McMinnville officials are considering an expenditure of $23,172 to update the city’s website. Two companies specializing in web design were chosen to make presentations before the full board.
Under consideration by Finance Committee members Aldermen Ken Smith, chairman, Ben Newman and Mike Neal on Tuesday night were website designers CivicPlus, Revised, WebLinks and GovOffice.com.
“If we can narrow this down from four to two, we can invite those two to come in and make a presentation before the full board,” said Smith.
Smith says his top two choices would be Civic Plus followed by WebLinks.
“First of all, let me say I am not a web guru,” Smith said. “In fact, I’m not even a web trainer. My son happens to be a web designer in Texas. I think we should pursue CivicPlus and possibly WebLinks. While WebLinks doesn’t have Tennessee clients, CivicPlus does.”
By its website, Civic Plus has clients in Cleveland, Spring Hill, Williamson County and Murfreesboro.
Smith added, “Those two, however, are the most expensive.”
• The CivicPlus price is $23,172 which is for development, training for up to six city staff on how to update the website, and a fee for the first year’s service. After the first year, the annual fee is $4,134 subject to an inflationary clause of 5 percent.
• The WebLinks price is $18,639. The city would be limited to 80 pages. It currently has 100 pages. Training of staff would cost extra and the annual fee cost is unknown.
• The Revised price is $15,980 for development. No training of staff is in the price, but the company does offer tech support and will offer training for an additional fee. The annual fee is $3,500.
• The GovOffice.com price is $9,375, without training. The annual fee is $900.
The cost difference between the top two companies is training. City Administrator David Rutherford stressed the importance of training.
“What I looked at was ability for us to have training so we could update the website here,” Rutherford said. “WebLinks has that at an additional charge. Civic Plus has that built into its charge. We need to be able to train staff.”
Alderman Ben Newman says he viewed several websites done by the companies and he likes a feature on the website of Village of Oswego, Illinois, which has an “I want to” option that opens up a large list of possible wants by the visitor, such as applying for a permit, getting a library card, paying bills, joining a civic club, etc.
“You have to look at this from the point of the user,” said Newman. “We know how the city works. We know what’s going on. We need to look at the most user-friendly site for someone who doesn’t. I really like this. I think that’s very, very user friendly.”
Rutherford says the companies are willing to give the board a demonstration of their services. “Pick two to come in and give demonstrations. If you aren’t happy with them, we can pick two more.”
Newman motioned to invite the companies of CivicPlus and Revised to make presentations. It was unanimously accepted.
Rutherford will contact the companies and schedule times for presentations.