Volusia County Florida
Powering a new online presence for Volusia County
Volusia County, Florida, is a geographically diverse area that is home to everything from farms and forests to world-class beaches. With a population of nearly a half million people, meeting the needs of the residents with County services is a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, through years of adding content without an easily manageable navigation structure in place, finding information on the County’s website had become a huge undertaking as well. The site had grown to nearly 20,000 pages. Volusia County decided it was ready to meet the informational needs of its residents, visitors and businesses with an improved online presence that included a strong emphasis on streamlined navigation and data mobilization.
The challenge was to find a platform with enterprise capabilities that could help Volusia County rebuild its digital portfolio and make the transition from a structure where one webmaster had control to a site with multiple administrators. The new tools also had to be cost effective and easy to operate because they would have to be managed by existing personnel. There were no plans to increase the size of the staff or reduce their current responsibilities.
Like with many organizations, the community information team had a full plate keeping the information flowing to its various constituents. The website was just a portion of its responsibilities. Security was a concern and Volusia County determined there were too many uncertainties with an open-source solution. A Web platform that was stable and safe and minimized the number of potential vulnerabilities was needed.
It was important that any new software allow the community information team to manage all channels from a central location with zero redundancy. Site administrators were also looking for a platform to streamline some of their day-to-day operations, and they also wanted control over website content without having to depend on outside help.
The previous website had become unwieldy with a sprawling navigation and ever-growing number of pages. The site lacked a consistent design and links crisscrossed throughout the site to duplicate, old and often times content that no longer existed.
Limited access to make changes and outdated software used to create and manage the site made it destined for extinction. Volusia County was also very much interested in finding an external hosting solution for the site as unexpected outages at critical times made the staff apprehensive about continuing to host the site on premises.
The primary objective was simple: To better serve the community by maximizing web-based technologies and to make Volusia.org a comprehensive resource regarding the County and the services it provided. Some of the most important elements of the redesigned website included an easy-to-maintain framework built on a highly scalable platform. Volusia also wanted to leverage emerging channels to make information readily available for people on the go.
The enterprise technology of Solodev CMS exceeded all requirements and integrated search engine optimization features ensures high page rankings. Solodev’s scheduling allows site administrators to save time by planning in advance when content goes live or comes down.
Another big time saver for Volusia County was Solodev’s creation of application modules to make routine tasks such as posting press releases, publishing photo galleries and updating information about Council members quicker and easier.
The permissions system built into Solodev software allows Volusia County site administrators to designate which employees have access to what content on the site. This ensures that only authorized personnel are able make changes. And with a detailed version history in place, changes can be reversed at any time with the click of a button.
Capitalizing on the popularity of native smart-phone applications, the County has a comprehensive beach app with information about parking, access, surf, lifeguards and more. The website and apps are managed with the same CMS interface and pull from the same database.
Solodev provided a secure and stable solution that allows all stakeholders to sleep easy at night and delivered a vendor-managed SaaS platform in a rock-solid hosting environment.
The community information team is happy because it easily adapted to the site and enjoyed time savings through efficiencies built into the website. Many back-end enhancements make it easy for administrators to keep the site updated with the latest news, photos and events. The native apps demonstrate a commitment to technology and Volusia County is able to centrally manage all online channels through the Solodev platform with zero redundancy.
Because Volusia County decided to partner with Solodev, it is servicing its many constituents with leading edge options and will continue to do so in the future. Even before the new Volusia.org site was launched, the County was able to design and build a companion website on the Solodev platform geared toward promoting sports in the County. As technology evolves and new channels are created, Solodev software will be able to push data through those new streams and ensure continued next-generation solutions for Volusia County.