I don’t know if the City of Northfield’s 4-year old website can be easily modified (that was the plan when it was created for $85,000) but it clearly needs improvement. So maybe we can help the City by listing the problems we encounter when using the site and making suggestions for improvement. (Although I do blogsites for a living, I would decline bidding on a revamp of the City’s site, just like I declined to bid on a revamp of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s website.) (continued)
The City of Albert Lea recently revamped their website for under $1,000 using WordPress, a full-blown content management system (CMS) that’s open source. (WordPress is the platform used here, of course, and by dozens of other Northfield-area blog sites.) See the article in the Albert Lea Tribune last week: Albert Lea government launches new Web site.
“We just didn’t feel we could justify spending $20,000-plus on a Web site,” Kauffmann said. “I happened to run into Jeshua Erickson on the Pelican Breeze one day, and we talked about Web sites and how he was developing them using WordPress.” WordPress offers open-source, simple-to-use templates for Web sites for zero cost. “We found an open-source WordPress template that was for cities, and we just modified the living daylights out of it,” Erickson said. “It started as an open template, but we did a lot of changes to suit the needs they (city officials) wanted.”