A month after launching the city’s new website, Dunwoody officials realized it still had some kinks to work out.
Marketing and Public Relation Director Bob Mullen said the city has recognized some “initial hurdles” with its website. The designer, Jesse James Creative, is working on fixing problems with internal searches, event and calendar functionality, and page rendering on mobile devices and tablets, Mullen said.
“We will continue to scan the site daily to determine and pinpoint concerns, and employ advanced web governance software to manage and maintain the website to address attributes such as quality assurance, accessibility, web analytics and search engine optimization,” Mullen said.
The city’s new website is generating an increase in traffic to the city’s social media accounts, Mullen said.
But one resident criticized the city on Twitter for not using local businesses to build the website. Local website designer Jay Kapp said he knew about the contract and chose not to put in a bid. Kapp said he thinks that any time a website is redesigned, some people are going to like it and some people won’t.
“When you have a public website like that, everyone will have an opinion,” he said.
Kapp said pages move when a large website, with many pages of content, is redesigned.
“The new page name might be different than the old, so what we do is forward the old links to the new one,” Kapp said. “The Internet may have indexed old pages with content on it, so if somebody searches for something (using a search engine like Google), they may be taken to a dead page.”
Though Kapp said the search engines will eventually sort out which links are active and re-index the new pages of the website, a bigger issue lies in bookmarks or links from other websites.
As an example, Kapp said if Councilman John Heneghan linked to a page on the old city website, the link may not work and visitors to Heneghan’s blog won’t be able to follow the link to the new city website, though the content still exists.
Heneghan shared on his blog that he and the rest of Dunwoody City Council and staff want feedback. “I reviewed the RFI, specifically section 3, the scope of services, and asked a few questions on what was provided versus what was contracted for and I welcome you to do the same,” he wrote.
Kapp said he thinks it’s great that the city’s asking for feedback, and he is hopeful there is positive as well as negative feedback.
“If you compare to cities around us, Dunwoody does a great job with all the content it puts out,” Kapp said.