Erin website: on the municipal forefront

The Town of Erin’s new website puts the municipality on a different level than many of its peers and it allows Erin to communicate in ways other municipalities have yet to attempt.

“(It) puts the town of Erin at the forefront,” said Rudy Diemer, CEO of RKD Web Studios Inc., of Guelph, in a telephone interview.

Diemer presented the new website at the March 3 Erin council meeting, the same day the site went live.

The website offers a more streamlined and user-friendly interface, Diemer said. The most used information is likely to be found on the home page where there are quick links, notices, News and events listed. If the desired information is not there he said users can quickly scan the top four menu bars to find what they’re looking for. These include: “living here,” “visiting here,” “doing business here,” and “town hall.”

Diemer also pointed out that ERINinfo is hyperlinked on every page so visitors can easily subscribe. He took council’s advice and combined the user sign-up for email and text alerts into one submission. ERINinfo sends out emails or texts with information of interest to all citizens.

Because the old website was more than 10 years old, the developer was able to reduce the amount of duplicated content that was posted over the years, and make the administration of the new site more efficient for municipal staff.

Diemer pointed out the new site is a responsive design, meaning the content will shift and change depending on what electronic device the participant is using.  

“If you look at it on a phone or a tablet in portrait form it … basically changes menu type and structure so that it’s a more friendly use on that size of device,” he explained.

Diemer also said the new site is much more accessible. The way it has been coded and structured allows site readers for the visually impaired to function.

“The way the site’s been built and the way the content’s been presented and the images been presented – so it’s been fully built and restructured with accessibility in mind,” he said. Apart from functionality and accessibility, the new Town of Erin site also showcases local photography, which will likely be switched out as the seasons change, Diemer said.

Residents are still encouraged to sign up for ERINinfo to received up-to-date town alerts and messages.