The City of Kansas City, Mo., has launched a new website at kcmo.gov, replacing its old site, www.kcmo.org. The new site sports a streamlined, modern look with iconic rotating photos of Kansas City, but the biggest change is a new, custom Google search bar.
Instead of going to a department and hunting for the best pull-down, users go to a big search bar in the middle of the main pages and literally “Google it,” typing in key words.
The search works just like when you Google anything else, except it focuses on the City’s website, not the entire Internet. A list of search results will appear, and users choose which page they need.
The new site also is responsive—it changes shape for easy viewing on a phone, tablet or desktop computer.
The new website also relies on the City’s Open Data Catalog (data.kcmo.org), where information on everything from permits to potholes is shared with the public. The new site is powered by the free WordPress platform, making it the nation’s largest municipal open-source WordPress website. It was built nearly 100 percent from scratch, and launched at a fourth of the cost of the old site at significant savings to taxpayers now and in the future.
The new City website has been in a soft launch phase for a few weeks, and we’ve been making adjustments based on feedback.
If you don’t find what you need on the first try, you should slightly change your key words and hit search again. A short, humorous video on how to search for items can be viewed at www.kcmo.gov/faq. Also, every page has a bar that asks, “Is there anything wrong with this page?” Users can click on that to relay problems or email@example.com.
In developing the site, the City partnered with several local companies: Luminopolis for behind-the-scenes technical work and hosting arrangements, SingleWing Creative for design work and Eric Bowers for photography.
For full details,