The Town Web Blog

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January 27, 2022

Get an official .gov domain and email address

Switching to a branded email address is something we can help you do! We offer enterprise or business-level email hosting services through Rackspace, so we can host and archive your government email for a reasonable monthly fee. Get in touch to secure a .gov email.

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All Articles

Local Municipalities in Town Web: From Teeny Tiny to Big City Lights

The Town of Gilbert, Arkansas is quite a quint little town. It's steeped in a rich history of over a century, but more importantly The Town of Gilbert is the smallest town in the Town Web community. In this two part series we discover the smallest but also the biggest municipalities, in the Town Web community.

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A Website Is Your Municipality’s Virtual Office: Here’s How To Get Residents To Use It

Websites are ones first impression, we share five ways that local municipalities can market their municipal website to residents to further community engagement.

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Choosing the Right Local Government Solutions

Many citizens use the local authority’s website as their first port of call when it comes to accessing services. This means that all local bodies must have an easy-to-use web offering if residents are going to make the most of their local service provision.

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Municipal Clerk Responsibilities, Job Description & Salary

At Town Web, we know a thing or two about running municipalities (with a municipal clerk playing a key role in this). After all, we offer a dedicated service for building user-friendly, accessible, and up-to-date municipal websites. Here, we will explain the common municipal clerk duties.

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Government Software Solutions

While making the transition from traditional to digital government solutions might seem daunting, technology can do wonders for improving the efficiency of your operations. Services like Town Web can help local governments create user-friendly websites for residents, streamlining administration.

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(2022) Local Government Technology Trends

Local governments need to make sure all of their operations run smoothly. That includes everything from public safety to financial management. To help make everything run smoothly, local governments are looking at ways to use technology to get the job done. Here, we will take a look at various technology solutions that local governments are using today.

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Actionable Municipal Marketing Strategies

As City of Miami Beach marketing manager Jenn Seoanes has said, “Municipal communications and marketing is critical to keeping the dialogue flowing between cities and their customers” (Smart Cities Dive, 2018).

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(2022) How To Attract Tourists To A Small Town

Attracting new tourists to your town really doesn’t need to break the bank. Identify exactly what makes your municipality attractive to others and focus on promoting the best features of your town with the resources you have available.

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(2022) Why is Records Management Important in Government?

Records management systems are crucial to ensuring an effective, agile local government in the digital age. This process of replacing physical records with electronic data is an important aspect of a local or national government’s digital transformation strategy.

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Small Town Branding: How To Make Your City More Attractive

Small towns across the country are working hard to brand themselves in order to make themselves more attractive places to visit, work, and live. 

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(2022) Website Governance Guide & Examples

A website governance structure or framework defines the rules and procedures that help guide the operation of a website. How is your website looking?

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Government Chatbots: How Automation Can Support Local Administrations and Help Alleviate Post-COVID Staffing Issues

As the dust settles from the pandemic, it seems likely that different types of chatbots will remain part of many municipalities’ digital infrastructure. Keep reading to learn more about chatbots, how they work, and how they can benefit your administration.

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Can Anyone Buy a .gov Domain and Email? – A Detailed Guide

Initially, it was a bit easier as the only requirement for registering such domains and emails was a government organization's letterhead. However, times have changed, and it has become tricky to register a .gov domain or get an email.

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5 Civic Engagement Examples to Help Reinvigorate Collaboration and Communication in Your Neighborhood

Communication is the key to a vibrant community. That principle governs how we build websites at Town Web – they are communication platforms. But the lines must be two-way. As public life returns to normal after two difficult years, it's time to reinvigorate the traditional relationship between communities and their local governments.

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Feature Rich and Easy on the Eyes: The 5 Best Government Websites in 2022

The best government websites are like the best governments; they serve the people, don't frustrate them, and reflect the identity of who they represent. The worst websites… you get the picture. Joking aside, government websites are slightly different from others. They are essential for specific reasons and have their own best practices. 

