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Ripon planning user friendlier city website
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Changes are in store for the City of Ripon’s website.

A re-design of the existing site – – would include easy-to-locate important news and calendar of events for the user.

“In order to address the fast changing landscape of the Internet and way the public looks for information, staff had been considering updating the City’s website in order to reach a broader audience,” said Deputy City Clerk Tricia Raymond in her recent report to the City Council.

Along with the goal to better inform and engage the public, she noted that the hope would also be for the improved website to “create certain efficiencies (on) how staff does day-to-day business.”

 Elected leaders paved the way to update the website, approving for Mayor Leo Zuber to ink a pact with Nixle Solutions Core Platform service to implement Nixle 360 and CivicLive agreement for both the re-design and management.

Cost would come out of the general fund.

O f that, $800 is earmarked to CivicLane, covering the annual maintenance fee for the website.

Nixle has an annual fee of $4,800, according to Information Systems technician Dan Brannon. “This price is reduced from the initial quote,” he added.

Zuber asked what Nixle could provide that’s different from the current model?

“(Nixle) will also allow for ad hoc groups to reach more residents, voice dialing, and it will continue to reach residents who are on or offline,” Brannon said.

The report also listed the following:

The website would be reorganized where the current information provided would be through drop down windows in order to reduce the number of pages per user.

Studies show 28 percent of all website traffic is now conducted using a mobile device such as Smart phones. As this percentage continues to grow, staff recommended integrating a responsive design application as part of the website update. This would also allow for the user to report certain problems to the City such as a non-operating street light, graffiti, sidewalk damage, potholes, and water waster, to name a few.

The Ripon Police Department also uses Nixle. With the re-design, the public could choose what information they’d like to receive, including upcoming registration info from park and recreation or alerts on upcoming events.

The public would also have the option to sign-up for a park and recreation events electronically.