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Published: Friday, 10/4/2013

Perrysburg unveils easier to use Web site

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A screen shot from the home page of the new Web site of the city of Perrysburg. A screen shot from the home page of the new Web site of the city of Perrysburg.
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The City of Perrysburg Web site, which has not been functional since Sept. 13, was back up today and with a whole new look.

The site is at: www.ci.perrysburg.oh.us.

The new Web site has more features and tabs for residents to click on from the main page to get information.

The next five city meetings are listed directly below a carousel of six top stories in the center of the Web site. It has a more modern feel than the previous site.

"We felt the old site was difficult to navigate," said Gary Kleinfelter, information technology manager for the city. "It would take too many clicks to get to something."

One of the redesign features he's excited about is the "what's trending" bar on the left side of the home page. There are 10 items that are most popular at that time. Mr. Kleinfelter thinks it will help people find information faster.

Another new feature is included when clicking on a page and reading about it. On the left side there is a contact information for the department head that it pertains to, and the right side has pages of related topics.

Interactive maps of city parks, engineering, and zoning are also located at the bottom of the home page and seem easy to use.

The new Web site was supposed to be unveiled Nov. 1, but when the servers for the Internet provider for the existing site crashed, the time frame was advanced. Under the new Web site the server's will be in the city's network and controlled by them to prevent the site from crashing in the future. 

"I was never comfortable putting all of our eggs in one basket," Mr. Kleinfelter said. "I had higher expectations in our service provider."

The crash resulted in many people calling the city, seeking information they would have gotten online.

"The majority of the people will be fine [with the new Web site], a handful of people won't be happy," Mr. Kleinfelter said.

"This is easier to navigate though. And we will use feedback we get to improve it."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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