City launches new website
The City of Airdrie launched a new website at about 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 28. The site, which was created by Airdrie employees, took 18 months to plan and create and offers a service-oriented navigational format, according to Linda Phelan, manager of communications for the City.
“We are proud of the way it looks and the way it acts,” said Phelan. “We placed emphasis on the needs of our customers.”
According to Phelan, the launch took months of researching, followed by in-house coding and development. It was all done at the behest of council’s eGovernment Strategic Plan in partnership between the city’s corporate communications and IT departments.
Council gave the project a budget of $89,000 and Phelan said 61 per cent of that has been spent to date.
“That is very inexpensive in the world of development,” she said, adding that the City saved at least 50 per cent by creating the website in house.
Airdrie’s website, which is powered by Google, now offers an “I want to…” navigation bar, with separate pages for those wanting to register, report, subscribe, book, apply, view or pay for services the City offers.
An “I am…” navigation bar directs, businesses, residents and visitors to pages filled with suitable information.
The home page has news updates and links to a community event calendar, which residents and groups can submit events to.
The home page now features a photo contest for residents interested in having their pictures displayed on the City’s website.
Many of the pages on the site also include a “send a message” tab, which was tested on launch day when Airdrie’s switchboard “went down,” said Phelan.
According to Phelan, more than 30 people used the new feature when the call centre was down for about an hour. Phelan said the next phase will include more online payment options and will be completed in 18 months to two years.
“I think it is really important for a city of our size to have a platform that allows us to engage residents 24-7,” said Phelan.
Phelan said so far the response to the new website has been positive. To see the new website, visit www.airdrie.ca