City Council checks out new GF website

The Grand Forks City Council checked out the city's nearly one-month old website Monday evening, about three weeks after the city shared its new design with the public.
Grand Forks City Hall (Herald photo/Sam Easter)
Grand Forks City Hall (Herald photo/Sam Easter)

The Grand Forks City Council checked out the city’s nearly one-month old website Monday evening, about three weeks after the city shared its new design with the public.

According to a presentation from city staff, the Grand Forks website is meant to be more mobile friendly and service oriented.

Analytics the city used while developing the website last summer showed most users were accessing the city website for services like job searches and bus routes, according to city Communication Specialist John Bernstrom.

Google has spent the last three weeks making sure links summoned through the website’s search bar function are accurate.

“We ask that you bear with us, that is something that’s out of our control and we hope that it recorrects itself rather quickly,” Bernstrom said.

Grand Forks paid Vision Internet $20,750 for a one-time development cost. It will pay $8,400 a year plus a five percent annual increase for maintenance.

“We built the page to be mobile friendly, and were starting to see some numbers to that,” said City Communication Specialist John Bernstrom.

Between September 2018 to February 2019, Bernstrom said the former city website was receiving on average less than 18,000 page hits a week.

Since its grand reveal on March 4, the new Grand Forks website has been receiving 28,000 page hits a week now.

“As we talked about the time is right for a new website, I think we need to continue to look at ways to make it easier for our citizens to get services from the city of Grand Forks,” Council President Dana Sande said. “I’d love to see us add the ability to apply for a building permit online, schedule in inspection, you name it.”