Town website update to make it mobile-friendly
Updated 5:17 pm, Friday, September 23, 2016
WESTPORT — The town’s website is getting a facelift.
Through a unanimous vote, the Board of Selectmen approved a $38,939 service agreement with the software company Granicus to revamp Westport’s online presence with an emphasis on making the site more accessible to smartphones, tablets and similar platforms. Town employees and departments will be able to post updates remotely on any device, thus enabling the website to be as up-to-date as possible.
“People expect to be able to use their smartphones for just about everything,” said Carrie Makover, the town website project manager. “Our current website is not responsive because the technology to make it so was not existing when we last did the website.”
Makover said the website renovation will take around nine months to complete.
First Selectman Jim Marpe noted that the steering committee for the update, which was established in April, included input from department heads including Town Clerk Patricia Strauss and Parks and Recreation Director Jen Fava, both of whom helped guide the town’s decision.
One aspect of Granicus’ presentation that appealed to Fava was the interactive map of the town’s parks and recreation facilities that provides users the ability to click on each site and learn what events are going on and what times they are open.
“It’s become a much more user-friendly process,” Makover said.
There will also be a “311 component,” where residents can report issues in town such as potholes or anything else of concern, according to Makover. That feature will be available on the desktop version to start.
When Selectman Avi Kaner asked about the social media capabilities of the new website, Makover said they are looking to “push directly to Facebook from our news releases or whatever else we want to post up there.”