After months of preparation and work from Pittsylvania County staff, a brand new and improved Pittsylvania County website will go live beginning June 15. County staff chose to create a new website to improve the mobile experience, streamline the site organization, and add significantly more content about County services and operations.
“We are extremely pleased with the added functionality, site appearance on desktop and mobile devices, and the added information about what County government offers to residents, businesses, visitors, and organizations,” said County Public Relations Manager, Caleb Ayers. “This new website is a solid, well-organized foundation upon which we can continue to expand the amount of information we share about County operations, projects, and services.”
During the 2021 calendar year, the Pittsylvania County website had more than 813,000 total page views from 264,000 different users, making the website one of the County’s most important communication channels. Over 41% of those users viewed the County website on a mobile device, which shows the importance of being able to customize the website so those users can easily find the right information.
With the goal of enhancing the mobile experience and improving overall design, Pittsylvania County issued a request for proposals for website design and hosting services in June of 2021. Out of the 14 firms that responded, Granicus, a respected digital government company that hosts more than 2,500 local government websites, demonstrated the most value, scalability, and design flexibility. The total website redesign cost $37,500, and was made possible through CARES Act funding.
The pandemic demonstrated how the county needed to improve and diversify its communication efforts during public health events, disasters, etc., and having a solid website foundation is an important part of that, said Ayers.
Facility reservations and online payments, two tools that Pittsylvania County plans to roll out after the initial site launch.
“County residents utilize the Pittsylvania County website to access information about a wide variety of services and to complete many important tasks,” said Vic Ingram, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “The new County website will provide much more functionality and flexibility, making it easier for our citizens to learn from and do business with us.”
Behind the scenes over the last year, the County Public Relations team has been working closely with departments and organizations across the County to create content about a variety of County services, departments, and operations that either were not on the website at all or were under-represented. Users were frequently searching information about many of these services and procedures, but there was none on the County website. Some common examples include things like marriage license and concealed handgun permit applications, County jail information, and details about building permits and inspections needed for particular projects.
As the site launches during the morning of June 15, there will be some crossover where some visitors will see the old site and others will see the new site. By June 16 all visitors should see the new site.
Some changes residents should know about:
The URL structure is changing from numbers to the breadcrumb trail. The county has created redirects so most of the popular links will still work, but individuals may find that a bookmarked page no longer works. We believe that the site is easy enough to navigate to find what is being looked for, or email [email protected]
All accounts from the current county website will be deleted. These accounts are primarily used with job applications. Those who are interested will be able to create an account and apply for jobs through the new website. The county apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.
The county will not be able to transfer every news article, document, and piece of content. All agendas and minutes from before 2022 are available in the County’s laserfische web portal.