The Town of Cary has completed a major update to its website, www.townofcary.org. A complete overhaul, the website features a fresh design, new features and improved efficiency for staff and site visitors. Throughout the project, the Town has issued surveys to citizens for feedback on crucial questions.
This is the sixth redesign of Cary’s website, which was created in 1997. The last redesign was in 2009.
- Responsive design
- Social media integration
- Robust, shareable calendar
- Online forms and surveys
- Key services highlighted on homepage
- Prominent search field
- Integration with open data website
Digital Deployment, of Sacramento, Calif., is our information architecture consultant, and Vision Internet, of Santa Monica, Calif., is responsible for the design, look and feel of the site, and provides our content management system, which holds all the content hosted on www.townofcary.org.
Website Maintenance Calendar
The Town of Cary performs monthly website maintenance to ensure high quality service and performance. Maintenance windows are typically on the third Thursday of each month and span four to six hours, during which time citizens may be unable to access web pages and online payment and scheduling tools. Maintenance is noted on the Town calendar.
The Town of Cary embraces the power of the Internet and recognizes its potential to link Cary citizens even more closely with their local government. Townofcary.org is Cary government's only official Web site and the Town's primary communications tool.
The Town strives to ensure that the Web site is accurate, easy to use, relevant, and up-to-date in content and appearance.
Despite its increasing use of the Internet, the Town does not add material or features to the Web site simply because it can. The intent is to use technology to give all citizens access to more information that they need or want, and to provide it more efficiently. For example, the Web site includes translation of Cary's Citizen's Guide to Services to help Spanish-speaking newcomers settle into the community and become more productive members of it.
The Town of Cary Web site was begun in May 1997 for a more efficient way to deliver meeting information to the Town Council. The site further opened government since everyone receives such information at the same time. Volunteers from outside Town government designed the look. In 1998, the Town hired its first full-time Webmaster, who began redesign.
With tens of thousands of files, townofcary.org includes a calendar of events, a free electronic mailing list with nearly 2,000 subscribers, current job listings and applications, news releases, maps and detailed sections on construction projects, plans and services. Web site versatility broadened in early 2001 to include audio of meetings and video programs such as that for a monthly utility bill insert.
Today and Beyond
The current design of the Web site, the fifth for townofcary.org, was completed in October 2009. The focus remains topical – citizens don't have to know which department handles a program or service to find information about it.
The redesign included a new look and better navigation. Access is provided to more topics from the home page through “I Want To", "Calendar", and "Cary Life" sections. A Headlines box includes links to the latest news; "More News" provides links to social media, RSS feeds and online publications; and the Video box highlights current Town programming.
Townofcary.org was named a finalist in the 2003 Beacon Awards. The Town’s Web site was also chosen by MuniNet Guide & Review as one of its top picks for 2003 in promoting a positive image.
The Town has received Golden Web awards from the International Association of Web Masters and Designers, which promotes creativity, integrity and excellence on the World Wide Web.
The Web Content Manager manages content on townofcary.org under the direction of the Deputy Public Information Director. Public Information staff works together with staff in departments throughout Town Hall to add, update and remove content. The Web Team also includes two full-time Public Information staff members who operate the site.
Other Web Sites
Hyperlinks may be provided from townofcary.org to any other government site or organization/association of which the Town of Cary is a member. Links may also be provided to any site managed by a not-for-profit corporation providing services to Cary citizens and having a direct, official relationship with, or receiving financial support from, the Town.
Hyperlinks to other Web sites may be provided only in special circumstances - for example, when a for-profit entity is co-sponsoring a Town of Cary activity or event. The Town retains full control over when, and for how long, links to other Web sites are allowed. The Town is not responsible for any content on other Web sites or for use of information collected on them.
The Town of Cary encourages hyperlinks to townofcary.org from other Web sites.
The Town of Cary is committed to making the information on townofcary.org accessible to the widest variety of users, including those with disabilities.
In this regard, we:
> Strive to present information in formats that are compatible with the needs of disabled persons and the hardware and software used by them for the Internet.
> Welcome and regularly solicit feedback from disabled users on how townofcary.org can be improved for that community of users.
> Provide inaccessible information to disabled users in a more desirable format or medium upon request. We monitor the development of international accessibility standards, implementing those that are consistent with our mission and statement of values.
The Town of Cary is committed to providing all citizens with the opportunity to participate fully in the public meeting process. Any person with a disability who needs an auxiliary aid or service in order to participate in any Town of Cary public meeting may contact the town clerk at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone number is (919) 469-4011; the TDD number is (919) 469-4012.
Please contact us at email@example.com or (919) 380-4228 if you encounter inaccessible Web pages so that we may change them to remove the obstacles, provide alternative versions online, or, if necessary, make the information available by other means.
Please note that sites that you can reach from townofcary.org may have a different privacy statement or no privacy statement at all.
Under State law (NCGS 132-1), the information on townofcary.org is a public record and is "the property of the people". It is the position of the Town of Cary that the people may inspect, copy, and download public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless the law says otherwise. As a courtesy and for the benefit of third parties, the Town requests that those who take any part of documents, graphics, video, audio, photographs, or other content of public record for use elsewhere attribute that content to the Town of Cary, North Carolina.
Most of the information collected via the Town's web site is also public record, including the email addresses of those who subscribe to the site's electronic mailing lists and the user profile data routinely collected by the Town from visitors to the site.
Visitor information routinely captured includes the:
- Internet domain, IP address, state and/or country from which visitors reach the site;
- Date and time
- Pages visited.
The Town of Cary uses this information to make the site more useful to visitors. The Town strictly abides by the Public Records Law and other laws, and neither promotes nor profits from the sale of any public information on the website.
Comments and questions help keep the Web site accurate, relevant and up-to-date. The site continues to evolve as the Town evaluates suggestions on how to use the Web most effectively. The feedback button also provides a quick way to point out broken links, pages that load incorrectly and other problems.