Monday, October 3, 2011

Media Borough has a new website

Sometime last week Media Borough unveiled their new website which can be viewed at  For a reported $15,000 to re-design, people are asking was it worth it?  Seems there is still no twiiter ability and during last week's cancellation of the Food Festival the announcement was handled by, which is fine, but at least have a link or update on also.

Quite frankly I thought the old one worked just fine.  However, let's see what the public has to say.  Take our Poll >>>>>>>>>>


  1. You are right again, T! I found out about the postponement from you on here, not on the borough website. $15/k is excessive. That amount could have been spent on much more worthy projects in Media.

  2. That's it! That's the site? Perhaps it not done yet, I hope.

  3. I found the new website much easier to use than the old one. From what I understand, there are still more updates and improvements to come based on feedback the Borough receives. So rather than complain about it here, I urge you to contact the Borough with your suggestions for improvements.

  4. You're not asking the right question: $15k isn't the issue here - this could be actually fairly inexpensive! The internet is a central element for satisfying our informational needs in 2011, I wonder if all project participants have been aware of what this means. WHAT IS REALLY INCLUDED is the bigger question. Here are the issues that I am having with the new site:

    (1) The 'design' update and CMS switch seems to be the major change. This is a common mistake when sites are re-launched. Instead of first sitting down (yes, this costs money) to plan an efficient page layout, navigation and information structure (based on usage data, usability, feedback etc), the customer (meaning: the Borough...) many have fallen in love with the 'pretty design'? The expensive hangover could come later, when site visitors keep complaining that they can't quickly find what they are looking for. As for me, I find the new website fairly cluttered (inconsistent font sizes, tiny short links for frequently used pages such as calendar, not very interactive, etc).

    (2) Who conducted the project requirements? Did the re-launch also change some of the Borough workflows? Or was this ignored? Will users that maintain the site (Borough employees, committee members) have it easy to contribute (editing without being an IT pro) there, or will it be maintained by one 'overlord'? I find it a bit strange that (in the aera of the information age) we conduct extensive and expensive reviews and public meetings about a bridge renovation (that impacts probably 10% of the residents) while at the same time the information needs of 100% of all residents are figured out behind closed doors, without a large public feedback and debate. Maybe there was one, and I've just missed it...?

    (3) The site is now based on Drupal, a popular CMS system. It's the same that is used by the White House. What maintenance costs (security updates, extensions, backups) are involved here? Did the Borough develop a roadmap for future enhancements? Is there a budget for this, or will it become stale like the last one?

    (4) WHERE IS THE INTERACTION? We live in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Blogs. I am writing this as a comment to a Blog. The 'new' site does not allow any real feedback other than email and telephone - just like in 1996. This doesn't allow the Borough to capture the opinions of its residents and other website visitors. A missed opportunity, I think.

    (5) Just like Tedman said, it feels a bit 'stale', without a Twitter feed. The existing RSS feeds for news and calendar are (currently) beyond ugly and its content is confusing.

    (6) It's late 2011, 4 out of 10 residents run around with smartphones these days. A municipal website is certainly a destination I would use on the go, especially during specific times (event details and updates, popular places, weather alerts, quickly looking up emergency locations etc.). The Drupal CMS should generally be able to deal with that (although implementing a mobile interface costs extra budget). The new design, however, doesn't over pages optimized for mobile devices. Heck, it currently zaps down more than half a megabyte - just to load the startpage. Costly for residents that have a limted data plan.

    Enough critisism - would be nice to see if the Borough actually did its homework when it ordered the re-launch (...and what they ordered). Maybe we'll see the detail on this blog?

  5. I think Hans moleman overanalyzed a municipal website redesign.

  6. Hans was right on, but I'll summarize for the non technical: take the site down, replace with the old one and......listen, GET THE $15,000 BACK!


    Media Taxpayer

  7. I don't think it was worth it because we need to increase tourism to the Borough. I don't ever check that website since my residence is not actually in the Borough, I could care less when trash/recycling pick up is.

    I always go to for information.