Visitors to the York County website will notice a new look and perhaps an easier way to reach the information they need.
The county’s information technology department was still trying to get the kinks worked out Tuesday before weeks of work ended with the launch of the revamped yorkcountygov.com.
“We’ve been working on this for the last few months,” said Joel Abernathy, county I.T. director. “It’s just to make it more user-friendly, so when you hit the website you can get what you need right off the homepage.”
The new website features a section called “My York County” that brings together all of the most-used features of the site on the first page any visitor will come to.
Designers hope the new site will make it easier for even the least Internet-savvy visitors to find the county service they are looking for.
Each department is now linked off the main page, and visitors have readily available options to pay their taxes online, view a property map through the county’s global imaging system, or get information on water or sewer services.
The site has a dedicated link to request public documents from each county department under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
“Probably 95 percent of what our Google analytics show people come to the site looking for is right on the homepage,” Abernathy said.
Visitors will be able to find a map locating every department, which might cut back on the number of calls county offices receive from people trying to find exactly where in York County they need to go to access a particular service.
A lot of work went into getting hundreds of pages on the county website reset to the new format.
Abernathy spent the last few weeks working with Sturgis Web Services of Fort Mill – the host and designer of the new site – to hammer out the details, and each department gave feedback on its own pages to ensure all the content is up to date, documents are correct, and each link goes to the right place.
In the immediate aftermath of the relaunch, some of the new pages may link back to the older ones.
“That’s a very big possibility,” Abernathy said. “We have over 400 pages, and once in a while a few will link to the old site from a new page. That’s something every web design has to deal with.”
The most immediate change web visitors will notice is the main image on the web page, which will rotate images of all the county’s cities and towns, along with scenes of historic Brattonsville and the York County Courthouse.
“That just showcases the municipalities, since those are what make up York County,” he said. “It’s on a random scroll, so you might see Rock Hill pop up five times in a row before you get to Smyrna. ... We’ll try to switch those out from time to time.”