(Posted Feb. 3, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The village of South Charleston has a new streamlined, mobile-friendly website that makes information easy to find.
The site went live at the start of this year and can be found at http://villageofsouthcharleston.org. The previous site had a .net domain name. It will remain active for a couple of months with a link to the new site before the village closes it down.
Part of the streamlining process involved cleaning house.
“We eliminated a lot of old information. We kept all the important stuff,” said village clerk Jessica Hiser, who headed up the website overhaul.
Reorganization also was part of the streamlining process.
“We have more tabs that are more direct about the information they have. It makes it easier to find what you’re looking for,” Hiser said.
For example, details about village job opportunities were in a “random spot” on the old website, Hiser said. Now, they’re easy to find. Look for “Employment” in the dropdown menu under “More” on the home page.
Like the old website, the new one includes online payment options for fees like traffic tickets and water bills. Unlike the old website, those payment options aren’t buried and hard to find.
The new website also boasts several new features the old site didn’t have. Hiser said she is most excited about a feature that allows the village to post emergency notices in a can’t-miss way on the home page.
“For example, if we have a boil advisory, it will pop up as an alert on the home page, and it won’t go away and let you get to other parts of the website until you acknowledge you’ve read it,” she explained.
Hiser also is using the home page to answer one of the most frequent questions she gets at town hall: What number do I call if I have an emergency after town hall’s regular business hours? This question refers to incidences that are not life threatening. Right away, website visitors can see that the answer is Clark County Dispatch at (937) 328-2560. Website visitors also will find upcoming events listed on the home page.
The site contains an interactive zoning map, zoning regulations, and zoning applications.
“So, if you want to build a fence, you can find that form online. You don’t have to come in-person to pick one up,” Hiser said.
Also new is a separate cemetery section that lists cemetery rules, such as the type of decorations that are allowed and cleanup dates.
The old website did not work well on smart phones. The pages wouldn’t resize to fit a phone screen, requiring users to scroll from side to side and zoom in and out. Now, the site resizes to fit the phone, and the pages turn as the user turns their phone.
Hiser hopes that all of the changes make for a more user-friendly experience.
“I really think the website is a lot nicer to zoom around and find the information you’re looking for,” she said.