Back in 2012, Littleton, Colorado’s (population 42,000) new city manager and city council began crafting a new vision for their community, which is located 10 miles south of Denver. The new vision included a close look at the city’s website. Littleton city officials arranged for graduate students at the University of Denver to do a marketing and branding analysis of the city’s website as a summer project.

Results showed that the city’s site, built in 2006, had become cumbersome to use and outdated. The site’s bounce rate was high, an indicator that people who reached the city site’s home page tended to leave quickly without diving deeper into the site.

Littleton chose to partner with the online government team at Santa Monica, Calif.-based Vision Internet, and the Littleton city council budgeted money for a complete site redesign.

As part of the site redesign project, Vision Internet’s content management system, visionCMS, was installed to keep the Littleton site up to date. The system allows non-technical staff to add, edit and delete website content while providing the management tools necessary to maintain control, consistency and quality.

“The simplicity of visionCMS made it easy to decentralize the posting of information,” said Kelli Narde, Littleton’s director of communications and marketing. “More than a dozen employees now post to the new site, which is a huge plus because it takes a considerable burden off of our webmaster.”

The content management system enabled Littleton’s webmaster, Cathy Weaver, to reduce the number of pages on the city’s website from 1,800 to just over 600 pages. The new site’s technology also met one of Weaver’s top criteria, which was to detect the type of device accessing it, and then reconfigure the screen to fit that device.

Littleton’s new site, which is at this address, has improved the city’s global visibility, based on data from the city’s 2014 Community Scorecard. The scorecard found that Littleton’s new site was visited by people from 166 different countries and accessed more than 140,400 times on mobile devices since it launched one year earlier. The website also earned international recognition for outstanding digital communication with a gold award in the 2014 AVA Digital Awards competition.

In this video, Michael Keating, senior editor of Government Product News, chats with Vision Internet's Ashley Fruechting about her firm’s work with more than 500 local governments, non-profits and education clients. Vision Internet creates city websites and provides its visionCMS content management system to governments.

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