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Web Slinger

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Councilman helps get new city website on track

By Gene Sears

The city has a new look, and while it’s not a full makeover for Main Street, Fort Lupton’s new website, www.fortlupton.org, may be even more effective in attracting new residents and business to the city.
    With online marketing the first glimpse of town that future visitors usually see, an effective web presence can be a powerful sales tool.
    For current residents, the site is much more: a reference point, a list of contacts and a bulletin board for city services and upcoming events. It’s no surprise that city officials wanted to put their best foot forward, and when the project slipped a bit behind schedule, Fort Lupton City Councilman Kevin Schwickrath stepped up to ride herd on the development.
    “We had a contract out to redo it, but it wasn’t really going anywhere, so I stepped into a project manager role to get the developer and the city working together, we ironed out a template, and started work,” Schwickrath said. “I just jumped in and salvaged the relationship the developer had within the city. He was frustrated with the city, and the city was frustrated with him, just because the developer speaks tech, and in the city, they speak government. They just needed a translator.”
    With one foot in each world, Schwickrath turned out to be the right man for the job. The site, despite some first-generation bugs, has a fresh new look and is set to grow along with the city.
    “The end result is great,” Schwickrath said. “It’s going to be a work in progress. The site was built on an open source content management system, so it allows us to modify and change things as the city grows and as our needs for the website change. Because of the way it was designed, it’s really going to be a virtual platform for us.”
    Toward that end, Schwickrath is looking for help to polish some of the rough spots, and customize the user experience.
    “It’s the first iteration, and now I’m looking for feedback from people on what we can do to improve the site,” Schwickrath said. “I’ve already gotten feedback from the public, and I’m definitely soliciting that.”  You may contact the councilman with suggestions at kschwickrath@fortlupton.org
    Adding the public input to his future plans for the site, he hopes to increase the web viability of Fort Lupton for both marketing and residential usage.
    “I have a lot of plans for it,” Schwickrath said. “Hopefully I can get a lot of that done this year. We’ll see what we can do to make things easier for people inside and outside of Fort Lupton to access information about our city.”

Contact Staff Writer Gene Sears at gsears@metrowestnewspapers.com.