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What the best municipal websites are made of

Based on the many aspects of life that a local government website is a part of, a municipal website can no longer be seen as a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity.

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(2022) ADA Compliance Checklist for Local Government Websites

The current legal environment requires expert web design to maintain compliance. To protect your organization and residents from costly lawsuits and fines, enlist Town Web to build an ADA/508 compliant website.

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For Local Government, Cybersecurity is a Glaring Weakness - How to Protect your Municipality

There are over 90,000 small government entities in the U.S., and most of them have few cybersecurity measures in place. Thankfully Town Web has the tools to help your government safety online.

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Five reasons to join Town Web

At Town Web, we're well known for our trusted municipal website design, our use of best practices and insight into local government and what is needed, and our (famous) white-glove service.

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Enabling digital government with ARPA funds and Town Web

ARPA funding is available to all local governments, and making use of this initiative will have a long-lasting impact on the way your community connects.

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Simple solutions for municipal rentals

The HeyReserve platform is a simple solution for municipalities to manage their facilities. It puts the power in the hands of the people, who can reserve a facility themselves, pay the deposit online, and have all the check-in and out info.

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Why Design Matters to Governments

The debate around spending taxpayer money on branding is ongoing, but in a life where we all associate brands with trust, fun, and loyalty - would you want your level of local government to fall behind?

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Easy, simple boating permits for every municipality: introducing boat launch software.

HeyGov's Boat Launch Software is the solution municipalities have been waiting for. It's digital software that allows boaters to use their phone to register to use the boat launch and pay for it. It’s as easy as scanning a QR code!

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Town Web serving the public: the non-municipal customers of Town Web

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A brief look into the past

With over 600 municipalities and 14 years of designing local government websites, we take a brief look into the past and what it brought us.

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Municipal clerks: just what you need to make your job more efficient

Town Web offers two phenomenal functions: municipal communications with residents via text or email and all-inclusive white-glove-service technical support for clerks and municipal staff.

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Get an official .gov domain and email address

Switching to a branded email address is something we can help you do! We offer enterprise or business-level email hosting services through Rackspace, so we can host and archive your government email for a reasonable monthly fee. Get in touch to secure a .gov email.

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Open Letter to Town Web customers about Dustin's Top Secret project

We've always wanted to be the company that goes that extra step to make people happy. That's something we got from Dustin. And true to his ways he's taken that one extra step yet again. He's been working on something new and exciting. These days he's uncovering what that is by mailing our customers the Founding Member opportunity.

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Don’t be afraid of these website scams

Website domain scam: Most of our municipal clients don’t ever need to worry about their domain. We manage their domains for them and renew them annually. If you’re not sure, please ask us. Copyright image scam: Again, this is a scam. If Town Web helps find images for your website, we always make sure they are available for use and are not copyrighted.

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Cybersecurity Preparation ahead of the 2020 General Election

The November general election is fast approaching, and the security of municipal websites is of growing concern. The team at Town Web received communication from the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) recently alerting our Wisconsin municipal clerks about potential cyberattacks. Town Web is taking this threat very seriously for our hundreds of municipal clients across the United States.

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Building new GovTech Software - We're launching the HeyGov App!

I’ve got some great news to share with all towns, village and cities. Our team is building a new GovTech software that will be interesting for you. It’s called HeyGov! This is a new project that complements your municipal website.

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CARES Act Federal Relief Fund

Some municipalities use CARES Act funds for websites If your municipality received funds from the CARES Act relief fund for local governments, have you considered using it for a new or updated website to better communicate with your residents during the global pandemic? Town Web Designs LLC offers a solution for you.

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Emergency Alerts

What happens when you have an emergency in your community? How do you reach out to your residents? How do you let them know what’s happening, what they should do or what you are doing? A Town Web municipal website is a great way to connect with your residents.

