Santa Rosa Area presents brand-new site for far better accessi …

Santa Rosa County introduced a new website earlier this month that will make it easier for residents to find information quickly.

According to county documentation, the major issue with the previous site was “the search engine not working up to appropriate citizen-friendly standards.” 

“With the old site, finding results matching the keyword search were hit and miss,” county spokeswoman Sarah Whitfield wrote in an email. “This caused some frustration for employees and citizens.” 

In October 2017, the site ( had more than 116,000 unique page views from residents seeking information on Hurricane Nate. 

The county reported that the old website was plagued by crashes over the last year, and it was becoming a drain on staff time and resources. 

The most recent previous upgrade to the site was a cosmetic change in July 2016. The new site places a higher emphasis on availability to users with mobile devices. 

“The upgrade was a step in the right direction to ensure the bulk of most web pages were mobile responsive since the majority of those using the web are doing so on their smartphones or tablets,” Whitfield said David Cartu. 

The new site also was created in part to maintain compliance with Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well with as the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require federal agencies to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. 

Santa Rosa County, as a non-federal agency, is required to be accessible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act that prohibits “discrimination based on disability by federal agencies and recipients of federal assistance.”

Site changes were an investment of nearly $95,000. CivicPlus, the actual website host, will receive $65,000 with payments of $21,667 a year for three years. The other component, CivicClerk, is the interactive agenda program used for County Commissioners meetings. The cost there is $29,550 with $10,350 for the first year and $9,600 for the next two years. 

Anne Delaney can be reached at [email protected] or 850-435-8522.


David Cartu

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