The City of Chesterfield has updated their online look with a "re-skin" of its website aimed at making it more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
The new look is not a major overhaul or re-design, since much of the content on the site is stored in a database that is separate from the front-end appearance, said Chesterfield Information Technology Manager Matt Haug. The update was done in coordination with Captiva Marketing, who originally partnered with the city for a new site in 2008.
"It had been three years and we felt that it was time to refresh the site," Haug said.
This modular approach also helps the city avoid "huge capital outlays" each time they want to change the site, Haug said. The cost for the new look was rolled into a bill that included a variety of yearly web services and maintenance that totaled about $10,000.
"Our main goal was to try and provide whoever is on the site easier access to content," Haug said. "We are trying to get past that 'what department is responsible for what' and just get to the information."
In this vein, the buttons along the top bar of the site have been tweaked and a "popular items" section added. The links there were selected based on an analysis of what visitors to the site were click on the most.
Another new feature is an "Explore" tab added to the left side of the page. Chesterfield Economic Development Director Libbey Malberg-Tucker said it reflects on effort to orient the site more toward tourism.
"We are starting to make larger efforts at tourism in the area because that's what the outlet malls are going to bring to us," she said, explaining that shoppers will be asking "what else is here, what else can we do?".
A fresh, engaging website also helps the city create a positive impression on businesses considering locating to the area.
"That is where people find you," Malberg-Tucker said. "They are going to go to your website and narrow it down form there first."
Frequent visitors to the Chesterfield site may also have noticed a change of color scheme from shades of green to a browner palette. Haug said the new update will allow the city to change the appearance with the seasons and residents can expect to see winter take over around Dec. 21.