From now on, those seeking advice on issues ranging from money and tax issues such as VAT rates and council tax bands, to crime, citizenship or setting up and running a limited company will be redirected to gov.uk.
The government's objective is to provide "simpler, clearer and faster" access to government services, in contrast to the DirectGov website, which laboured on with the same design for the past eight years.
Gov.uk appears to have fulfilled this brief on the design side, with information displayed clearly and concisely, if somewhat sparsely, in columns of headline links with short explanations. You can almost smell the fresh paint.
But AccountingWEB members raised concerns about some of the website's content.
"Just had a quick look around the tax and company sections and found a handful of howlers straight away. This is dangerous, they've simplified it far too much and those writing the web pages clearly haven't enough knowledge or experience," said Ken Howard.
Paul Scholes was more understanding: "'Tis the way of the IT world, I fear. It doesn't matter whether it's private or public sector, most new websites need some settling in. I found a broken link within 30 seconds. Still, I welcome the combination into one portal".
Members of our sister website UK Business Forums voiced similar concerns in a thread started by Cheapaccounting's Elaine Clark. She addressing issues catalogued errors in a blog post and it didn't take long for other UKBF members to jump on board with their experiences.
The no-frills site is part of an overhaul carried out by the Government Digital Service (GDS), a new team within the Cabinet Office. The GDS deputy editor for digital engagement Emer Coleman responded on UKBF that her team had already amended one factual error that was reported.
"We have also looked again at the working of the other examples that you point out. In some cases we have suggested amendments which are now being reviewed by the relevant experts in HMRC and Companies House," she added.
Coleman said the reason for combining DirectGov and Business Link into one website was the cost, as previously reported by our sister site BusinessZone.
"The cost of maintaining the existing contracts for Directgov and Business Link would have been £36m. This does not include the costs of individual departmental websites estimated at a further £50m to £70m a year. It's impossible to support that level of costs in times of austerity," she said.
Gov.uk reportedly cost the government £18.7m to set up.
GDS product manager Sarah Prag supported these comments with a blog describing the process content goes through before it's published on the website.
Executive director of government digital services Mike Bracken told The Guardian said the website still requires "much polish", especially as far as social media integration is concerned.
Further changes enhancements will include the migration of other departmental sites in 2013, according to Bracken.
If you encounter an error on the website. there is a 'feedback' button, which you can use to report the issue and get it resolved.
Gov.uk produced a video tour of the new site, available below: