New state site a hit for Connecticut

A new design for the Connecticut Web site has nearly doubled traffic, state officials said.

The state launched a new design for the site in January, featuring easier navigation, links to 46 online services, free subscriptions and numerous other services. After the launch, the site, at www.CT.gov, received more than 1.4 million visits during the first six months of this year, an increase of 700,000 from the same period in 2002.

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

More features

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

CT.gov connects 312,000 Web pages from 60 agencies. The update included a new organization that offers intuitive categories such as Working, Doing Business, Living, Learning and Visiting, to make it easier for users to find the information they want.

The Online Services section links visitors to such services as income tax filing, business license renewal, campground reservations, complaint filing and college planning.

The site's Reading Room includes links to more than 1,000 publications from across the state government. And the 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 currently converting, Connecticut officials said.

The total cost for the portal project was less than $150,000, state officials said. The relatively low price tag is a major source of pride for the IT department.

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

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