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What Does Statewide Study Say About Township Website?

It's better than most, but still not good enough, according to Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano.

Moorestown's municipal website is above average compared to the nearly 550 other municipal websites across the state, but still has plenty of room for improvement, according to a new study. 

A Monmouth University study into the effectiveness of municipal websites has Moorestown just barely making the top third of the 540 sites included in the study, which ranked the sites based on three primary factors: ease of use, content and citizen interaction.

Moorestown's performance in each category was above the statewide average, according to the study.

Still, Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano, who took up the technology torch from the moment she was sworn in, said there's plenty of ways the township could and should improve its website. 

For Napolitano, the main issues is the accessibility of information.

"It's very difficult to find things on our website," she said. "I just want to improve the functionality."

Napolitano elaborated, explaining she'd also like to see certain services added to the website, such as applying for a dog license, or a section with vital information for new or existing businesses. 

"I would definitely like to see our ranking improve next year," she said, adding that making the site better is a top priority for the Telecommunications and Technlogy Committee, which she serves as liaison to. 

The Monmouth study emphasized the importance of municipal websites by pointing to a 2011 poll that showed the Internet is the first place most New Jerseyans turn for information about their community: nearly six in 10 said they've looked up information about their town online—about the same number who said they've paid a visit to their municipality's town hall. And residents are also far more likely to visit a municipal website than call or write a town official, the report stated.

The township will soon be moving forward with a total technology audit to assess all its tech needs. However, the website isn't really included in that assessment, Napolitano said. 

Check out the attached PDF to see the full results of the Monmouth University study.

What do you think of the township website? How could it be better? Tell us in the comments below.

Deeply Concerned April 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Online dog licenses. We are certainly fortunate that we have no other pressing issues in Moorestown. No roll-up your sleeve issues such as expenditures way higher than revenues. The fruit can't be low enough for this puffball crew.
Otto April 30, 2013 at 12:29 PM
How about paying the water bill or my taxes online?
I heart Mo-town April 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM
And Howe - As someone who works in IT as a content manager, who designs and builds websites in the Knowledge Management world for a living, I agree with Ms. Napolitano's observations and have had the same myself. Is it the most pressing issue in town today? No, obviously not, but what is the harm in dealing with 'the small stuff'? Every 'thing' that gets improved adds to the total improvement. As someone who works 2 jobs on average of 14 hours a day, the ability to pay my water bill or get a dog license (if I had a dog) online would be a huge 'plus' for me. My own wish list aside, I agree that the site could use some better organization and the use of online form submissions with payment options would greatly improve the usability of the site in general and could make life just a little bit easier for those of us workaholics who have little time to personally visit town hall.
Prius April 30, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Where can I find the information greg newcomer proposed about charging stations at the new town hall. I think that is a great idea and money well spent.
Green Thumb April 30, 2013 at 01:48 PM
I'm hoping that idea was shelved. It's a good idea for some time when we have a ton of money, certainly not for right now. Who even HAS an electric car? I don't know a single person who does.... Maybe like 5-10 years from now we can look at money spent on stuff like that
Hufflepuff April 30, 2013 at 01:49 PM
God forbid they improve our town's image and online presence. The cheap shots are never too low for good old Howe....
Our Town April 30, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Agreed. Charging stations would be an unnecessary expense for an already bloated project with little to no gain for the town. Real, plug in cars are still a rarity and a novelty that the town would be better served to either conserve that money or spend it more wisely. While it's a good sentiment, it's an irrational request.

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