DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

May 1, 2014

Town website will see upgrades

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — A town online source for planning and development information is getting an upgrade.

Town councilors heard information at a meeting April 21 about improvements to the town’s economic development online page that is part of the town website.

Citing often outdated information and constant updating, Town Manager Kevin Smith said the site is being revamped by town contracted consultant Stu Arnett and planning official John Vogl.

Arnett represents the Arnett Development Group and has been on board in Londonderry for several months, aiding in economic development planning and other projects.

He said the site served its purpose for several years, but now with so much going on in town, including major projects like Woodmont and Pettengill Road plans, it’s time for some updates.

“The old site was four or five years old,” he said. “It was a good website for its time, but it’s time has passed by.”

Arnett said the old format had plenty of information, but not a lot of concrete directions on how to find specific information.

“It was hard to find things,” he said. “We want to make it plain and simple.”

That simpler plan includes more definite locations for links to find things like how to approach the town for development and planning inquiries or what is already going on in Londonderry with more specific targets for information.

That includes portals of other complementary sites to support what Londonderry is currently doing.

Some councilors thought more should be done.

“What’s the hook?” Councilor John Farrell said. “We have a good story to tell, but the story is not being told anywhere on the site.”

Farrell said the site could tell more about the town’s success stories and what plans are in the pipeline.

Some of the information included is still outdated, he said.

“I went on the site and clicked through every link and I know the story, but I don’t get it,” Farrell said.

Council Chairman Tom Dolan suggested more headlines to stand out on the site to highlight the huge projects underway in town, including Woodmont.

Farrell said people typically visit websites and stay there a short time. Having information presented quickly and in a clear fashion is best, he said.

“You have to take them down a path,” he said.