Information Technology

County Website Redesign

In 1999, Polk County published its first website design. The site was easy to navigate, contained a wealth of information and won national recognition from the National Association of Counties (NaCO). However, the website had a serious drawback. It was completely written in ASP and HTML, and had no content management features available. Consequently, the County's lone web developer spent more time updating content than developing new web applications.

In 2002, the County redesigned its website in an effort to provide distributed content management features to the end-user departments and offices. The second generation site was built using PHP-Nuke and MySQL technologies. Content management was partially distributed, but proved to be too much of a technical challenge for most end-users. Consequently, content began to get stale, and updates were not performed in a timely manner. In addition, the website was no where near as esthetically pleasing as the 1st generation site had been.

In 2005, the decision was made to overhaul the website once again. Instead of a single developer, the County now has a team of 3 web developers working collaboratively on the project. A new design was proposed to executive management, and was quickly approved. All departments and offices were extremely excited about the new design, and wanted their sites converted as quickly as possible. Because of this, the project team made the decision to create individual departmental websites first and plug them into the existing site one by one, then go back and re-engineer the Home Page.

The new sites are being developed using ASP.NET with a SQL database backend. AJAX technology is also being incorporated. It is very visually pleasing and easy to navigate. The departments and offices whose sites have been converted are receiving wonderful feedback from the public.

At this time, all Content Management is currently being performed by the IT staff. As development of the site progresses, the project team is exploring Content Management options. In the end, the departments and offices will have an easy, straightforward mechanism for updating their own content and navigation.

Contact Us

Polk County Information Technology
111 Court Avenue, Suite 373
Des Moines, IA 50309

P: (515) 286-3757
F: (515) 323-5301

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