WILLIAMSON — The Town of Williamson will soon have a new website.
Williamson City Council recently approved a contract with local company RunyonTech to create a new website for the municipality.
Blake Runyon, owner of RunyonTech, had met with Mayor Charlie Hatfield to discuss details before presenting a contract proposal to council. Runyon worked with the town of Chapmanville in neighboring Logan County, for which he still provides web services.
Hatfield said he spent a lot of time looking at different options and companies now that the city was in a position to invest in a new website, but he also wanted to make sure the city got the best deal.
“The city’s website is terrible,” Hatfield said. “Running a website is not cheap and in recent years we didn’t have a lot of money to do a lot of things. The website was not high on this priority.
Hatfield said that in this search RunyonTech was recommended to him.
“This young man comes highly recommended,” Hatfield said. “He offers a lot of things.
Runyon, a Chapmanville resident, said his company specializes in a variety of fields.
“I was asked to take a look at the website, and I did,” Runyon said. “I noticed some things that need to be updated. This is a very dated website.
Runyon said he sees value in how entities present themselves online, and that’s why he thinks the work he does matters to his clients.
“You can look at the stats yourself, but it shows that even if a person lives in an area, they will judge an area based on their online presence,” Runyon said.
Runyon’s city package includes a custom design that’s optimized for mobile devices and ADA compliant. He also works with search engine optimization to try and help his clients rank higher in searches. He said that work has paid off for Chapmanville.
Runyon also offers several online event calendars, as well as a blog for the city to share all the news about businesses and events.
The website will also offer a business license and other documents. Hatfield said the offer alone would be huge for the city because someone could complete the process of starting a business in the city on their own schedule.
Hatfield also commented on the security features provided by RunyonTech. Runyon said it pays a third-party cybersecurity company to ensure information provided to its customers remains secure.
Runyon also provides a hosting service for county email addresses. As a third party, Runyon also said his company would have the ability to hand over access to email addresses for each ward and the mayoral position after elections or any other circumstance where an office might change hands. He said this ensures there is no disruption to voters.
The board approved the contract, with the first year set to cost $2,000 and the annual fee dropping to $1,200 thereafter. The city also has the option to cancel the service at any time and only pay for the months the services have been used.
The new design is expected to take six to eight weeks, with an expected completion date of October 10.
HD Media reporter Nancy Peyton primarily covers Mingo County news.