The Municipal Website Venture
Clean Up the Closets of Your Website

If you're thinking of updating and reorganizing the content of your website consider reading Clean Up the Closets of Your Website by Stepahanie Lumis of ISL, a web marketing & development company in Halifax.

MWV Update

MWV Update

The Municipal Website venture has been active in building new websites and adding features to current member sites.

In the last while websites for Port Williams, CBRM, Victoria County and one for a new group representing an association for Municipal Advisors for the Atlantic provinces have been launched.

Berwick has been active in promoting social media. On the home page there is a listing of Berwick Twitter posts as well as a link to the first official municipal fan page on Facebook in Nova Scotia.

Video is a feature currently not often found on municipal websites. Considering the ease and relatively low cost of producing video and making it available on the web it's a surprise it's not more common. Last week the UNSM and Municipal Sustainability Office had a video, Active Participation made available on their websites. Yesterday Truro added 'Cyber Cop Introduction' to one of their pages.

Satisfaction Survey Results

Satisfaction Survey Results

A few months ago the AMA conducted a survey among the participants of the Municipal Website Venture to determine how satisfied they are, in general, with the services we provide.

The Municipal Website Venture's mandate is to improve the quality of municipal websites in Nova Scotia in a cost effective manner that allows non technical staff to easily manage and maintain their websites.

Les Coleman, the Municipal Website Coordinator, designed and developed the websites using Joomla, an open source content management system. In addition to redesigned websites our partners received Joomla training, technical support, consulting services, hosting, software upgrades, interface redesigns and photographic services.

Here is an abridged version of the results from 11 municipalities. For the following answers 1 represents the least satisfied and 5 being the most.

Overall Satisfaction: 4.5
Website Appearance: 4.5
Website Functionality: 4.2
Website Usability: 4.0

Aware of Web Development Process: 4.3
Website Development: 4.5
Training: 4.1
Support & Advice: 4.2

Performing Tasks in Joomla
Changing Content: 4.3
Adding Content: 4.3
Uploading Documents: 4.3
Uploading Pictures: 3.7
Adding Links: 3.9

Meeting Mandate: yes: 9,  somewhat: 2
Recommend Municipal Website Venture: yes: 11

From anecdotal responses and statistical data we have had a good impression about the direction the program has been going. Adding the survey responses into the mix confirms that we are meeting our objectives while providing a good value proposition for our partners. The results clearly highlight our strengths, as well as areas that need improvement. The Municipal Website Venture has adopted a continuous improvement philosophy; therefore, knowing what we have to do to make the program better is just as important as knowing what we are doing right.

Launched Springhill and St. Mary's Websites

Launched Springhill and St. Mary's Websites

We have recently launched new websites for the Town of Springhill and Municipality of the District of St. Mary's.

Both websites display an enhanced look and feel that is more intuitive to use and faster to navigate. New features include search on all pages, quick access to a site map and contact information, additional breadcrumb navigation, photo galleries and alternative page layouts amongst other features.

With Joomla , one of the leading open source Content Management Systems,  municipal staff can easily manage and maintain their websites without having to rely an IT person.

Becoming a Website Administrator

Depending on your comfort level with computers and technology in general learning and working with something like Joomla can be challenge. But as long as you have an interest and an open mind it's amazing what can be achieved. The following provides an interesting perspective about a self described "technically challenged" Administrative Coordinator learning and working with Joomla.

Joomla Workshop

Joomla Workshop

The first Joomla workshop was conducted Friday September 26. Attendees came from Hantsport, Port Hawkesbury, Argyle, Colchester, Wolfville, Lunenburg, HRM, SNSMR and AMA. The workshop facilitated a deeper understanding of the mechanics of Joomla and extended the scope of material covered in training sessions.

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