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Town Web and Quantum PC partner to help protect municipal websites from cyber attacks

Cyberattacks against municipalities are in the news, so much so lately, that they are becoming commonplace. That’s unfortunate for the affected communities and their citizens, as they experience lost time, resources, data and even money.

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Town Web clients will benefit from merger with Tweak Social Media & Marketing

In 2019, Town Web Design LLC acquired Tweak Social Media & Marketing, a Door County, Wisconsin, agency. This acquisition added more full-time staff to improve customer service for all of our clients. Additionally, Tweak team members are experts in tourism marketing, a bonus if your community relies on tourists and visitors.

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Bowling Green Switches their Municipal Website from CivicPlus to Town Web

Town Web Design made it easy for the city of Bowling Green, Missouri, to switch from CivicPlus and launch a great looking website for a lower price.

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With Town Web, you can enjoy a no-cost municipal website redesign every three years!*

When you choose Town Web's SelectPlus plan to design, host and maintain your municipal website, you’ll get a no-cost website redesign every three years! What does that mean? Why is it important? Let us explain all the details!

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Town Web can help you launch an attractive, easy-to-use website that features online forms.

From small towns to big cities, municipalities of all sizes have forms. Wouldn’t it be nice to make those documents available to your residents as online forms? That’s one of the benefits of a Town Web website. Your forms – applications, permits, licenses and more – can be included on your website for residents and visitors to access easily.

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Our Communication Platform makes it easy for Clerks to stay in touch with residents

Subscribing to News and Notices made easy! When you choose a Town Web municipal website, you get an easy way to communicate with your residents. All of our websites offer a Communication Platform. It allows you to post information in one place and your residents to be informed in many ways!

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Press Release - Paying it Forward with Pizza during Midterm Elections

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Wisconsin’s largest municipal web design agency wanted to give back to the the municipal clerk and election workers at the towns, village and cities where midterm elections are held. It’s a hectic day for municipal clerks all across Wisconsin and other states in America, as most municipalities expect record turn out of voters in this November’s elections. Without a doubt, it’s probably the busiest day in the entire year for them.

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TownCMS v5 now has a new Events Calendar

One thing we provide to all customers on the latest version of our Municipal Web Design Platform (TownCMS v5) is free updates and feature enhancements. Everybody gets this, automatically…but only if you’re on TownCMS v5.

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ADA 508 Compliance for Municipalities: Everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask

We need to make websites and their content and information be Accessible to everybody, no matter the nature of anybody’s ability or disability.

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The story of Facebook, elections, and how it all relates to free donuts

I thought I’d tell a quick and interesting story about Facebook, the Primary Elections that happened in Vermont and Wisconsin (where we have municipal customers who were having primary election) and Donuts 🍩 — and how it’s all related.

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New Feature! You can now include images & documents to News & Notice postings

A little while back we got several different town clerks who gave us similar feature requests. It was coincidental that three different town clerks asked for something so similar. I hopped on screen sharing session with Karla Hill, Clerk from Town of Lyons to really understand her needs.

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SSL is Now Enabled on all TownCMS v5 Websites

I am happy to announce that SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is now enabled on sites which are running the TownCMS v5 platform. This means your site is more secure. You also get a preferred ranking on Google for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) versus sites that do not have SSL enabled.

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Preventing Hackers from Logging Into Your Site

In the last several weeks we have had many people call up or send in support requests saying they were locked out of their website. I wanted to address this issue and give you ways in which we’ve improved it. We want to make it a easy for you to login while still preventing hackers and other unauthorized individuals from logging into your website.

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Use the New Dashboard if you’re using TownCMS v5 - It’s so EASY!

Are you on the latest version of TownCMS v5? If so, are you using the new Dashboard at http://dashboard.townweb.com If not, I really suggest checking out the new Dashboard because it was built to “Make the Clerk’s Life Easier”, which is our motto.

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Quick Overview of the Survey Results

Last week I asked our Municipal Customers to give us a rating on how we were doing. The results were quite interesting and I am glad that we had several dozen people giving us great and constructive feedback.

