“The fact that we had a website that lasted eight years is phenomenal. It’s high time to upgrade platforms and move forward. … Increased engagement and increased communication with our citizens is badly needed.
CANMORE – A new, more user-friendly and mobile-friendly website may soon be available for the Town of Canmore.
The Board approved a change in the scope of the project to help resolve persistent problems with the website, while improving it for mobile users and the growing use of electronic services such as license plate submissions for the paid parking program.
“This will play a really key role in giving confidence to all stakeholders to participate, adopt and improve our service offering through e-services,” said Robyn Dinnadge, Director of Communications for the City.
A capital project had already been approved in 2018 by the previous council, but during the website improvement study, it was found that new functions were limited in the addition. Funding was approved at $150,000 and preliminary research was done in 2020 for just over $10,000.
Dinnadge pointed out that the website has been on the same platform since 2014 and is regularly updated.
However, the platform has “significant challenges” with new e-services and a change in project scope was necessary for the direction of approved funding.
It would also provide a better experience for mobile users, who account for around 56% of visits to its website, up from 20% in 2013. The number of unique visitors also jumped to 426,000 from 288,000 in 2013. .
“The website platform has not been able to keep pace with current technology trends due to support limitations and customization of existing programming,” the report states. “This increases the overall risk in the event of a platform failure or failure.”
The report also noted that the 2021 Citizens’ Perspective Survey had the city’s website as one of the top four methods of obtaining information, with social media, email and newspaper the three. others.
He added that anecdotal comments had problems with the search function and an increase in getting information online.
The change would help provide more accurate search functions, allow people to receive notifications and alerts, and the ability to access more online services.
“I think in the future the community expects our website to become easier to use and become more of a portal with fewer logins, fewer passwords and one point of access to different services. that we currently have and are putting online,” Coun said. said Jeff Mah.
“This will only enhance the viability and attention the site receives, which will improve our communication and engagement efforts.”
According to the proposed schedule, Information Technology and Communications would meet with each department to learn about website requirements and begin soliciting public input in September and October. Software systems would be researched and testing completed between November 2022 and January 2023.
A new website would be launched between February and April 2023 and new pages would be built or transferred.
“It will be months of work to ensure that a new website platform performs at least as well as ours, and the goal is to ensure that the new platform has the ability to be improved for years to come,” according to the report.
The report said that around $10,000 was needed each year for software licenses and around $2,000 for website hosting fees each year. A business number will not be known until a platform has been selected.
Com. Wade Graham, who has a background in systems administration and a degree in computer science, noted the rarity of having a website platform that lasts as long as Canmore’s.
“The fact that we had a website that lasted eight years is phenomenal,” he said. “It is high time to upgrade the platforms and move forward. … Increased engagement and increased communication with our citizens is badly needed.