Stockton, Calif., Police to ‘Test Drive’ New Website

The new portal, which will replace the original website that launched in 1999 and updated in 2011, includes a modular design and improved accessibility for residents using mobile devices.

by Wes Bowers, The Record / January 28, 2019

(TNS) — The city of Stockton launched a new home page last week, and it plans to revamp its entire website sometime in the future.

When that new launch will be depends on how well users take to the home page, as well as the new website for the Stockton Police Department.

The new homepage — http://ww1.stocktonca.gov/; and SPD website — http://www.stocktonpd.org; launched Jan. 23.

"The plan is to 'test drive' this new model," city spokeswoman Connie Cochran said. "This new format is actually a very modular design, and we're hoping to take the components (of the police department's new site) and apply them to different areas within the entire city website."

She said the city has tried to maintain a website update schedule of every 10 years, and 2019 was about that time to do it, as many users access the page through their cellphones or tablets.

The new format not only makes access on desktop PCs and Macs easier, but is more easily compatible with mobile devices, Cochran said.

The city's website originally launched in 1999, Cochran said, with an updated site unveiled in 2011.

"We chose to do the police department's website first because they have a lot of pages that people visit," she said. "This [update] helps people get to the information they need more easily and quickly. Everything that interests people and the services they need are right there at the first page."

The department's webpage greets visitors with a photo of patrol vehicles parked near the waterfront and San Joaquin County Courthouse.

Above the photo is a row of pull down menus directing users to the various services the department has to offer, including programs, crime maps, online report filing and citation payments, among others.

Scrolling down the page allows users to submit a tip, learn about recruitment, or link to all the department's social media pages, all with one click.

There is also an easy link to the department's Animal Services page, which Cochran said is the most visited page on the entire city website.

The city's home page has a similar look, as users are greeted with a large photo of boats docked at the Stockton Marina.

Just under the photo are quick links for some of the more frequently used services needed by residents.

Clicking on the "City Menu" in the upper left-hand corner of the page will bring down the site map for the entire website, and clicking on the "Your Government," "Services," "Departments" and "Our City" tabs near the top of the page will open new windows with the respective information of each category.

Scrolling down the page offers links to "Ask Stockton," paying bills online, job openings and news alerts, and city meeting agendas, among other pages.

A "Contact Us" link is provided at the bottom of the page directing visitors to a list of frequently called telephone numbers, and the "Search" feature, which uses the Google search functionality, still is located in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Cochran said city staff will observe which links are used more frequently with the new format before deciding which sections of the city's website will be revamped next.

"This gives us enhanced analytics to see where users navigate, which components are helpful, and what needs to be changed," she said.

Cochran said the city is encouraging users to provide feedback on the new format, and they can do so by clicking on the "Ask Stockton" tab at http://ww1.stocktonca.gov/

©2019 The Record (Stockton, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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