To: Mayor Hornaday and City Council
From: Terry Felde/Website RFP Review Committee
Through: Walt Wrede, City Manager
Date: March 2, 2010
Subject: Website Redesign
In July of 2009, a comprehensive survey was completed by Council Members and each City Department to help understand the wide array of capabilities available for municipal websites today and identify deficiencies and long-term needs of the current site, resulting in a high-level vision of the future of the City of Homer website. Council then passed Resolution 09-117, providing for the issuance of a Request for Proposals to begin the website redesign process.
A Website RFP Review Committee consisting of 11 members representing each City department evaluated, scored and discussed the eleven proposals received from firms across the US and determined the top three finalists. Reference checks were conducted and a detailed matrix was compiled, outlining a side-by-side comparison of each of the firm’s capabilities, options, software platforms, hosting environments, ongoing requirements, processes, pricing, etc. On February 17, 2010, each of the three finalists participated in individual two-hour long presentation/interview sessions with the Review Committee.
The evaluation process was long and sometimes mind-numbing, however that quickly turned to excitement when the firms provided demonstrations and the ideas for the new website took form and became visual and possible. Many departments quickly identified numerous time and cost-saving capabilities, from the ability to set publish and non-publish dates ahead of time for content that shows on the website; or the ability for residents to subscribe to info/updates about specific areas of interest and then receive them automatically, without the clerk’s office having to do it; or how simple it is to add web content; or the six different ways someone visiting the City website can quickly find exactly what they are looking for; or the automatic archiving of agendas/meetings/minute; or the ability for each department to have their own calendars, slide-shows, capital project pages, etc; or the ability to have emergency alerts on the website that also can get to residents via RSS feeds. The many potential features would allow the City of Homer website to be very user friendly, for both staff and site visitors, and allow greater transparency and enhanced communication between the City, residents, businesses and visitors.
The consensus of the Committee was almost unanimous. The proposal from the selected firm is attached for your review. The proposal amount is for $9,950, however that amount will change through the negotiation process as certain needed options are added or removed from the proposal.
In addition, there is an option available for Aha Consulting to refresh and update the current City logo for the website, business cards, letterhead, newsletters and other templates. Strong branding across the City is a vital aspect for economic development and an updated and consistent logo and image may be worthy of further discussion and consideration as we redesign the City website.
Award the Contract for Website Redesign, Development and Implementation to the firm of Aha Consulting in an amount not to exceed $20,000 and authorize the City Manager to negotiate the contract and prepare the appropriate documents.
A budget appropriation ordinance will follow at the March 22, 2010 meeting.