The Town of Middleburg isn’t just having a brand developed, it’s also getting a new website to go along with it.
The Town Council last week voted unanimously to contract with CivicPlus for $41,632 to develop a new town website and maintain it for the next four years. The new website will provide residents and staff with additional features, like a more visually appealing homepage with large images and buttons, and should be launched by May. According to Town Clerk Rhonda North, the town’s existing website has been in place for the past five years and was ready for an update. “We just felt it was time to go to the next level just to improve customer service,” she said.
The new website will feature more than 40 functions, including alerts, calendars and a dashboard for users to personalize with the information they want to see. Any town staff members with less of a knack for technology will also be able to easily update the website.
North said that the Police Department’s website, which is currently separate from the town’s, would also be incorporated into the new website
The town also will replace its Constant Contact email newsletter system with CivicPlus’ module, which will be free to the town for the first year and $1,425 annually after that if it decides to continue using it.
CivicPlus, which has more than 3,500 local government clients in the U.S. and Canada, will take up to 30 weeks to implement the website. In that time, it will set a schedule, prepare content, design and optimize the site and teach staff members how to use it before it’s launched.
The decision to move forward with CivicPlus comes after nearly two months of review. In early September, the town received responses from 33 firms interested in handling the project, with the most expensive proposal being $118,000.
After a review committee made up of North, Councilmen Philip Miller and Peter Leonard-Morgan, Town Administrator Martha Semmes, Business & Economic Development Director Jamie Gaucher and Town Council candidate Chris Bernard interviewed three firms, they unanimously agreed to recommend CivicPlus to the council.
“This took a month of reading a few [proposals] every night and really giving each one the same respect as the next one,” Leonard-Morgan said. “It was really a no-brainer at the end.”
The new website will go hand-in-hand with the town’s branding project, which it hired Native Collaboration in April to perform.
The Town of Lovettsville also redesigned its website earlier this year. The Town of Round Hill is looking to do the same in the coming months. The Loudoun County government website also is undergoing a makeover.