Citing a need for a new company to maintain websites for the City of Glen Rose, City Council unanimously approved an agreement with CivicPlus to maintain websites for City Hall, the Convention & Visitors Bureau and Oakdale Park at the Monday, Nov. 10 meeting.
CivicPlus, according to company representative Ashley Clarke, is a 12-year-old company that handles websites for over 2,000 municipalities and counties throughout the United States.
Ray Moody, code enforcement officer for the City of Glen Rose, stated a desire for the city to shift from Web Clarity to CivicPlus.
“Needless to say, the web company that handles our websites for all three entities in the city – the CVB, Oakdale Park and City Hall – have pretty much fallen flat on their face as far as keeping up with the websites,” Moody said in his presentation to council.
According to Moody, the city website has been online and offline at various times and the CVB and Oakdale Park websites are offline. During the recent Gospel festival at Oakdale Park, all three city-paid websites were hacked and linked to adult-oriented content, leading to “corrupted and unstable” files.
“The problem is the CVB and Oakdale Park is they use these websites to make hotel reservations, and pass on a lot of information for tourism and it is costing us a lot of money to lose the websites,” Moody said. “Not too many people pick up the phone and wait on hold to get their questions answered anymore.”
Moody also stated the city paid “just under $16,000 last year for the websites.”
Ashley Clarke, representing CivicPlus was contacted, according to Moody. “Some of our staff presently have worked with CivicPlus in the past and have high praise for them,” Moody said.
Clarke informed council that CivicPlus provides around-the-clock support throughout the year.
“We offer 24-hour, 7-day-a-week service and 99-percent uptime on our websites,” Clark said. “We are the industry leader and we are proud of that. We think we can provide you guys with pretty good service and can do so in much less time than we proposed and can do in about 90 days. Our typical development time is six months.”
Nichole Belford, executive director of the CVB, informed council the downtime of the websites “affects us big time” and visitors “can’t log on to get hotel reservations.”
Clarke informed council that normally it takes four-to-six months to get a website online, but also stated her company could have the websites up and running in “90 days.” She also stated the websites would be redesigned every “four years.”
“As far as content, I believe it is ours and we should [be able to transfer it to you],” Belford said. “But I do not know with everything that has gone on with Web Clarity with the corruption and security issues, we don’t want them to corrupt your serves with what they have going on.
“CivicPlus has a lot of experience with tourism websites and CVBs. They do very good work. I am very supportive of what they can do.”
Clarke informed council that the technology purchased at the start of the contract would be updated as CivicPlus upgrades its technology.
“What you buy now you are not stuck with for four years,” Clarke said.
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