Wordpress won't cut it for the city of Knoxville's website.
City officials plan to spend more than $67,000 to give the existing 12-year-old www.cityofknoxville.org a face-lift.
"This is not some sort of simple one- or two-page website for a mom-and-pop company," said Jesse Mayshark, communications director. "It has to serve lots of different needs to local residents and businesses to access different city services."
The city's website has 4,400 pages with about 3,400 unique visitors a day and about 58 million hits a month, Mayshark said.
Mayshark said 21 companies made bids for the job, with the most expensive estimate at $250,000. A cluster of proposals were in the $60,000 and $70,000 range, he said.
The job will be split between Toronto-based CivicLive, which specializes in government website design and hosting, and Knoxville-based Avenue Factory, specializing in custom code for dynamic websites.
"Avenue Factory will be providing a lot of the look of the website," Mayshark said. "CivicLive will provide a lot of the structure."
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The city's existing website was created in 2001 with minimal changes in its 12 years, according to reports given to City Council members last week.
The redesign of the website will offer residents more direct ways to file complaints, make suggestions or carry out requests, according to reports.
The local firm mostly will be responsible for creating the content that would make the pages "look like Knoxville and feel like Knoxville," Mayshark said.
"It needs to be a reflection of our people and more so a reflection of what we want other people in this country to view ourselves," Haseeb Qureshi, owner of Avenue Factory, said Friday.
Qureshi said he has assembled a team for his work of the project, including two from the Village Marketing Group, another local company.
"I absolutely love the creative community in Knoxville, and more and more I'm seeing the appreciation of good talent in the community," he said.
The $46,350 contract with CivicLive includes an annual $7,000 hosting fee, with the remaining cost for the website creation and a "kick off meeting" with city staff and Avenue Factory next month. City Council members approved the contract last week.
Avenue Factory will be paid $21,000 for its services, Mayshark said.
The website redesign should take four to six months after the initial meeting among all parties, but Mayshark said the city will not rush the job and will not launch the website until all parties are satisfied.
(c)2014 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)