The City of Thomson and McDuffie County's new website - www.thomson-mcduffie.com - went live Wednesday.
"This is our digital front door," said Kelly Evans, director of the Department of Information Technology and Thomson-McDuffie County Web Portal Committee member, in a press release Tuesday. "Our new identity will enable the community to position itself for higher visibility and greater competitiveness in attracting visitors, jobs and investment."
The site also features the area's new logo and tag-line - "Harmony happens here," Mrs. Evans said. She credited Mary A. Sicard and her firm, i-Genuity, with designing a user-friendly, informative site that is also aesthetically pleasing.
"(The logo and portal) evoke Thomson-McDuffie County's lush, natural surroundings, and site visitors can expect a calming online experience that captures Thomson-McDuffie's peaceful, communal atmosphere," Ms. Sicard said.
The site will continue to evolve, with future plans calling for more local history and the addition of information on the Town of Dearing.
"We are also working toward offering citizens a secure ecommerce solution that will enable them to pay for municipal services online instead of in line," Mrs. Evans said.
The newly designed portal, or entry point, provides access to five websites: the City of Thomson, the Chamber of Commerce, Forward McDuffie, McDuffie County and Tourism. Approximately a year and a half ago, the Web Portal Committee recommended that those five groups pool their resources to create a consolidated, uniform image and web portal.
The committee, which included Thomson City Administrator Bob Flanders, McDuffie County Manager Don Norton, Director of Forward McDuffie Don Powers and Executive Director of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce Carolyn Gilbert, also wanted "to use technology to make government services more efficient, accessible and responsive to citizens, visitors and business," Mrs. Evans said.
The portal is easily navigated and includes: seven calendars to which site visitors can submit events that will be published upon approval; downloadable documents including Commission agendas and minutes; and links for developers to view available industrial sites.