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Cortez unveils new city government website

Features designed to be easier to navigate
The homepage of the city of Cortez’s new website.

The city of Cortez’s new website is up and running, and staff hope the upgrade will be friendlier to residents and visitors alike.

At a workshop on Tuesday, city marketing and events coordinator Jon Brooks presented the new site to council members, highlighting some new features such as a more prominent search bar and professional photos of the Cortez area. Before the new design launched on Monday, the city had already begun adding new things to the site, including a livestream of all council meetings. Brooks said he and the city’s technology staff are proud of the new site, but they will continue to look for ways to improve it.

One of the most obvious changes to the website is a rotating set of photos that make up the background of its homepage, featuring Main Street, Sleeping Ute Mountain and other local landmarks. Brooks said he wanted the site to make Cortez look good for new visitors considering a trip there.

“Part of what Shane Hale asked me to do is create a marketing type of feel, as well as functionality for our citizens,” he said. “We hopefully have accomplished that goal.”

The website’s search bar, formerly a small image on the left of the screen, is now displayed prominently in the center of the homepage. Brooks pointed out a few other features he hopes will make the site more user-friendly, including an accessible calendar and emergency alert registration. The livestream is still available under the “Agendas and Minutes” tab, but it’s now accessible from the homepage as well.

City council members said they liked the new site. Mayor Karen Sheek particularly praised the new options under the “Library” tab, which include a direct link to the resource-heavy site Colorado Virtual Library.

As the website gets more use, Brooks said he hopes to add more photos for the background. A link to the city’s Facebook page is still a work in progress, and he said he hopes to connect to Twitter as well eventually.

Brooks asked the council members to tell him if they had any ideas to improve the website. Sheek immediately brought up one possibility to improve the Animal Services tab: pictures of puppies.

“You can go under ‘Animal Shelter’ and see the pets that are available,” she said.

Brooks did not immediately say whether he planned to act on that idea.

The Cortez website can still be found at www.cityofcortez.com.

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