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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan City’s New Website

Aug 23, 2016 01:33PM ● By Briana Kelley

Pictured is the main page from South Jordan City’s new website. The website launched Aug. 22. – City of South Jordan

By Briana Kelley | [email protected]
South Jordan City launched a new website Aug. 22. The new website comes after more than a year of work and around $96,000, according to South Jordan City’s Public Information Officer Tina Brown.
“We’re proud of this new website, and we built it with the residents in mind all the way through,” Brown said. “It’s their tool, their service, and I hope they are pleased with the final result and the final product.”
Brown was tasked with the job of creating the new website and has been the driving force behind it since the process began in April 2015. Brown presented the new website to council members and the public at the Aug. 20 city council meeting.
New features to the website include easier navigation, better access to online forms, online submission, more videos, professional photography and a better and more functional search engine, according to Brown. There is now the option to add events to online calendars and a way to track site plans and business applications in real-time. The website is also optimized for smartphones and tablets, so residents can better access the site.
“We went from 13,000 web pages to 300. Tina Brown has done a magnificent job along with Chief Technology Director John Day and his staff,” City Manager Gary Whatcott said. “With as many pieces of info that we share with the public every day, it really is a lot of work. It’s just a phenomenal job that they’ve done and really a lot of work ... This is much simpler; the search engine actually works and people can find things. It will be a more useful tool to the public than it has been in the past.”
The website also has a new email contact opt-in. Brown hopes to generate an information database to contact residents on major events such as road closures, water issues and public disasters. 
Brown noted the possibility that search engines, such as Google and Bing, may show broken links to the city’s old website, but that will correct itself over time.
The idea for a new website was discussed years ago, even before Brown was hired. According to Brown, the former city council discussed an update, staff suggested it, and residents also asked for an updated and more navigable site.
“With technology and how fast it changes, things become outdated and clunky very quickly,” Brown said. Our former website was not compatible with other devices before. We started to get complaints from residents on finding things, and the old website needed to be updated. Nine years for a website is kind of a long time.”
When Brown was hired two years ago, she was tasked with creating a new website. The city put out a bid for the project early last year, and work began on the site in July 2015. There were essentially four phases to creation: research and development, site mapping, content collection and test site creation.
Brown spent a lot of time and energy in the research and development stage, talking to residents, taking resident surveys and studying the web analytics to get an idea what was most used and searched for on the old website.
“I wanted and was trying to get a feel for who South Jordan City is and what day-to-day life is like here and then create the design for it, Brown said.” Then I wanted to know where people went on the website—how residents navigate the site and what information they request. I built the map based on that.”
Brown and the information systems department will look at the website analytics in four months to see if anything needs to be tweaked. Brown also said that public feedback is welcome.