City getting website for the first time

A website aimed at promoting Philadelphia’s assets to potential new business and industry was approved by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen last week. While the city currently does not have its own website, aldermen have discussed one on numerous occasions and most recently, met with an official from U.S.NEXT of Jackson, a company which designs sites for cities and counties, among others.

David Crawford, a representative for the company, told aldermen that they recently launched websites for Sharkey and Yazoo counties. The Jackson-based web development company boasts over 800 clients in 24 states. Crawford promised that the website, www.philadelphiams.net, would be easy for city officials to update in-house. “If you can update your Facebook page, you can use our site editor,” he said.

Ward 2 Alderman Jim Fulton said not having a website has put the city at a disadvantage. “All these other cities have one and I think we have been behind the times without one,” he said.

The website will cost a one time fee of $4,680 to build with a monthly fee of $39 for email service. City officials opted out of the option to have U.S.NEXT manage the site for $90 a month at this time. Young said that it is important that the city have its own website. Information about city can currently be found at Neshoba.org, a site associated with the Community Development Partnership. “It puts us in the information age where anyone can click a button and find out everything we are doing or planning to do,” Young said. “It is just another tool to keep us competitive in local and global markets.” 

The site will also have a mobile version and include options to have fees payable  and to upload documents like city ordinances and board minutes. Someone at city hall will likely be designated to post on the site, aldermen said. Ward 1 Alderman Josh Gamblin said that he thought it was important that city officials approve all posts before they go live on the site. Crawford said that U.S.NEXT would start building the site immediately based on mockups presented to the board.

(Article by Duncan Dent, published in The Neshoba Democrat on February 10, 2016)