Portal update doubles traffic for Connecticut site

A new design at the Connecticut Web site has nearly doubled traffic, state officials said. Launched in January, the makeover offers easier navigation to 46 online services, free subscriptions and other services.

After the relaunch, www.CT.gov drew more than 1.4 million visits during the first six months of this year, an increase of 700,000 over the same period in 2002. The portal connects 312,000 Web pages of 60 agencies.

The state IT Department's Portal Management Group used Dynamic Site Framework software from Peripherals Plus Technologies Inc. of Lancaster, Pa., to improve navigation. DSF simplifies administration, letting various agencies post information directly to the state portal.

'The site will continue to evolve as features are added and individual agency sites convert to the new format,' state CIO Rock Regan said in a statement. 'Our end goal is a more user-friendly site for all citizens.'

The update included reorganizing content categories. Names such as Working, Doing Business, Living, Learning and Visiting make it easier for users to find they information they want.

The Online Services section links to pages about income tax filing, business license renewal, campground reservations, complaint filing and college planning.

The site's Reading Room has links to more than 1,000 publications from the state government. A Subscription Center lets users sign up to receive agencies' electronic publications such as the Garbage Gazette and the Banking Bulletin. Visitors also can register for electronic alerts.

The Department of Motor Vehicles was the first state agency to convert to the new portal format. Seventeen other agencies also have switched, and 30 more are converting, Connecticut officials said.

'For less than $150,000, we've created an entirely new Internet presence that makes it easier for us to deliver services,' state spokeswoman Nuala Ford said.

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