Century’s Search For A Web Design Company Comes Up Empty

The Town of Century wants a new website, but there were no responses to advertisements seeking proposals.

In early January, the town published a request for legal notice proposal for website redesign, hosting and support in the Tri-City Ledger and the Pensacola News Journal.

The proposals were due by 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. By 10:35 a.m., no proposals had been received. Town officials said they intend to re-advertise in attempt to find a web design company within their $7,500 budget.

Full disclosure: NorthEscambia.com was hired by vote of the full Century Town Council to review the technical aspects of the website RFP. We disclosed at that time that we would not submit a bid on the proposal. Our total bill for services rendered is estimated to be $275.

Pictured: The Town of Century’s current website, which has had no apparent updates since February 2015. NorthEscambia.com image.

Comments

16 Responses to “Century’s Search For A Web Design Company Comes Up Empty”

  1. Grand Locust on February 1st, 2018 10:41 pm

    The suggestions of utilizing students is great, but the current website only needs somebody familiar with hyperlinks to expand information. In regard to paying bills online, municipalimpact.com will migrate a website, host it, and provide support for about six hundred dollars a year with the most advanced features which allows small towns all over America from reinventing the wheel while providing online payment of bills, text alerts, and unlimited support. The key is training staff and not being overcharged and controlled by a local provider who is not under direction of staff line of command. You could migrate the current website and get about ten years of a dynamic database driven website for what you are willing to pay to a consultant. Make some calls and quit trying to reinvent the wheel or make costly mistakes, There are many other software packages out there, and the one I have listed may not be the best fit, but that should be the process. If you paid 15k for the current website, there are some folks who need to get educated.

  2. Citizen on February 1st, 2018 3:20 pm

    Wonder if they can tag on with myescambia.com..yet another inter local agreement. I wish they were more modern with video and online agenda and such.
    Out of Mayberry…

  3. Chelleepea on February 1st, 2018 3:13 pm

    Its not a bad idea to get students involved . …but the bigger problem will be maintenance. It’s not enough to have an initial page . ..it’s got to be constantly updated with new info, like meeting minutes , latest happenings, fee changes, uocoming bids for projects, etc.

    If you want people to constantly access the page, the contents have to be dynamic. Otherwise it would be a waste of money.

  4. Biff on February 1st, 2018 1:29 pm

    Why not run a contest in local high-schools for a web page and host on a company like wix.com cheap easy and gets the kids of the county involved the community.

  5. William on February 1st, 2018 1:07 pm

    >>What about checking with your local High School (Northview) webmaster to see if this is a service that they can handle for the town of Century

    Good idea, but there is more to this project than that. Hosting, database integration, the possibility of paying utility bills online, security, etc.

    The $7,500 is a low budget for what they are looking to do (not saying they could not do less).

    My company, for instance, would not touch it for $7,500.

  6. Northend resident on February 1st, 2018 1:05 pm

    Even the Middle School has a graphic design program, maybe this would be an excellent fit for the town and good training for the students!
    http://www.ernestward.com/graphic

  7. William on February 1st, 2018 1:04 pm

    >>@William…..I wasn’t implying that putting it in the paper was wrong…just suggesting that the city needs to do some legwork since very few look in papers these days

    There are laws they would have to follow…it *could* be illegal to pick up the phone and call XYZ Web Co. but not call ABC Web Co.

  8. Beulah Gal on February 1st, 2018 1:02 pm

    An experienced web design firm does a lot more than fill in the blanks on a template. I worked for a non-profit and talked with several companies. The best one (rejected by the boss because it was also the most expensive), asked a lot of questions about revenue streams and priorities. They wanted to understand the various groups that would visit the site — in Century’s case, those would include residents, visitors, business owners, and prospective businesses — and what those groups would want to find.

    My boss chose a newcomer to the industry, right out of college, who had moved out of state. We ended up with a template designed for an online store, which was inadequate for our services in many ways.

    $7,500 is not a lot of money, but if someone experienced would take pity on the town and do the job for that, it would be worth every penny.

  9. Northend resident on February 1st, 2018 12:59 pm

    What about checking with your local High School (Northview) webmaster to see if this is a service that they can handle for the town of Century. I’m sure the money would benefit the school and students tremendously!

  10. Chelleepea on February 1st, 2018 12:40 pm

    What is the status of http://www.centuryflorida.com ? Whose maintaining it now ? Do we really need to start from scratch ?

  11. Chelleepea on February 1st, 2018 12:26 pm

    @William…..I wasn’t implying that putting it in the paper was wrong…just suggesting that the city needs to do some legwork since very few look in papers these days

  12. William on February 1st, 2018 11:49 am

    >>>Webhosting and design companies don’t look in news papers for work

    There are legal publication requirements in order to receive bids that the town must follow…that why they ran the ads.

  13. Lifendason on February 1st, 2018 11:15 am

    Their site has the information, but needs updated of course. Depending on the cms they are using it shouldn’t be that difficult, especially if using wordpress. Maybe a new updated theme would fix the columns/widgets.

    I would say the hardest part would be gathering all the updated information because the site looks nothing more than a information site.

    Just my two novice cents. :)

  14. Grand Locust on February 1st, 2018 10:49 am

    Are you kidding me? You can go to Go Daddy and get a domain name and a template for a website for less than a hundred dollars and any person with a high school education can complete the process of putting the Century information into the template. How about spending that money on an existing employee to train and run the town’s website. I could understand this proposal fifteen years ago, but today to pay close to eight thousand dollars for a web site when current employees could be trained to maintain the same is a waste of taxpayer money.

  15. Chelleepea on February 1st, 2018 10:11 am

    Webhosting and design companies don’t look in news papers for work. My suggestion is to Google for companies that cater to municipalities. The councils gonna have to call around and talk to these companies directly . I only caution that some of these companies may not all be legit so careful research will be needed.

  16. chris on February 1st, 2018 7:44 am

    Maybe I’m wrong, but didn’t Century dish out like 15K for website and consultation services not too long ago? Or was that dollar amount just an estimate.

 

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