City of Gahanna, Ohio

11/2/2011

Overview

The City of Gahanna, Ohio launched a new website that has dramatically improved their online presence and serves as the “Go To” resource for community information.

Challenges

Amid a tightening resource budget for people, money and time, staff from every department in the city needed to be able to easily and quickly update the information on the public web site without having to delegate the task to their Information Technology department. Specific items included:

  • The city needed an efficient method to communicate timely messages to the media and the community at large while integrating with social media.
  • A “Virtual City Hall” was desired with a database-driven help system and integrated issue reporting and tracking.
  • Extensive local events needed to be managed, published and online registrations needed to be collected.
  • Upgradability and custom database modules were needed by departments like Police and Parks.

Solution

The City of Gahanna selected AFS Web from a field of 45 local and national web design firms competing for the business. With a web site built on the ZOOM CMS® content management system platform, the city has the tools needed to keep the content of the web site up-to-date where even non-technical content editors have ownership of the information presented to the public.

  • The Microsoft .NET platform provided a platform for publishing and user control so that certain departments have access to edit certain pages (with their edits reviewed for approval) and all modules share an easy to understand interface.
  • A calendar of events module enables the community to see and register for community events with custom category display and multiple data view options.
  • Using the News Module, content editors in the city are able to publish topical information online and automatically through Social Media outlets like FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn . RSS feeds enable the various media outlets and connected citizens to subscribe to this automatically delivered information.
  • The FAQ Module creates the Virtual City Hall with searchable categories of questions and answers as well as quick messaging to just the right person to answer the citizen’s question. Citizen requests are tracked and exportable for analysis.

Results

Qualified city employees from every department are now able to quickly and easily add or hide (automatically by date, if desired) topical news articles about city events, update existing information including eye-catching graphics they can edit online and broadcast RSS feeds to the media, connected citizens and social networking sites.

  • Staff can also add, copy or remove pages and menu items as needed without the need for technical assistance.
  • The parks department is able to collect pool subscription fees online. The water department can collect payments and the Streets department is able to collect information about pot holes and other road hazards and then quickly dispatch crews to make repairs.
  • The new site is better organized and easier for the public to find the information they seek about city services. The Site Search feature creates a report for administrators showing exactly what is generating the most interest, thus enabling the city to move links to highly topical information to the front page.
  • The new web site with its dynamic and automatic distribution of information throughout the site eliminated duplication of content but still allowed the data to appear everywhere it made sense. The resulting web site was reduced to an easily managed 150 pages but increased daily page views from 9,000 to 14,000.

Community response as published on their FaceBook page included these comments: “Wow!! Great website. It’s a pleasure! A much more friendly looking and easier to navigate website. Looks Great!!”


Case Studies

  • City of Gahanna, Ohio

    11/2/2011

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