Corp Comm Connects

‘Robust’ search function, online payments features of new King website

Site has been in the making for over a year
Jan. 21, 2021
Laura Broadley

King Township has launched its new website, which has been over a year in the making.

Several new features can be found on the municipal website,

It’s been seven years since the website was redesigned.

“We knew that there was a lot of limitations to the old website that we wanted to overcome,” said Jason Ballantyne, communications officer and project co-lead.

When the township launched its new customer service model, ServiceKing, one of the gaps was having a redesigned website.

The website is the main way the township communicates with its residents and so it was time for an update, Ballantyne said.

A steering committee made up of different departments was formed to come up with the redesign format.

The new website was designed by a company called Upanup for $50,000 after going out to tender.

“They really took a lot of time to get to know King Township and to get familiar with our existing website,” Ballantyne said.

Work on the website started in late 2019 and was supposed to be launched in fall 2020.

“With projects this big, there’s always unforeseen circumstances and (COVID-19) being the biggest one,” Ballantyne said.

Several features on the website are new, including the ease of navigation.

“Our previous website was rather cumbersome to navigate around, and it wasn’t very mobile friendly. This new website, it’s scalable, so it doesn’t matter if you’re on a laptop, tablet, desktop or on your phone,” Ballantyne said.

A more comprehensive and “robust” search function was also added.

“That’s how a lot of people find their information now. They don’t want to scroll through menu after menu trying to find a bit of information. They want a search engine that’s going to give them the results they need,” Ballantyne said.

The new website also complies with provincial regulations when it comes to accessibility, such as font size and screen reader functionality.

Residents will also find it easier to make online payments as well as easier to get some permits.

“People can submit their information and it’s, you know, instantly captured on our end,” Ballantyne said. “We can issue the permit much more quickly than we did in the past.”

Another feature of the website is the ability of residents to make inquiries to the township.

“If they see a pothole and they want to let us know about it, you can actually go in and send us a note. They can tag a place on the map where the pothole is and we can get to it much more quickly,” Ballantyne said. “They can track their inquiries too.”

A community calendar where residents are able to put in community-oriented events that meet certain guidelines will be launched soon.