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One Year After Website Launch, Sheboygan County Reports Increased Access, Savings and Efficiency
Vision Internet Content Management System Key to Website Success
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. A year after launching one of the nation’s leading local government websites, Sheboygan County, Wis., reports that county government is now more accessible, responsive and cost-effective in accomplishing the people’s business. Launched on February 1, 2013, the site (www.sheboygancounty.com) was developed and launched in partnership with the online government experts at Vision Internet.
Currently ranked the sixteenth most innovative community in America by Brookings Institute, Sheboygan County is no stranger to cutting edge technology. It was the first government entity to incorporate Vision Internet’s newest content management system, visionCMS™.
“Vision Internet’s technology is way ahead of the curve and their creative designs are phenomenal,” said Sheboygan County IT Manager Josh McDermott. “Our vision for the new site was to have internal accountability for departments to post information on the website as soon as possible.”
The new site effectively eliminated the bottleneck created when IT programmers were the only ones who could make content changes for the county government’s 19 departments and 825 employees. Now, nearly all departments maintain their own content, which allows them to get information to the public faster and has resulted in enormous productivity improvements.
“We used to need a full-time programmer, but not anymore,” said McDermott. “Vision Internet conducted a ‘train the trainer’ session with our internal super users and Help Desk expert, and then trained nearly 100 employees to make their own content updates. The training went really well because Vision’s CMS is so easy to use. Their “what you see is what you get” editor is similar to Microsoft Word. Our employees are used to Word so the transition was really pretty simple.”
Proof of the website’s effectiveness can be found in the response from staff, citizens and the website community. The County’s professional accolades include a 2013 Davey Award and a Gold W3 Award for creative excellence from the International Academy of the Visual Arts.
“We’ve had nothing but good reviews,” said McDermott. “The new site is much easier to navigate. Residents and visitors can find what they’re looking for and they’re happy about that.”
As a visionLive™ subscriber, Sheboygan County pays one set subscription fee to access all the latest features Vision Internet offers, including secure hosting, unlimited technical support and automatic upgrades. This made it easy for Sheboygan County to change its menu structure when the IT staff decided that the larger pop-up menu option available with visionCMS would work better than the collapsible menu they initially chose.
“It’s nice that Vision offers two layout choices for your navigation menu,” said McDermott. “When we decided that the full listing header pop-up option would be easier for users than the hover option where a side menu pops out, it was an easy switch. Vision made a minor setting change and our new navigation menu was instantly published and ready to go.”
Sheboygan County’s next step with Vision Internet is focused on infrastructure. In 2014, McDermott will work with the company to develop a County Intranet to centralize information, better track and manage documents, and share other internal operations information.
McDermott said the company’s intranet offers multiple benefits. “Because we’ll get the same great content management system, we won’t have to retrain our users. In addition, the process of choosing the look and feel, layout and wireframes will be similar to what we did with the website, which went really well, so we know what to expect. Better yet, Vision Internet’s product is far more affordable than other web application platforms we investigated. Now that’s responsible government.”
For more information about Vision Internet’s transformative government website technology, call 888-263-8847 or visit visioninternet.com/inforequest.
About Vision Internet
Headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., Vision Internet is a national leader in government website development with more than 500 government, non-profit and education clients in U.S. and Canadian communities with populations that range from less than 1,000 residents to more than 5 million. The company creates cost-effective solutions that increase government efficiency, transparency and interactive communications with citizens. Over the past 18 years, the company has earned hundreds of prestigious awards for its unique websites, including numerous 3CMA Savvy Awards. In 2013, Vision Internet launched visionCMS™, a powerful, easy to use content management system developed with feedback from hundreds of municipal clients. For more information visit www.visioninternet.com.