An updated, modernized version of the City of Riverbank web site has debuted, riverbank.org, marking the first time in nearly a decade that the site has been revised.
Back in November, 2014, the council approved an expenditure from reserves to pay a Kansas City, Missouri company, CivicPlus, for development of the new web site, intranet design and hosting services.
The design of the new site was approved to keep up with changes that have occurred in how web sites operate, including newer browser specifications and the addition of Internet use by smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. The old city web site did not display or operate well on those newer devices.
At a recent council meeting, Riverbank City Manager Jill Anderson indicated the new web site would be operational soon and it appeared, up and running, as of Wednesday, June 24.
Since November, the implementation of the web site was to have been developed in five stages: needs assessment, design feedback, design presentation, a functional web site, staff training, and then going live.
Officials noted that not all areas of the city’s new web site are not fully functional, with many areas remaining to be transferred from old to new.
As an example, still under construction is the Documents and Agendas area, where past agendas from council, planning commission and committee meetings are stored for those from the public who wish to review city business records from past months/years. This past week’s agenda was not available on the site, but there was a link to the city’s new YouTube channel, where the video recording of the June 23 meeting is available for view.
City staff says the new web site is a ‘work in progress,’ with it being updated continually.
CivicPlus provides web services for state and local governments large and small across the country, including the cities of Brea, Dublin, San Jose and Patterson, all in California.
Riverbank’s site is hosted on a server in Kansas City MO, but has backup locations scattered around the United States.
The web site update is intended to meet a goal the council set at its March 2014 Strategic Planning Workshop to overhaul the digital face the city presents to citizens. Last November, $11,000 was allocated for the project, coming from reserves, with the following two years’ expenditures for the update being included in upcoming budgets.
When completed, the council is expecting a web site that is user/visitor friendly, with the modern design, a well-organized layout for easy navigation and ease of accessibility to important city information and integration of the latest web technological advances, coupled with an easy to use content management system so city employees can keep web site pages up to date. It is also expected to include an improved online payment system for residents.
At the foot of most pages are links to the city’s new Facebook, YouTube and Instagram features.