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City Council Approves Website Overhaul
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Looking to be more ‘user friendly’ and accessible as well as informational, members of the Riverbank City Council have adopted a resolution drawing from the city’s reserve fund to pay for an overhaul of the city’s website, www.riverbank.org.

The council, at a meeting earlier this month, heard a presentation from Human Resource Analyst Alvaro Zamora, who pointed out the current city website was created in 2007. He said since that time many changes have occurred in how websites operate, including browser specifications and the addition of Internet use by smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. He said the city’s current web design does not display well on those devices.

Having received three proposals, the council authorized the city manager to execute an agreement with CivicPlus for the development of a new website and intranet design, including hosting services. Will Spicer, representative from the company who made the presentation, said they host their websites on a server in Kansas City, Missouri but they have backup locations in several places around the country. He showed the council examples of websites they’ve created around the country and in Canada, including one in nearby Patterson as well as Brea, Dublin and San Jose. He said the company is at work on several sites in Australia as well.

The ultimate goal of the project is to meet a goal the council set at its March 2014 Strategic Planning Session to overhaul the city’s digital face that it presents to citizens. Ultimately, the council is expecting a website that is user/visitor friendly, including a modern design, well-organized layout for easy navigation and ease of accessibility to important city information and integration of the latest website technological advances, coupled with an easy to use content management system so city employees can keep website pages up to date.

Both the website committee and city department heads recommended CivicPlus as the preferred company to carry out the work.

The project is expected to require five phases:

Website Optimization: Needs assessment, with remedies suggested; Website Layout: Presentation and design feedback meeting; Website Reveal: Presentation of a functional website; Customized Staff Training; and finally, Go Live.

Estimated website launch will be in 16 to 24 months.

Project cost of $11,700 for this year was authorized from budget reserves, but will be included in equal amounts in yearly budgets in year two and three, with the fourth year coming in at $5,200. Each yearly payment includes Development Fees and Annual Maintenance and Hosting Services. The council had an option to pay for the design work in a lump sum of $25,000 with the yearly maintenance cost being $4,700.

 

The authorization passed on a 3-0 vote, with council members Leanne Jones-Cruz and Jeannine Tucker absent.