Town website to be rebuilt
The town’s website, wiltonct.org, will be entirely rebuilt this summer, from top to bottom.
The current website was designed in 2007, when display screens were smaller and there was less bandwidth. The new, rebuilt website will be more in keeping with the features that are expected by today’s standards, said John Savarese, the town’s information technology director, who spoke to the Board of Selectmen about the work May 21 during a meeting at town hall.
At the meeting, the selectmen authorized First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice to sign a contract with Virtual Towns and Schools in the amount of $9,000 for the redesign and $3,000 a year for annual maintenance. The contract will only be signed after Town Counsel Ira Bloom approves it, said Sarah Gioffre, research assistant to the first selectwoman.
The new website will also be organized in a more instinctive way for the public to navigate, Gioffre said.
“The current website is largely organized by department and is very difficult for residents to navigate,” she said. “For example, they don’t know dog licenses are handled by the town clerk.”
A number of vendors were considered to perform the work. Virtual Towns and Schools was selected with the best price and greatest functionality in a user-friendly way, Gioffre said.
“They are the number one provider in the Northeast, a strong Connecticut presence,” she said. “They came highly recommended by Bloomfield and Simsbury.”
The new website will have expanded calendar features, more news, and keep up with trends like dog license month. There will be a document center with forms the public can fill out and submit.
“We’ll streamline processes like that,” Gioffre said.
The focus is away from the way town officials view town government and more the way the public views town services, for example.
“If someone has a problem they’re trying to solve, there is an information guideline and map to help you get to it,” she said. “The graphic design is in a structure that will help you.”
The website will also be more modern for mobile platforms, and there will be signups for direct email alerts for points of interest like Planning and Zoning agendas and minutes.
There will also be more protection against viruses.