Royalton Township revamps its website

Screenshot from websiteRoyalton Township's new website has been live for three weeks after the former version was hacked.

ST. JOSEPH — Royalton Township changed its website for the first time in two decades.

The township launched its new website three weeks ago after the former site was hacked into, Manager Steve Tilly said.

“We weren’t planning on changing it,” Tilly said. “In December the old site was hacked and began redirecting some of the people to a pharmaceutical company and to a mobile photo booth company.”

While the township was able to retain its original URL, the former format was among the older platforms that was discontinued.

As a result, Tilly said the security wasn’t available anymore.

“We were getting calls from people looking to buy medicine or rent a photo booth,” Tilly said.

The previous website was the first format the township has ever had. Tilly said the township launched the original version 15 to 20 years ago.

The township chose to hire a designer who spent two months working on a new website layout.

The web designer went through the options with a handful of municipal employees until a final version was selected. The process included previewing a demo and retooling it to the township’s liking.

Tilly said they asked for an easier system that would allow workers to add board meeting minutes and agendas to the website in a quicker fashion.

The older website was not smartphone- or tablet-friendly, Tilly said. Now the screen resizes itself. Tilly said the office also plans to regularly change photos and refresh the website every few weeks.

“The new site is much easier for those tasks,” he said. “The deputy clerk and deputy treasurer like working with it. It’s become easier to use and change out information.”

The new website now features grapes prominently in the heading and logo online.

With 56 percent of the land within the township dedicated to agriculture, Tilly said they wanted the website to reflect that, along with its logo.

“We don’t have the lake, like Lincoln Township. We have the river and grapes,” he said. “Agriculture is a big part of the township. We have a lot of grapes in the township – both wine and concord.”

Residents can use the website for different functions. Tilly said residents regularly go to it for information and updates, while contractors download permit applications online.

The former site was shut down for a day at one point. However, it was put back up until the newest version was ready to be rolled out.

To visit the website, go to royaltontownship.org.

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski