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Winsted website could cost $19,500 to $40,300
July 21,, 2017

By Starrla Cray
Associate Editor

WINSTED, MN – The Winsted City Council is considering redeveloping the city’s website, with plans to release a request for proposals (RFP) at the Tuesday, Aug. 1 council meeting.

No action has been taken yet, as the topic was discussed during Tuesday’s work session.

A few months ago, city staff reviewed the online presence of about 22 area communities, according to a July 18 memo from City Administrator Dan Tienter. Local governments were surveyed regarding their website evaluation/redevelopment process, and RFPs were reviewed from five cities and one county.

Based on his research, Tienter proposed a two-phased approach for the project:

• Phase one: Evaluate the current website; plan for the redevelopment.

• Phase two: Redevelop the website; test the results; train city staff.

The total cost is estimated between $19,500 and $40,300, depending upon the amount of content and other features.

Annual web hosting and maintenance costs are expected to range from $4,000 to $9,700.

In 2016, the city spent about $4,989 on web hosting and maintenance.

Tienter said he has a list of 12 to 15 companies that may be interested in submitting a proposal.

“There are two local vendors that have expressed interest,” Tienter said, adding that one of them is the city’s current vendor, Greater Minnesota Communications in Winsted.

A few of the city’s goals in website redevelopment are to:

• simplify the design and increase usability;

• allow for city staff to manage the site using their office computers (including placement of graphics, photos, text, and other content);

• allow for expansion as needed, such as agenda management, volunteer outreach, and web forms; and

• to develop an intuitive, mobile-friendly site.

The city would also like the website to have the ability to:

• archive documents such as city council agendas and minutes;

• be compatible with existing city software programs;

• have emergency notification capabilities;

• include a section allowing job seekers or volunteers to submit application material online;

• include an event section (such as a calendar) for information about city events and meetings;

• a comment submission section for residents and visitors to express comments or concerns;

• department-level webpages allowing each department to control and update content;

• site statistics and analysis; and

• video hosting to allow for playback and live streaming of meetings and events.

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