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Your Feedback is Needed! (Quick Survey)

I’m getting ready to plan out new big things to develop for our Municipal Web Customers for 2018 but wanted to get a measure for what our customers like or don’t like about what we’re currently doing for you.

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For Your Municipal Government Website: A Walk Through TownWeb's All New Dashboard

Our all new dashboard is a major improvement over the original, and municipal web administrators in hundreds of municipalities across the country are enjoying how it has simplified the job of maintaining their municipal government websites.

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Is Your Current Municipal (Government) Website Up To Date?

Having worked with over 400 municipalities, we have noticed that more often than not, clerks did not see the need to change their local government website design, even if it was severely outdated. They simply got used to it and were anxious about potential change.

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TownWeb has introduced a new Facebook Integration functionality for government websites

TownWeb has introduced a new Facebook Integration functionality. Every update published on municipality’s website can automatically be posted on Facebook as well. Our client, Village of Reedsville has seen a 1000% increase in their website visits since they started using this option.

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Costly Mistakes in RFP Creation Process and How To Do It Right + Municipal Website RFP Template

You are probably aware of the importance of having a website for your municipality. Sure, that is a great start. But it is only a start. There is a lot of work that goes into the RFP creation process and defining the focus can prove to be difficult.

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Benefits of Branded Email Addresses for Your Municipality

In representing your municipality online, every detail counts and each choice affects how people will perceive it. Having a branded email address is a choice that should go without saying if you want your organization to look professional.

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Reach Out to Your Residents on a Mobile Town Hall

Local government works at its best when residents are well-informed and actively engaged with municipalities. Social media is helping transform the relationship between government entities and citizens by making processes more transparent and accessible.

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Why Your Municipal Website Should be Responsive?

When a visitor comes to your municipal website using a smartphone or tablet, how does it look? Is it easy to navigate and find essential information like meeting minutes and election forms? Unfortunately, some websites look good on a big PC screen but look like an incoherent jumble on small devices.

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The Best Ways Municipal Websites Can Improve - According to Municipal Clerks

TownWeb is always interested in learning how municipal websites can improve and become more valuable for residents. We like to know how municipal clerks feel about their websites; for example, do they find updating and managing the website easy?

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Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got a Municipal Website

When you’re in the market for a website, there are a number of things that you should look for to ensure that you find a website design company that’s best for your municipality.

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New Screen Resolution and Your Town's Website Design

Today, more than ever –having a website that looks –and works great on screens both big and small is important. Currently, more than a billion people access the internet primarily from their mobile devices, a number that’s continuing to grow.

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How to Write an Effective Website Design RFP for a Small Municipality

For most municipalities, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are a common method for finding the best value for services and products. But in some cases, an RFP can be a costly and time-consuming process.

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Top Six Ways to Ask for Support

Just because you have a website –doesn’t mean you have to fly solo. Eventually there will be questions and concerns that arise –simply from having a website. This is why we believe in making customer service a central part of what we offer.

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How to Pick a Good Web Design Company

If you’re in the market for a website, choosing a solid and reputable web design company is one of the most important steps that you can take towards ensuring that you end up with a high-quality website.

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Facebook Part 3: How to Select the Widget or Badge for Your Website

Integrating your website and Facebook page is a great idea! Adding a Facebook widget or badge to your website is the best way to sync up your Facebook page and website, or your Facebook and WordPress account.

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Facebook Part 2: What to Post on Your Municipal's Page

Posting on Facebook is a great way to increase traffic to your page –as well as your website. But what things should you be posting? And which things should you stay away from posting? The purpose of your municipal’s page is different from most Facebook business pages.

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Why TownWeb Manages Domain Names

At TownWeb, we buy and manage most of the domain names for our municipal customers.

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HOW TO: Add Events to the Calendar

In TownCMS v5, we have improved how the Calendar of Events works by adding new functionality. This “HOW TO” was put together to help current municipal customers of ours see how it would work when upgrading to v5, and especially for any other town who is thinking of switching to Town Web Design.

