The website revision project made great progress during the month of February and early March and will be launched soon. Town Manager Erica Robertson and her team have been working with CivicPlus, a website development business that specializes in building city and county e-government communication systems. In addition to working with the CivicPlus developers and designers, the team solicited feedback from the town staff and the general public. Many of the updates and revisions are in response to the suggestions sent in by interested residents. Robertson notes that “the new technology is a vast improvement…and the site will be very user-friendly.”
You will notice aesthetic changes in the layout, colors and photos on the homepage, but the more important changes are those that make the site easier to use. For example, some of the most used areas of the website are those posting the agendas and minutes of the various town boards and commissions. In the previous iteration, these were located on separate pages, according to the board or commission. Now they are all located together in the module called the Agenda Center.
Another new module is the Archive Center, which stores recurring dated documents such as budgets and newsletters—items that people might want to locate by year. These will be listed by date, with the most recent at the top.
A third new module is the Form Center, where custom forms can be created for users to complete and submit online. The forms can be printed as well. This center will be a big help to residents and provide greater efficiency for the town departments.
Many residents will be pleased that instead of separate calendars for the library, senior center and board and commission meetings, all have been consolidated in one place. There is also a department header page for the library. This page is a stand-alone site where the library staff will be able to manage its own content.
CivicPlus made several updates to the Emergency Alerts system currently in use. The new features include several different ways to display an alert. Information can be easily updated at any time.
The Staff Directory lists the title, email address, phone number, photo and biography of each staff member. This makes it much easier to contact employees.
RFPs (requests for proposals), RFQs (requests for quotes) and bids are currently listed under a tab on the homepage, but will now be handled more precisely as they can be sorted by title, category or closing date. Likewise, job opportunities in the town were listed under a homepage tab, but are now better organized, and the application and review process have been streamlined.
There are other changes to the website, but these give you an idea of how much improvement has been made. Yet another feature, My Dashboard, allows website users to personalize the site to stay updated on news, manage subscriptions, save forms to be completed at a later time, track requests, and more, through “drag-and-drop” functions.