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Launched: City website redesign with time-saving features

Posted Friday, December 9, 2022
— Municipalities, Website Launch

We are pleased to announce that we have launched a completely redesigned website for the City of Essex Junction, Vermont. Ecopixel has served Essex Junction since 2013. This project also included a redesign of the Essex Junction Recreation Department website. Essex Junction, formerly a village within a town, is Vermont’s newest city and the vibrant home of a tech hub, the county fairgrounds, and about 11,000 residents.

Visually, the redesign delivered a fresh and vibrant look. The redesign was not just about aesthetics, however. The two new sites have several feature/functionality upgrades:

Multiple sites on the same platform

Both the municipal and recreation websites reside in the same content management system, TYPO3 CMS. A single editor can easily access both sites with one login. This capability is very useful for a municipality that has multiple websites because staff can easily be cross-trained to update all of the sites in much less time. Development costs are also reduced compared to creating two standalone websites. We recently launched a similar multi-site setup for the Town of Richmond, Vermont and the Richmond Free Library.

A focus on ADA compliance

Another goal of the redesign was to improve web accessibility. On the new city and rec department sites, the fonts are now larger and have higher contrast. The previous rec department site had dozens of graphics that were not accessible. These graphics have been converted to text and images so that they can be recognized and read by screen readers. Every page was checked with the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool before launch (you can use this free tool to check your own website).

Improved email notification system

  • the City uses this to send out agendas, minutes, and general news
  • the municipal staff member chooses when to send the update and can customize the message
  • multiple notifications can be condensed into one email send by scheduling them for the same time
  • integrates directly with Mailchimp for reliable email delivery

New meeting scheduling and archiving features

  • brings together the meeting calendar and documents so that everything for a meeting can be edited and viewed in one place
  • document management is streamlined with drag-and-drop uploading of agendas, minutes, and related documents
  • share external links and embed the meeting video from Vimeo or YouTube
  • past meetings can be browsed and searched by date and topic

Improved calendar/event system

  • displays upcoming events conveniently on homepage
  • multiple calendar categories so website users can filter events for community, recreation or other events

Revamped site navigation

  • Evaluated and improved the content structure to make the sites easier to navigate
  • Removed unneeded sub-navigation and redundant navigation elements
  • Used buttons instead of text links to emphasize important links

This municipal website project was able to provide many improvements to the city’s main and recreation department websites. It went beyond the new look and feel to new features, improved taxonomy, and a consolidation of the sites into one system.

If you manage multiple municipal department sites, Ecopixel can provide you with cost savings, shared branding opportunities, and full control of all your sites in one system. Contact us today and learn how we can help you with your municipal website redesign.