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The Troubleshooting Process for Town Websites

How many times have you sat on hold while a technician on the other end of the phone tried to walk you through a troubleshooting process? The process can be time-consuming and frustrating, not to mention –all too often it’s effective. Since every problem is unique, the troubleshooting process should also be unique.

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The Anatomy of a Municipal Web Site's Homepage

In Summer 2015, we started launching new sites for our municipal customers that are built on TownCMS v5. This is a big enhancement to a municipal site, which includes page designs that are done in Responsive Web Design (RWD).

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Requirements for Town Email Archiving and Management

In today’s world, many people prefer to communicate with organizations via email. Due to the prevalence of email-based communication, it’s becoming increasingly important for municipalities to have their own email archiving systems, usually based on the state’s requirements. Email archiving is essentially a vault that can store emails.

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How to Setup and Manage Email for Your Town

When it comes to setting up emails for your municipality, it’s worth exploring the different available options.

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What is Responsive Web Design? Part 2

More and more companies are recognizing the importance of having a website that not only works on desktop computers, but one that loads properly on mobile devices as well. Eighty percent of internet users own a smartphone, and more than a billion people access the internet primarily from their mobile devices.

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What Is Responsive Web Design Part 1

Smartphones and tablets continue to “take over the world,” at least when it comes to browsing. While we’ve known for a while that it was just a matter of time until mobile devices would become the go-to method for accessing the internet, most of us were unaware at just how quickly that would happen.

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How to Handle Website Suggestions from Town Residents

If there’s anything that all community website managers can tell you about operating a communal site for a large group of people, it’s this: The virtual suggestion box will always be full.

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Methods For Smoother Website Service and Support

One of the most important aspects of a professionally-designed website is the service center – virtual, physical, or both. The reason for this is simple: if you didn’t have the time or the knowledge to design the website on your own, then you don’t have the time and knowledge for extensive troubleshooting!

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How to Use Google Analytics on Your Town Website

Google is an almost ubiquitous technological platform these days, with its virtual hand in everything from online searches to ad revenues to language translation. Google Analytics is one of the many Google-based applications that can be used by website owners and developers for free.

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6 Ways to Keep People Coming Back to Your Website

The great thing about developing a municipal or town website is the fact that it isn’t just a one-time stop for browsers. Vibrant, relevant websites have the ability to always pull their readers back for another look, another update.

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The Town Web Design Process: Site Building, Payment, and Other Considerations

The first step to creating your municipal website is as simple as making the decision to do so. Next comes the online research and asking colleagues and peers for recommendations – in a way the most important part of the entire town web design process!

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How to Choose and Buy a Domain for your Town

You may find that when you begin your search for a town website domain, the one that makes the most sense has already been taken. In choosing a slightly different domain, some towns have opted to use complicated addresses in lieu of the ubiquitous “.com,” however these can be difficult for users to remember.

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5 Types of Content for Your Town Website

Creating a town website is an essential part of reaching out to the community. Your goal should be to create a one-stop directory of relevant local information so that citizens won’t need to call the office every time they have a basic question about local ordinances or garbage pickup.

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Who Updates A Municipal Website?

Municipalities can benefit a great deal from having their own local websites built. Not only does a website allow residents to log on and find information about anything from the town history to how to pay a water bill, but it gives municipal administrators a central place to share news.

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Getting a New Municipal Website is Not as Difficult as You Think!

Municipal clerks usually know how important a website is for their Town, but they are reluctant to start the website design process. If only they knew how much time they could save by putting all their municipality’s information in one easily accessible place.

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TownWeb’s Rebranding: Welcome to Our New Website

TownWeb has recently changed its branding to better communicate a more relevant brand promise. We still offer the same high-quality web design services to towns and municipalities across the United States.

