The county’s new web site is extra user-friendly | Native information
Park County has unveiled a new website that the county’s staff hope will give a facelift to the way they present their services.
“The old website worked, it just stayed behind,” said Michael Conners, Park County’s chief information officer.
The new site doesn’t offer many new services, but it is supposed to have a more user-friendly layout that also allows employees in each department to make updates at their own discretion.
“It gives each department the ability to create their own pages,” said Conners. “Not everyone wants. A couple really wanted to work in the blink of an eye, such as
The previous website did not allow such flexibility and required extensive coordination between the requesting party and the county IT staff. Conners said the new location will require significantly less daily maintenance, which will save the county money in the long run.
He said that in some cases, making changes to the site can be as simple as creating a Microsoft Word document with easy-to-use features like drawable text boxes instead of cumbersome coding requirements.
One of the most notable additions to the public is a question submission form that allows users to choose whether to send their message to one of the county’s departments or to ask a general question useful to people who may not know which department to go to for their needs.
With a turquoise-colored template, the homepage greets visitors with a slide show of landscape photos that were taken in the area and that occupy more than half of the screen at any point in time. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section on the home page.
The home page now includes a link to the district officers’ live broadcasts, an area of the website that was previously difficult to find. There is also an online service area of the website that links to map portals and self-service areas through various departments.
Despite admitting that her department is relatively low maintenance when it comes to web requirements, Treasurer Barb Poley gave the website a positive rating.
“I like all of the pictures,” she said.
Park County Planning and Zoning Director Joy Hill refused to comment when asked about the location.
“You had a big leap,” said Conners of the planning and zoning department’s transition to the new location.
Conners said the website had been in the works for a few months but the staff decided to speed up the release as the former website had multiple crashes and update issues due to their GoDaddy web hosting servers.
“It got to the point where the old website was more down than up,” he said. “It was down for most of the day for a couple of weeks.”
The new site is now operated through Bluehost servers.
It has no connection to social media as it could impact “productivity and viral potential,” Conners said, although public works and the sheriff’s office operate individual Facebook pages from their personal gear.
Even a few weeks after it was released, the website still has a number of quirks and fixes. When searching for individual departments on Google, there are still a lot of broken links. Certain departments listed the wrong phone number, IT doesn’t have a section on site, and the home page still doesn’t show an address for the district court.
Even when accessing the new website on a mobile device, there are some shortcomings that require long scrolling to get to the bottom of the home page and each departmental page.
Conners said he was actively taking suggestions about the ongoing project.
“Most of it is good, but it’s a lot of tweaking to find out what’s wrong,” said Conners. “Something is always wrong.”
He is also proud to say that the new website is more than 96% in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, with integrated services for the visually impaired.
“When there’s a picture of something, the coding is built in to tell what it is,” Conners said.
The county had considered commissioning the website design around 2019, but commissioners eventually decided the $ 20,000 project wasn’t necessary.
Instead, the IT staff lumped the project with their existing work and made the work essentially free for the county.
“It was pretty low in cost compared to the hundreds, if not tens of thousands, that it would have cost us to outsource,” Conners said.