Friday, May 27 2022

BENNINGTON — The city has selected a vendor, Revize Software Systems of Troy, Michigan, to redesign the city’s existing website.

Revize, which is certified as a minority business venture, specializes in government websites and has 20 years of experience in the field, said city communications coordinator Jonah Spivak.

Revize was one of 22 companies that bid on Bennington’s website project, he said. Proposals were ranked based on the criteria set out in the RFP, the completeness of the proposal, and whether the proposal was within the project budget.

Four finalists were invited to meet with city staff via Zoom to discuss their proposals and had their references checked, Spivak said.

“While all of the last four had compelling proposals, Revize’s proposal really stood out,” he said. “In our final scoring matrix, Revize was a clear winner on their proposal strengths, credentials, and projected costs.”

Revize has worked on more than 2,500 government websites across the country, including a number in Vermont, such as South Burlington and St. Albans, he said.

“We’re looking for more usability, more content, more photos, more variety of information and the ability to edit content to highlight a few things,” City Manager Stuart Hurd said Friday.

Bennington’s new website will combine three existing websites into one unified source of information, covering city government, police department, planning and permits.

The three current sites are benningtonvt.org, benningtonpolice.com and benningtonplanningandpermits.com.

The goal, Spivak said, is to unify the graphic identity, meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards, improve ease of use and access to information, while maintaining a certain departmental identity, especially in the case of the police department and the city employee. .

COST FIGURES

The cost of the redesign will be $7,000, with an expected additional cost of up to $5,000 for photography. The total amount planned for the project was $25,000.

The new website will have an annual hosting cost of $1,900 per year, which includes hosting costs, security updates, and technical support and service, Spivak said.

Surplus funds already allocated to the project could cover the next six years of hosting.

Spivak said a free redesign is being offered by the company in the service’s fourth year, assuming the city continues to use Revize in the future. The city may cancel its hosting plan with Revize at any time after the first year while retaining a license to continue using the Revize software.

Work on the new site will begin this month, Spivak said. Initial setup, meetings and designer selection will take one to two weeks. The design discovery and approval stage is expected to take six to eight weeks.

Coding, browsing and migrating content, and other work, will take another two to three months. Once the new site is ready, there will still be one to three weeks for user testing and staff training.

The city expects the new site to be operational within five to eight months.

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