City of Arkansas City launches new websiteArkansas City residents may notice something a little different when they visit the City of Arkansas City’s official website starting April 13.
Sometime during the day, the City’s two domains, www.arkansascityks.gov and www.arkcity.org, will switch over to the City’s new state-of-the-art website, provided by Revize Software Systems.
The dynamic website will feature beautiful photographs that show off Arkansas City’s community character, according to Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson, plus many citizen-friendly features.
“When I was hired last summer, it was clear that a new website needed to be my No. 1 priority,” Lawson said. “The current website was obsolete, ugly and had information that was years old.”
The nine-month website process, which spanned from last August to this month, began with a request for qualifications.
Five companies were contacted and three responded, with Troy, Michigan-based Revize delivering both the lowest bid and the best evaluated fit for what the City needed.
“From the start, it was clear that Revize understood what we were looking for in a website,” Lawson said. “It had to be easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, informative and interactive for citizens.”
The ease of navigation is highlighted by the ability to access most parts of the site through multiple methods, including a “I Want To…” section that eventually will feature all of the things citizens need.
Not only is the site much more attractive than its predecessor, but it also features a Responsive Web Design that automatically scales the site to fit users’ browsers on computers, tablets and smartphones.
It also is much easier for City staff to maintain the site and upload new information, which will result in an ever-changing environment that will feature the latest news announcements and calendar events.
Finally, an emphasis on interactivity is evident throughout the site, from an email form for common complaints to a sortable staff directory, and eventually a request tracking system that will launch soon.
“We urge citizens to keep checking the site for new features through the next few weeks and months,” Lawson said. “We will be rolling out a variety of exciting new features in several phases.”
Additional features to improve citizen engagement, such as the complaint tracking system, will be highlighted in future releases on the site and through local media sources.
The website also is automatically integrated with the City’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, and YouTube recordings of City Commission meetings will be available along with agendas and minutes.
A translation tool in the top navigation bar will allow users to translate the site’s content into any language of their choosing.
“We wanted this site to be more accessible to residents for whom English is not their native or primary language,” Lawson explained.
Similarly, a text sizing tool in the same area will scale the site’s text content up or down as needed.
“We hope this tool will improve readability for some of our older or visually impaired residents who might have had trouble reading the smaller typefaces on the old website,” Lawson said.
A social media flyout bar is visible on the right side of each page, allowing visitors to share the page they currently are viewing on Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of other social media options.
Finally, an “E-Notify” link in the lower left corner of each page allows residents to subscribe for email updates any time that page is changed or updates are added.
The site also will feature a Frequently Asked Questions section, a document center, public bid postings, a photo gallery, emergency alerts, and a campaign section to highlight major events and news.
Online utility payments can continue to be made as before.
“We also hope to offer additional services with an online payment option in the future, as well,” said Lawson.
For questions or assistance in accessing or using the new City website, please contact Lawson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (620) 441-4415.