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Insights Into Our Development Process for Creating the New TW Dashboard

TownWeb recently launched our new and improved client Dashboard as a direct response to your feedback. Our clients’ responses in our survey during the summer were essential in helping us design the newest version of the WordPress Dashboard, tailored to the customers needs.

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5 Things to Remember When Choosing a Web Design Company for Your Municipality - A Complete Step-by-step Guide

The decision on which web-design company should create the municipality website can either make your life as a clerk much easier for years to come or it can bring a lot of frustration with technical issues, malicious hacks, hidden costs and calls with complaints from angry residents.

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Town Web Design’s User Survey Results and the Changes We’ve Made

At TownWeb, we constantly strive to improve our municipal web design package and customer support. Our current clients may remember that in August we conducted a survey to see how you felt about TownCMS v5 software and its ease of use.

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How to effectively protect yourself from hacking even when you’re not a tech-savvy genius

The thing is – when it comes to computers, safety is not given, but earned. All it takes is one, simple error to let someone “through”, steal data or unleash chaos on your website.

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Eight Questions to Ask Your Web Design Company

Remember, it’s important to choose a web designer or a web design company based on who you would like to form a lasting business relationship with.

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Everything You Need to Know About .Gov Domains

The .gov domain is a prestigious top-level domain restricted to government entities. It comes at a price, and that price is increased from $125/yr to $400/yr on January 1st, 2017.

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PDF Manuals Now Online and Downloadable!

With PDF manuals, it is our goal to help all municipal clerks confidently and autonomously update their websites for maximum convenience. Many of our customers are already on the latest version of our software (TownCMS). Those that are on v5 have access to all the latest features and additions.

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Maximize your Municipal Revenue with an Online Auction

Have you ever wondered what to do with all the surplus you accumulate in your municipality? How about that wood chipper you can’t seem to budge? There may be times when you glance in despair at that ancient printer in the corner of the office or the filing cabinet in storage that hasn’t been used since Jimmy Carter was President.

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What’s Included in Town Web Design’s Price?

Websites are essential for town municipalities these days. At a time when people are increasingly taking to the internet to find quick answers to their questions, a visually appealing website can be a powerful tool in communicating with your residents and visitors.

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Google Analytics 101 for Municipal Clerks

If you’re wondering how to engage more with your online visitors, Google Analytics could hold the key. This type of analysis will help you understand your community and what they need from your website. Not only does Town Web Design provide clients with a fresh, professional and easy-to-maintain website, but we also give them an Analytics account.

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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.

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Municipal Web Design - Best Practice

For municipals, having a well-designed and easy-to-use website is becoming increasingly important. Websites are one of the most important tools for citizens to get information about municipalities. In fact, some studies show that people are far more likely to go online for information about their hometowns, rather than calling a town official.

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7 Ways to Advertise Your New Website

Congratulations on your new website! Now that you have a website, you’ll want to get the word out –and inform people of its existence. Without advertising, many people won’t know that you have a website. It’s up to you to raise awareness and let people know.

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What Is Included in the Set-Up Fee?

When it comes to website design, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes. A great website involves more than just making a site that looks nice; a good website is the result of careful and deliberate work.

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Town Web Design Calendar - Automatic PDFs of Agendas Posted in Calendar

At Town Web Design, we’re always looking for ways to make life easier for town clerks. One exclusive new feature that we’re certain will make things easier, is the option to have meeting agendas post automatically to the calendar page on the town’s website.

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Do You Have a “Piggy Back” Site?

For many municipalities, having one town website seems to make sense. You can have everything pertaining to the town in one area, including information for town residents and out-of-town visitors alike.

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A Lower-Cost Alternative to Civic Plus

If you’re in the market for a website for your town, finding the right website design company is one of the most important decisions that you can make.

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Google Analytics: The Most Visited Pages

If you have a town website, tracking your traffic is important. Monitoring your visitors can provide you with a wealth of information that can help you to improve your website, and make changes to help improve how people find information.

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