Working through a website upgrade and migrating to a new vendor can be quite a challenge, but it can also be a rewarding endeavor and benefit to the citizens of your community.
First, you will review presentations with different vendors to see what they have to offer and view demonstrations of their product. You should also go through a consultation with your current vendor to see what new features they may have to offer. It’s much easier work through redesign with your current vendor than to contract with a new vendor.
Once you have chosen the vendor you want to work with, you should negotiate the services and charges. It’s always good to negotiate and not accept the first quote they give you. Many times, you can negotiate a lower price or have extra services provided at no additional charge.
With the price and services finalized, it is useful to have a demonstration for the city management so they can give their input and make sure everything is satisfactory.
After city management has approved your final terms, you may need the city council to approve the contract. It would be good to present them with the reasons the city needs a new website and to showcase the benefits.
Migrating a website to a new vendor is normally undertaken by the new vendor. You’ll want to clean up the existing website by deleting old information and making sure there are no misspellings or broken links that will be carried over to the new website. You also need to clarify what will be migrated. There may be items that will not be transferred like news stories or other elements of your current website that you will need to keep track of.
Once your website has been migrated, keep notes on what you add to the current website and any changes you make to it. You will have to update the new website with this information before it goes live. You’ll also want to make sure the links and online features are working correctly.
Before going live, you should promote your new website on social media and to the news media to let the public know and to showcase any new features they can expect to see.
Although going through a site redesign and migration can be stressful, it is worth it to give your citizens a useful website that features online services to make their lives easier and showcases your city to the world.
Region 1 Director, TAMIO
Web Content Specialist, City of Odessa