Ron Boyer had one worry.

"You don't want it to end up like," said Boyer, Summit County's information technology director, referencing the federal health care website that was plagued with hiccups upon its debut.

Boyer and his department launched the new Summit County website, , Thursday, Aug. 21, after more than half a year spent in development.

"The bottom line is that it's more interactive and responsive," said Karsten Moench, Summit County webmaster, the point man for the new website.

Previous website redesigns happened in 2000, 2005, and 2010, Boyer said, but the newest is the most expansive and far-reaching yet.

That is because users of the website no longer exclusively do so on their desk-top computers. "More and more people are using their smartphones," said Boyer.

The current website, though, Moench said, can be clunky to use on a smartphone, with many of the features inaccessible on a smartphone.

"We have to keep up with how the community communicates," Boyer said.

So this time around, Moench and other members of the IT outsourced some of the development, and partnered up with CivicPlus, a website design company that since 2001 has created websites for more than 1,700 municipalities, counties and other governmental entities, according to CivicPlus' website.

As a result, the entire website has been built from the bottom up, and new features abound once it launches.


For instance, a link right on the homepage will allow all of the website's text to be translated to Spanish, using Google Translate to reflect the county's growing diversity.

In another example, documents such as County Council agendas and packets will no longer be near-impossible to locate, and if you want to be notified about an upcoming meeting, you can receive a text message rather than an email.

And county residents will be able to electronically contact specific departments when they have wants needing to be addressed, rather than a catch-all "Contact Us" link that has been in place before. Citizens can also communicate with Summit County on issues through an "Engage with Summit County" feature that allows residents to weigh in on suggested topics.

Many of the new features came from suggestions from committees made up of community members, Boyer said, assembled so that no stone was left unturned during the nearly 8-month-long process.

Now that the new website is live, the IT team will constantly monitor the site to check for bugs or any other problems. If deemed successful, the IT team will embark on its next process: live-streaming County Council and other meetings, now with a website that is capable of handling that job.