The city of Havelock will soon launch a website designed to help residents with mobile devices pay bills, find city documents and even apply for a city job.
Chad Ives, director of Information Technology for the city, said that as programming continues for the new site, residents may experience intermittent problems if they are using a search engine or smart phone to access the city website at www.havelock.nc.us.
“The website that we had was written in Microsoft.net, which is still a valid programming language, but it is not customizable to the more modern technology that is out there right now,” Ives said.
He said the changes would support newer and updated browser types such as Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla and Internet Explorer and would support mobile Android phones, iPhones and iPad devices.
“Right now if you were on a tablet and went to our website and clicked on the ‘I want to’ button, it would not work properly,” Ives said. “Also, if you’re using anything other than Internet Explorer right now, the site will work, but it has some glitches.
“In the future, that will all go away. Users who try to pay their water bills over the phone that have trouble now will not have that trouble in the future. It will be a lot more user friendly on the mobile devices.”
He said the reason for the changes to the website were obvious.
“One of the reasons that we want to move to another platform is that today’s technology is moving much more mobile,” he said. “People are doing a lot more things on mobile devices and in order to keep pace with that functionality we have to abandon our old website and move it to a new environment.”
Ives and his staff have been working with city department heads to update the information for the site.
“As you can imagine, there’s a lot of functionality on a city-maintained website that has a lot of things to do internally and externally with all of our city departments so what IT has done is replicate all that functionality on the new website,” Ives said.
The new site will have new layout and page design as well.
“The biggest thing they’re going to see is the look and feel of the site,” Ives said. “It’s much cleaner and much more polished. It doesn’t have as much clutter on the front page. All of the pages have more of a uniform design. I think it’s going to be a much improved look over what we currently have.”
The URL address of the site will remain the same, and internally, Ives said city workers should see improvement on the site as well.
“You’ll be able to access all the features such as applying for a job, looking up information, paying you bill, but the newer site will have features that will allow employees to do things that they currently can’t do such as the ability to access internal data such as paychecks, W-2s, access your timecard and those types of things that the public won’t see,” Ives said.
Access to all of the social media will be right there at your fingertips on the home page.
“The Twitter feed will still be right there on the lower part of the front page. Access to our Facebook page will still be there. The page will look more like a Facebook-like page,” Ives said.
Ives said the top three things that uses do on the website is pay water bills, link to documents such as city minutes or city ordinances, or apply for a job. All those things will still be possible and even easier in the future after the launch goes off.
Ives said the specific date of the switch is not yet available as staff continues to work on some programming.
“The cutover date will be somewhat seamless to the public,” Ives said. “The site will be down for a period of time, probably less than an hour.”