Staff overhauling town Internet site | SteamboatToday.com

Staff overhauling town Internet site

Nick Foster

— Hayden resident Steve Sirag created a Web site for the town of Hayden over the summer, but it lacked an element that Town Clerk Lisa Johnston and Assistant Clerk Susan Irvine thought was crucial for easy navigation: a search function.

The desire to have such a function, accompanied by the fact that Sirag moved out of state recently, led town officials to decide to build their own site using a design software package engineered specifically for government sites.

When researching other municipal Web sites, Irvine and Johnston’s favorite was that of Pagosa Springs, which had a search function. They found the city uses the government-focused template software called “GovOffice.”

Because the software is “very user friendly,” Irvine said she would be plugging information into the template and creating and maintaining the town Web site: http://www.townofhayden.org.

This will save the town money, as opposed to hiring a Front Range-based company to create the site.

The cost of the GovOffice software is $400 for the software and $30 per month for the hosting fee.

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If the town opts to include more e-mail accounts, it can do so by paying an extra $15 per month for up to five additional e-mail accounts.

Therefore, the annual cost with the five extra e-mail accounts would be $540, which Irvine said is a reasonable price.

Other customization options, such as adding photos, could cost from $75 to $150.

Irvine said the town hopes to have the Hayden site up and running by the end of 2003.

Irvine said a search function would be “a powerful element for our Web site.”

Not only does a search function greatly improve users’ ability to find specific information more quickly and easily, but studies show that a search function can increase the amount of time a user spends on a Web site.

— To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com