Westford’s website revamped

Westford’s new city website is set to go live on Nov. 14.

Westford’s online participation is removing an upgrade.

The town’s new website and blueprint is set to go live on Nov. 14, completing a routine that began a year ago, according to Westford Director of Technology Mike Wells.

“My knowledge of doing website changes is that they’re unequivocally emotive given people get trustworthy to a demeanour and feel, they get trustworthy to a mechanism,” Wells said. “It’s unequivocally many a partial of a town’s open picture these days.”

Westford went out to bid for a new city website progressing this year and awarded a agreement to Kansas-based CivicPlus.

“They’re specialists in municipality websites,” pronounced Wells. “One of a things we favourite about their charity is that it develops invariably and that we get new features.”

The new website will be entirely upheld by CivicPlus as partial of a $16,000 contract, that includes a site acclimatisation and a initial year of hosting on a servers. Hosting costs for a following years will be approximately $3-4,000 a year, according to Wells.

The need for a new site

One of a biggest changes for a town’s website will come with mobile viewing, such as with smartphones and tablets, according to Wells.

“We desperately indispensable a mobile-ready website,” Wells said. “The stream website does not work in a mobile sourroundings and there was no easy approach to get us there… we were going to have to do some vital work.”

Wells became Westford’stechnology executive in 2012 and mutated a town’s website after that year, though no poignant changes to character and blueprint have come since.

“It wasn’t being grown and clearly a end is to continue to pierce brazen with some-more features, some-more functionality, some-more capability, softened formation with amicable media… and a new height does that for us,” Wells said.

“We have updated a look, streamlined a navigation, combined additional documents, softened subscription services, and responded to what a use information has told us are a many frequently used functions,” Town Manager Jodi Ross said.

The new mobile-friendly site could boost trade to a town’s web page as well, combined Wells.

“Modern meditative is that roughly 50 percent of trade to websites comes from mobiles,” Wells said. “We now have 2 percent of a trade entrance from mobiles, that means possibly we have a city full of people who don’t use mobile phones… or that given a site is so unfriendly, they’re undone and don’t use it.”

Most people who revisit a town’s website are looking for elementary things like a recycling report and who to call if a streetlight out, according to Wells.

“We consider a residents are going to adore a new website,” Ross said. “Probably one of a many critical improvements is it is now mobile friendly, that fundamentally means it is easier to navigate regulating one’s dungeon phone.”

Things to be wakeful of

Although a town’s web residence will not change, residents might have to re-save some links in their Internet browsers after a transition, Wells said.

“Unfortunately there’s going to be a lot of links out there that are going to mangle given a structure… is totally opposite on a site,” pronounced Wells.

Additionally, any proprietor now subscribed to one of a town’s email lists for notifications on city play and dialect will have to allow again, combined Wells.

“We will be promulgation out an email blast out to those subscription lists on a day that we go live observant we need to go and re-subscribe to a things you’re meddlesome in,” Wells said.

Town officials also have full control over a ensign picture during a tip of a web page and inspire residents to send photos to be featured, combined Ross.

“Our new print ask is an sparkling approach for a residents to supplement their possess city photos to a front page of a website banner,” combined Ross.

Residents can send their photos to: itdepartment@westfordma.gov.

“I’m vehement about it, we consider it’s a unequivocally good platform,” Wells said. “I consider people might be irrational during initial given a navigation is opposite and it looks different, though we consider they’ll find it’s unequivocally functional, unequivocally easy to find what you’re looking for.”


Follow contributor Alexander Silva in Twitter @IndieEagleWL.