Three Years and Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Later, San Jose Unveils a New Website

It took an eternity, but San Jose’s stone age website has finally evolved into the modern era. The self-described Capital of Silicon Valley has long been lambasted for its out of date web presence, but on Nov. 30 San Jose’s clunky website was transformed with a sleeker, more user-friendly design.

City spokeswoman Rosario Neaves says the overhaul culminates a three-year process that kicked off when the last web contract expired. “That’s what prompted us to look at the change,” she tells Fly. “More importantly, we recognized that it was time for the city of San Jose to have a mobile-responsive design.”

That means no more awkwardly zooming or stumbling through San Jose’s digital City Hall on your smartphone. But the change didn’t come without “hiccups,” Neaves adds.

With tech companies luring away prospective city employees with promises of higher wages and tantalizing perks, San Jose struggled to retain the right talent to see the redesign through.

“We did have some staff turnover earlier this year,” Neaves acknowledges.

But with a new web administrator—Cinequest’s digital wizard, Matt Opsal—city officials doubled-down with a “war room” presence to get the site launched before the dawn of the second decade of the 21st century.

The city’s new home page—which required a $550,000 bump this fiscal year to carry it across the finish line—boasts “top requested” services and data mines, including junk pickup, building permits and affordable housing. Residents can also use the address lookup bar on the homepage to find info on garbage, recycling, yard trimmings, water and whatever other mundane municipal needs one can imagine.

Another plus, per Neaves, is that the Economic Development Department’s under-the-radar blog—a lively little online chronicle of local business—gets a well-deserved boost.

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

5 Comments

  1. “a sleeker, more user-friendly design.”
    You mean “slicker”–I mean “sliccar”. It got sliccard. Oh.

  2. Sam and his people can’ t put together a half decent website and he wants to take control of PG&E.

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