By Starrla Cray
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.