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.