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New features in TownCMS v5 – April 2016

On Easter Sunday 2016 we rolled out some new changes and enhancements to TownCMS v5! We are excited to let you know what they are.

Detailed info about  TownCMS v5, is here. Essentially TownCMS v5 is the latest and greatest version of our municipal software. Any customers who are on this version get free and automatic updates.

TWD Subscribers Plugin

This is a plug-in which allows residents to subscribe to your website. Whenever you post items to the Notices section or upload the latest Meeting Agendas your subscribers will get instant notification via email or text message.

Fixed the Issue with Duplicate Messages Being Delivered 

We had a nasty bug where some subscribers were receiving duplicate notification emails when items were posted. Also, if a Clerk posted a notice and then later amended the notice, subscribers were receiving yet another notification.

We have fixed these two issues. When a Notice posting is made, subscribers will receive just a single email. Subsequently, if the posting is later modified by the Clerk, there will no longer be a follow-up notification sent.

TWD Repository Plugin

With this plugin, the Clerk can easily post Meeting Minutes and Agendas in one area. This makes it easy for your residents to find all the latest official record of minutes/agendas for all committees in one area.

Meeting Repository is Now 100% Responsive

While our municipal sites are responsive — meaning that they are optimized for mobile devices, we noticed that we did not have the best implementation for the Meeting Repository page.

In this latest enhancement, we created a new design that is fully 100% responsive. You can see the sample output below. It has alternating colors for the different date entries as well as showing only links to the data that is uploaded. It is pre-sorted in reverse chronological order with the newest info at the top.

Responsive Table Design for the Meeting Repository
Responsive Table Design for the Meeting Repository

Can Now Select Multiple Categories for a Search

We had several requests from clerk customers about proving an enhanced way for residents to select and choose multiple categories to perform a filtered search. This is useful for towns that have many categories and where residents want to search for just a subset. For example, just “Town Board” and “Plan Commission”.

The following image shows how to quickly select and unselect categories in the Meeting Repository.

Select & deselect multiple categories
Select & deselect multiple categories

Implementing Simple URLs for Meeting Repository

One feature that we are in the process of implementing and which is about 50% done is Simple URLs. It is easier to explain what it will look like.

Currently when you visit the Meeting Repository you see a URL like this:
http://www.cityofosseo.us/agendas-minutes/

This new feature is only half implemented because we would like the URL to be something like this, which puts the committee name in the URL:
http://www.cityofosseo.us/agendas-minutes/city-council

But since it’s only partially implemented, we are simply using an ID instead of a customer-friendly description. But don’t worry, we’ll be implementing the full version very soon!
http://www.cityofosseo.us/agendas-minutes/#22

Various Small Tweaks and Enhancements

Here is a quick list of the items that were fixed to make a better experience for Clerks and Residents alike:

  1. Small Enhancement — Date Setting in Improved on the Meeting Repository.
  2. Small Enhancement — More cellphone providers were updated.
    This will give more subscribers the ability to select their preferred cell phone carrier to get updates.
  3. Small Enhancement — Fixed the 404 Page Not Found Link
    When subscribers got a link to a file in their email it was done as a Google short-code. We fixed it so that the link works as expected.
  4. We also rolled our various small bug fixes for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.

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