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Northern suburbs investing in new websites

October 29, 2015

City, town and county officials in the northern suburbs are investing tens of thousands of dollars to revamp their dated municipal websites.

The services and total costs vary based on the community and company used, but local officials say the upgrades will make searching for information easier for residents.

Zionsville is preparing to launch its website in November after about a year of searching for a development company and transferring information to the new site.

The town contracted with Manhattan, Kansas-based CivicPlus, which focuses primarily on government websites, for $22,000 for three years.

The current website was built by Fishers-based MediaSauce on a WordPress format and launched in 2011, but town officials have had issues with its user-friendliness and search functionality.

The city of Fishers used CivicPlus to redesign its website in 2013. Fishers paid $47,303 for the website development and an additional $20,656 over three years for ongoing site maintenance and support.

Hamilton County, which switched to its new website in the summer, also used CivicPlus. It cost the county $70,521 to create and an annual $8,000 support fee will be charged.

Chris Mertens, director of information technology for the county, said the cost included nine days of consulting, two days of designing and five days of onsite training. After four years, the county will receive another redesign.

Noblesville and Carmel are also undergoing redesigns, but using different companies.

Noblesville is sticking with Indianapolis-based eGov Strategies LLC, which created the city’s existing website, but no estimated release date has been determined. It will cost $5,000.

Carmel is also continuing to work with the company that designed its current site. The city will pay Santa Monica, California-based Vision Internet $23,770 for the upgrade and an annual fee of $7,800.

Carmel spokeswoman Nancy Heck said the new website will make it easier for residents to find information, and city employees will have more control over simple changes like adding photos to the home page.

Heck also mentioned that the business and economic development section of the website will specifically receive upgrades because it had “been lagging behind the rest of the site.”

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