“It was long overdue,” said Titusville City Manager Neil Fratus speaking about the new City website, which recently went live.
The old website, which could have been considered impressive in the ‘90s, was replaced with something more modern that falls in line with what other area municipalities have. The website is the product of work from the office of the City Manager, with lots of help and guidance from Jessica Hilburn, who helped keep the entire process local.
The web address is still the same, CityofTitusvillePa.Gov. Fratus said that while they switched to the new site there was a 48-hour period where the site was down. Those who were not able to access the website should now be able to.
About a year ago, Fratus remembers talking with Executive Secretary Heather Stewart about the website. “I sat there and said, ‘boy, we need to do something new,’” said Fratus.
At that point he and Stewart made it their mission to have a new, more user friendly, website for residents to use before the end of August, 2021. Even though August turned to November, Fratus is happy with the finished product, and feels that it will help those in the City use services and find information more easily.
“The old site had a lot of info everywhere. It was all over the place,” said Fratus. “This new site looks great, is easy to find information and has all the services that our residents need.”
Instead of looking at a bleak page with links scattered everywhere and the City logo, visitors are now greeted with a picture of Main Street.
Looks were not the only aspect the City was worried about. They really wanted the site to be easy to use.
City residents pay their bills and city service fees on the website, and City officials wanted to make sure anyone could use the site easily to do that.
“The website is what I use to pay,” said Fratus, who said he found the new site much easier to navigate.
City officials wanted the page to sell the City and show visitors to the site all that there is to do. At council meetings those who attend may have noticed that members of council have pushed the Titusville Placemaking community calendar. The City wants businesses and organizations to use the calendar as one place where residents can find out about events, parties, meetings and everything going on. The community calendar can now be found on the website.
While Fratus and Stewart worked on the website for months, there was some expertise needed. That help came in the way of Jessica Hilburn, who has worked on the Titusville Placemaking team and also made other websites, and councilwoman Sara Jones.
“Hats off to Jessica Hilburn,” said Fratus. “We had what we wanted and she ran with it.”
Part of what the update does is allow for Fratus to put up information and hopefully receive less calls. Fratus stated that the city does not want to discourage residents from calling City Hall and talking to city officials.
“I hope more people look at the website, instead of calling first maybe take a look there,” said Fratus.
Users who have issues with the site should call City Hall. Fratus said that this was a necessary change, and one that he is excited about. “It gets us up with the times,” said Fratus.
Dvorkin can be reached by email at [email protected]