City, businesses, churches featured on Ellendale Web site

Published 9:05 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

This city has had a Web site for about a year now, but what is neat about it is that it is a community effort.

Ellendale City Clerk Steve Louks emphasized that, though the city operates the site, businesses, churches and other entities have their own location on the site. And he hopes more local companies and organizations participate.

The site is at The Ellendale Economic Development Authority bought the initial packaging for the site from for about $800. The city then pays about $200 to $300 to maintain it each year, Louks said.

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The versatility is what Louks said appealed to the economic development officials. People who log into the administration of the site can make changes easily without having much in the way of web skills.

“They don’t have to be computer geniuses to download pictures and update text and things,” Louks said.

On many hard-coded sites, only people who can read the code can make the changes. Even taking out a comma is confusing for anyone who doesn’t know computer programming. However, many newer sites, such as Ellendale’s, come with administrative interfaces so that just about anyone who can type can get their information online quick and easy. Web surfers who come across the site’s rather plain design quickly can find information.

Each city department has a place on the site. So do the organizers of Ellendale Days and businesses: Lerberg’s Foods, Lerberg’s Fitness Center, Floors 4U, First National Bank, Security Insurance Agency and Jim’s Barber Shop.

Churches: First Lutheran, St. Aidan’s Catholic, United Methodist and Vibrant Life Assembly of God have posted information at the site, too.

He said it provides some of the most important information people seek in a city: addresses, phone numbers, utility rates, recent ordinances, council actions and things like that.

“We don’t get thousands of hits, but we have had a number of people stop by the office looking for rental places or different things. They mention the Web site. That’s how they found us,” Louks said.

He said the city hopes to get the school district involved in, too.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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