Adams County plans to change the domain name of its website by the end of the year.
Following security best practices, County Manager Steve Nevada said having a domain name that ends in .gov is recommended.
Completion was originally scheduled for September, but the “migration of municipal site data has taken longer than expected,” said Phil Walter, chief information officer for the information technology (IT) department.
Adams County is also home to the websites of municipalities that have opted into the service.
All participating municipalities “will be migrated to the new platform,” Walter said.
The migration of all county and municipal sites is done internally by the county’s website administrator, Walter said.
Municipalities will have “an updated template as well as the ability to use their own domain to directly access” their content, Walter said.
The new website domain has a one-time setup cost of $9,000, with an annual fee of $8,900 to host the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) site and ongoing web administration services. according to Walter.
The website and messaging system will have redirects to the new platforms once they go live, Walter said.
“Communication as to when redirects will be disabled for each will be communicated,” Walter said.
The IT department plans to assess the number of visits to the website that are redirects as well as the number of people who send correspondence to adamscounty.us email addresses to determine the end date of the transition period, he said.
“The goal is to limit the negative business impact and help people outside the organization adjust to this change,” Walter said. “Since the county used the adamscounty.us field for more than 20 years, we take a cautious approach.
The “new website navigation layout will be similar” to the county’s current website, Walter said.
However, the most notable changes have occurred with the website backend as “County moves from an end-of-life Microsoft SharePoint 2013 platform to a proprietary platform through Kentico,” Walter said.
This new platform offers many tools and templates that are not currently available on the existing website, Walter said.
One of the new features includes the ability to create web forms that can be completed directly online and submitted through the platform, Walter said.
“Our goal is to provide these tools to government departments to improve service delivery to the public,” Walter said.
CCAP will remain the “primary hosting platform for the county’s website,” he said.
“The Kentico software will be loaded onto the CCAP managed server environment. As part of our agreement with CCAP, they will also provide next-level support on system and software updates,” Walter said.
The county’s website administrator will handle the “ongoing day-to-day management of page building, navigation standards, enhanced tools and content updates,” Walter said.
Walter noted that “a key element” during the Request for Proposals (RFP) review process through the CCAP was to research “the software to provide a ‘mobile-first’ approach to facilitate navigation on a mobile device”.
The Adams County Tax Package Viewer, which contains information and data presented on a map, had the most website traffic in the past 12 months to Oct. 4 with 32,490 clicks, Walter said. .
The homepage registered the second highest at 29,676 clicks in the past year to Oct. 4, Walter said.
Election results also registered 11,724 clicks for the same period, he said.
Other pages visited include the Adams County Jail page with 8,990 clicks, the “E-Filing and Access to Records Search” page for the Clerk of Courts with 8,901 clicks, and the Recorder of Deeds page with 8,006 clicks, Walter said.