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New Walpole town website apparently coming soon…

July 17, 2010

Town officials are working behind the scenes on a new town website.

The new website is apparently being made by town employees in-house, to keep costs low. Reportedly, the website will be based off of the websites of towns like Needham, Worcester, and Foxborough. These towns don’t exactly have the best-looking websites around, but they are certainly better than the current Walpole site. I hope, however, that the town will bring in some outside web design consultants, perhaps as volunteers, to help and act as advisers in the process, as a true town website requires a lot of moving parts that I don’t think can be done entirely by a small team of people at Town Hall. The website should be a true team effort – and I would like to see the town put out an ad, or even a press release, in The Walpole Times asking for local web designers to volunteer their expertise to assist town employees for however much time they can provide to assist in the creation of this new website.

Here were some of my own suggestions for features that the Walpole town website should have, including contact information for all town employees, perhaps even a directory with every employee and their salary. The Economic Development page also needs major updating, as I wrote here.

It is great that Town Hall is taking the lead, under a new Board of Selectmen that promised to improve communication with residents, to finally upgrade the town website. But I won’t call it a success until I see the final product – the new town website could very easily be not much of an improvement on the old site if it’s not done well, especially by in-house employees on a tight schedule. Regardless, I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.

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