These are the final competitors in my impromptu City Website Contest! We’ve already looked at Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, and Granite, Herriman, Midvale, Murray, and Riverton…now, let’s evaluate Sandy, South Jordan, Taylorsville, West Jordan, and White City.
Sandy – http://sandy.utah.gov/
“Heart of the Wasatch”
Features: Residents, Business, and Visitors sections, a Government section and “Quicklinks.” Front page has “Latest news” and “Upcoming events”. Extensive information, pictures, and forms.
Sandy’s website is much like some of the other city websites we’ve looked at. One nice thing about Sandy is that they have a lot of content on their site. Each section has pictures and a lot of information. For anything from reporting a pothole to finding a volunteer opportunity, Sandy city’s website is a great resource for residents.
Overall: 4.5 stars. Sandy could use website space more efficiently; for instance, on the front page there are large pictures that don’t link to anything, and information about Sandy’s location or social networking links are absent from the front page. Not a bad site, however.
South Jordan – http://www.southjordancity.org/
Features: “Live” “Work” and “Play” columns at the top of the page; “News & Announcements” and “Upcoming Events” sections on the front page. Links to social networking. Calendar. Fix it request form.
I love that South Jordan’s categories are actions “Live” “Work” and “Play” instead of “Residents” “Businesses” and “Visitors”; this creates a friendly atmosphere on the site. The layout is a little weird; I have the same feeling on this site as I did on a couple of the other city sites, which is: something’s missing. Since we read from left to right, it is strange to have the logo on the upper right side, and nothing on the upper left side. The menu selections on the left side seem like they could be put in one of the drop-down menus at the top and a more useful selection of menu options could be put on the side, similar to how Murray’s selections are. It is great that South Jordan has current info on the site, but it is buried at the bottom of the page beneath unimportant things. Still, the website is pretty functional. There is good, updated information available on the South Jordan site.
Overall: 4 stars. Content is pretty good, but there is a lot of room for improvement of site organization and layout.
Taylorsville – http://www.taylorsvilleut.gov/
“Opportunity in Every Direction”
Features: Separate pages for residents, business and visitors. Calendar and news on the front page. Online bill pay; studies and reports. Current information.
Taylorsville’s website seems like it was created 10 years ago and has not been adjusted since then. The font makes the cite look really old, and most of the pages seem to be created in very simple HTML. Still, the information on the site is current, and fairly extensive. The website is a little harder to navigate since there are not columns that drop down; you have to actually go from page to page to find what you’re looking for. It isn’t terrible, though.
Overall: 3 stars. The real purpose of this site is to convey current information and they do that nicely, although the site is not very attractive.
West Jordan – http://www.wjordan.com/
Features: Online payments, online request for patrol, online employment application, extensive information for residents, business, and visitors. Quick links.
West Jordan’s website is really strange. On the home page, they just have a big block of empty space. A few of the menu options at the top come down with selections, but most of them require clicking on them. The Quick Links section is helpful, but it does not match the appearance of the rest of the website. Once you actually select something from the top (I chose “Residents”) the website looks really normal and it has a lot of information and services available online.
Overall: 3.5 stars. Either have all of the menu items drop down, or none of them. It is weird to have just the city services part drop down. Put something on the front page. Other than that, it is a pretty nice, functional site.
White City – http://whitecityutah.org/
Features: Contact information for council people; detailed township newsletters (about 1-2 per year); meeting minutes; several community photos; maps; a little bit of historical information.
White City’s website holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my very first website that I built for myself 15 years ago. The background is a different pattern on each page, and the site is created in very simple HTML. The information on the site is updated pretty well (including meeting minutes).
Overall: 2.5 stars. Good job on having something there. The newsletters online suggest a real sense of community.
And now, I will wrap up this City Website Contest by announcing our winners….
For third place, we have a tie between Sandy & Midvale!
Second place goes to Draper!
And, the city to take first place in our city website contest is Murray!
Our runners up were Riverton, Herriman, South Jordan, and Cottonwood Heights.
Congratulations, everyone! Thanks for participating.