Town of Seabrook Island Website Redesign and Online Public Comment Portal
The Town of Seabrook Island understood from the flood of 2015 and hurricane events in the years afterward that its old website had significant limitations while in emergency mode — advisory alerts had to be very short and could not be archived. The aging website was expensive to maintain, difficult to navigate and not mobile friendly.
Officials decided to resolve these issues with a new website. The town began a comprehensive planning and research process with an advisory committee of residents. While a third-party developer had created the old version, town staff created the new site in-house for less than $600 — far less than the cost of the previous site.
The new version of www.townofseabrookisland.org launched in April 2019. Built on a new hosting platform, it features improved navigation and a community calendar. The site also improves transparency with an archive of audio recordings from public meetings of council, commissions, committees and boards. The town coordinated with its local businesses for a new visitor information page.
The site also has a public comment portal to promote resident engagement in the policy-making process that helps them better understand how local government works. Residents can review and submit comments on pending action items. For public hearings on ordinances, 77% of the comments received by council came from the new site. The site continues to be important for emergency notices, which are now archived. In the three days before and after Hurricane Dorian, traffic was up by 947% compared to the rest of 2019.
Contact Joseph Cronin at email@example.com or 843.768.9121.