Bexar County’s previous website was built with HTML tables which were very limiting and made for an outdated site that wasn’t mobile friendly or user friendly. The staff had difficulty maintaining it because the coding behind it was so cumbersome. Even county offices and departments that used the website daily struggled. They knew they needed a change and set their sights on a responsive design that provided better ways to connect with and inform citizens.
“Our old site was really, really awful,” Gresham said. “It had no ability to scale at all – it was just a little square with lists and lists of links – just terrible. We were looking for a good design and something that would give more control to the departments.”
The County’s top three considerations in choosing a website vendor included: an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS); a responsive, user-friendly design; and a feasible price tag. CivicPlus fit the bill. “We’re a large county with a small staff and a small budget,” Gresham said. “CivicPlus had all the tools we wanted and the price was amazing too.”
After redesigning with CivicPlus, Bexar County’s website now has the open look and responsive design they were hoping for, along with a well-defined organizational structure that makes it easy for users to quickly find what they need. Gresham was pleased with the process and the result, “The initial design process was really easy,” she said. “CivicPlus was great to work with. Everyone is very friendly – even now, the project managers and account managers we work with are really good with communication.”
The new website's ease of use has helped reduce the burden on the web staff by allowing the departments to be more hands-on. Gresham said most people with a basic level of technical aptitude are able to use the system easily. “Once we get them in there and going, they’re great about using it, which makes everything that much quicker for us,” she said. “Switching from tables to a CMS has been great – just drag and drop and you’re there.”
The departments use the Calendar to promote events and meetings; Form Center has been useful for event registrations and feedback; and Info Advanced allows them to leverage the same information across multiple pages quickly and with greater consistency.
Bexar County is pleased to have met their goals with the site, and citizens are happy too. “Reaction to the site has been very positive,” Gresham said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. In general, they find it extremely usable.”