accuracy, completeness, quality and accessibility of their content.  Customers will, on occasion, be asked to participate in requirements development and/or testing of portal enhancements (portalized customers only).

For your convenience, you may also view a detailed list of customer responsibilities docx format of mass_gov_hosting_services_definition.doc


6. Chargeback Rate Information

For more information on Chargeback, including an overview of the program as well as current and previous fiscal year rates, please visit our Chargeback Services webpage.



Updated September 03, 2015
Reviewed August 16, 2016
Published August 14, 2009
Created April 16, 2009: Information provided by the Mass.Gov Team