New website design for the City of Atchison

As a member of the Atchison business community, Webcom Resources is proud to have partnered with the City of Atchison team to redevelop the city website experience.

We believe that one size doesn’t fit all — and Atchison’s dynamic community could be reflected in its website. Webcom Resources was dedicated to translating the needs of the community, promoting collaboration that connects both residents and visitors, and allowing Atchison’s local pride to shine brightly. Here’s how we accomplished this on cityofatchison.com.

We studied usability reports and analyzed traffic data to discover what challenges were stifling the usefulness of the city’s website. We learned that the site had been developed on a proprietary, scalable content management system (CMS). While this style of CMS can be highly effective for certain metro government websites, the highly automated streamlining meant this system was unable to allow for the innovation and customization that would reflect the Atchison community. Online billing systems and mobile access were clunky and outdated. In addition, the look-and-feel of the site hadn’t kept pace with Atchison’s growth.

A core team of selected city staff members, led by Webcom Resources, worked with members from each department to gain insights on how residents and visitors could benefit from improvements to the website.

We leaned into a more dynamic, flexible CMS option — a customized WordPress installation focused on providing ease of maintenance, high security, and opportunity for the city’s departments to individualize their clean, intuitive user experience for residents and visitors.

We didn’t just update the look-and-feel of the site; we improved the usability and incorporated new features. Site improvement highlights include:

  • Atchison Area Events portal
    A common frustration for residents was the difficulty in locating information on events and activities in Atchison. This page attempts to highlight some key event calendars for Atchison, displaying automatic feeds from several local sources.
  • Business Resource section
    Entrepreneurial and small-business content added to the website in early 2017 felt buried in the poor usability of the earlier iteration. Highlighting and expanding this online resources section of the city’s new website makes this easier to access and more intuitive to use.
  • Trash or Recycling Container requests
    Previously, residents could only request a new container by calling the city. We implemented this online request to make this process easier for both residents and city personnel.
  • Parks and Facilities
    This section details a categorized directory of city facilities, with photos, descriptions, and reservation/availability information.
  • City Commission meetings
    The city commission meeting calendar offers a link to add meeting reminders to personal calendars in order to assist with community engagement. The meeting minutes archive and agenda packets are now available online as well.
  • City Projects
    Helpful city project statuses and information were previously housed in a separate website. The project pages were imported into the main city website providing easier access to the updates.

The new city website launched without a hiccup on December 29, 2017. At the same time, the City switched the online billing platform to a new provider, which offered a robust yet user-friendly online payment option for utility payments. The old pages were redirected to the new pages, but we monitored closely over the first month to watch for 404 errors. One of the most popular pages on the website continued to be the utility payments page, however the release of a city projects update in the first few weeks produced a nice surge of traffic that previously would have not gone through the city website. We will continue to monitor and share results as they emerge. Visit the new website at cityofatchison.com.

Backroad-atlas.com website launched

We’re happy to announce the launch of the website backroad-atlas.com for local retailer, Backroad Atlas!

We began this journey with Angela when she first opened 2 years ago, incubating her content and building web traffic on an enhanced business page on Atchison Online. It was a super smooth transition to a full website when she was ready for this next step.

Watch for her next big moment to happen soon – online sales! What a great way to connect a wonderful experience like Backroad Atlas with lovers of unique home decor!

New hosted website service now available

We’re excited to launch our new hosted website service, which makes professional web design more affordable for small businesses. We’ve worked with so many small businesses that want to get their businesses or products online, but don’t have the time to do it themselves or the investment funds for a professional to do it for them.

Our hosted websites are perfect for businesses looking for an economical yet professional website. We interview the business to get company information, create the website from beginning to end, and ensure your site positions you for success.

A website can cost $5,000 or more with a traditional custom website development model. With our subscription model, businesses pay a much smaller up-front fee for our development work, then use the hosted website service for a monthly fee. The subscription fee not only spreads the remaining development costs out over time, we include professional assistance for your website each month.

Learn more about our hosted website options here.

2017 Regional Business Excellence Award

Thank you to the City of Atchison for the nomination for this Kansas Business Appreciation Month award, which recognizes contributions to the Kansas economy.

Business Appreciation Month serves as a statewide tribute to Kansas businesses for their contributions. The awards program takes place each spring and invites individuals and organizations to nominate the proud Kansas businesses that contribute jobs and support their local communities.