A Brief History of Time on Alamance-NC.com
It all began in late 1998, when Alamance County first began experimenting with a website. After a few internal test sites, our first website launched on July 1, 1999. It featured the latest in frames-based website browsing and 6 – count ’em – 6 departments with department websites. Designed and managed in Microsoft FrontPage Express, this initial website was, essentially, a placeholder for our first major upgrade in Spring 2000.
By Spring 2000, the previous site was already dated and a desire to move away from problematic frames-based navigation led to the introduction of the website code-named “Blue Tabs” because, well, it had blue tabs at the top of the page.
While the initial launch was fairly quiet, the new site featured a few features that made it extremely popular with our users.
- The top of the site had tabs that allowed users to more easily navigate the site to various departments and services.
- The tables-based layout was much more compatible with then-modern browsing than the dated frames were.
- The front page was dedicated to being a portal, providing direct navigation to sub-pages for users at a time when menu functionality wasn’t as easy as it is today.
- A greater use of photos and graphics to assist users in navigating the site to the pages they needed to go to.
While Blue Tabs had its weaknesses, it was a very popular designed that the county stuck with for over 4 years.
The “Next Step” website launched in December 2004 and represented a significant shift in Alamance County’s web presence.
- The county home page started including news and an event calendar on the home page.
- Vastly improved search and navigation allowed for a better website visitor experience, allowing them to locate their information more quickly and accurately.
- Video production now allowed the county to publish videos of events, information, education, and commissioner meetings.
- More departments had their own website, and those departments now had easier management over their own information.
- Use of Flash technology allowed users to experience county information in a new way that was, at the time, very cutting-edge.
The Next Step website was heavily used. As technology moved on, however, the needs of the county and its website visitors had changed, and eventually, the time came to move forward.
In April 2009, Alamance County launched a new revision designed to take advantage of newer web technologies while improving the overall user experience. An 8-month redesign added new features, new capabilities, and improved graphics:
- Important news and events are updated on the front page and made available through Twitter and RSS feeds.
- All county departments now have a web presence and an improved capability to get important information out to the public.
- Improved integration of videos.
- Vastly improved site navigation.
- Attractive graphics and design.
This extremely popular iteration of our website has served the county and its citizens well. However, time marches on and the web and its users continue to develop.
15 years after our initial experimentations with the web, Alamance County is pleased to introduce you to the new Alamance-NC.com. We hope that you will find this website useful and enjoy the improved features and design of our new web presence.