For those thinking there’s something different about the city of Morganton’s websites lately, they aren’t wrong.
After more than eight months of work, the city recently launched six new websites. The new city websites have a completely overhauled design. They’re more user-friendly, the navigation is more intuitive and they’re packed with updated features.
The city worked with Municode, which has more than 75 years of experience working with local governments, to build the new websites. The new sites are packed with ADA-compliant features, can be translated into different languages, offer the ability for users to submit forms and applications online, and provide users quick access to what they need with more intuitive navigation.
The new websites are also budget-friendly, — the city paid for the new sites using CARES Act dollars. It became clear during the COVID-19 outbreak that the city’s web presence was not ready to handle moving business online, and updating and improving its online presence became more critical than ever. Using CARES Act money to pay for the development of the new websites ensured that the city was being fiscally responsible about the process, too.
The websites are the result of collaboration between more than 50 city employees spanning every city department. The level of collaboration ensured the new websites had unique perspectives shaping them during the design and build process, and made them ready for any user who may encounter them.
The process began in January, as teams were made for the creation of each new website design. The design teams spent several months brainstorming, dreaming up and refining the designs of the new city websites. The design teams contained members from both inside and outside of the department whose website was being built.
The goal in this was to have as many perspectives as possible, including from people who would not normally utilize the website whose design on which they were working. This offered unique insights into how the websites should be built and how they should be navigated.
After the design teams created the new designs, the teams were shuffled around and content teams were created, which also contained members spanning various city departments. The teams were responsible for hammering down the finer points of how the websites should be navigated; what the menus, headers and footers should contain; which pages key links on the home pages should jump to, and more.
Following this, content was migrated from the old websites to the new websites, and content on the new sites was updated to be as current as possible to arrive at the final product.
The new websites will have the same domains users are already used to visiting: morgantonnc.gov, commaonline.org, downtownmorganton.com, morgantoncommunityhouse.com, compasxstream.com and morgantonparksandrec.com.
“I am immensely grateful for my coworkers who served on the teams that created these new websites for the city. What you see is a direct result of their hard work, vision and dedication to this project,” said Ethan Smith, the city’s public information officer who led the design and content teams and oversaw the process of building the websites.
“I am confident these new websites will stand the test of time and provide a better user-experience for our citizens. I cannot thank my coworkers enough for everything they have done this year to bring this vision into reality, and the effort they put in to get six brand-new websites off the ground all at the same time. We are immensely grateful to Municode and their team as well, who made the process of creating our new websites very smooth.”