New City of Salem logo

The new and long-awaited website that will serve the City of Salem, Dent County and Salem Area Chamber of Commerce is entering its primary development stages and is expected to launch Sept. 1.

Web developer Revize, which specializes in websites for municipalities all over the country, received the final branding and logo information from city officials last week. A consultant, Connection Group, developed the branding with input from city, county, chamber and several community organizations.

City aldermen have chosen a logo featuring a paddling canoeist, the words Salem, Missouri and the slogan, Catch the Current. County commissioners favor a version featuring the courthouse for the county portion of the site.

Support local journalism and never miss a story in The Salem News. Sign up here.

“We did the branding project on the front end, and the city, county and chamber have landed on the logos,” said city administrator Ray Walden. The logos will be incorporated in the new site that Revize has started putting together. “They were kind of waiting on the brand selection because the colors and the theme from the branding part will carry over into the website.”

Revize is taking the existing website and transforming the content into a new platform that will be also be accessible on portable devices like phones and tablets. The existing website doesn’t do well on small devices, Walden said.

The new site will feature a content management system allowing participating entities to more easily edit their content than they can now.

“We expect the city, county and chamber to be able to be much more responsive on our updating, and it will be a much more user-friendly experience compared to our current website,” he said.

The city, county and chamber will each have their own website administrator to keep their content up to date.

“(Revize also has) some capabilities for community engagement, and we’re hoping to incorporate those into our website to give the community more avenues to interact with us,” Walden said.

City economic development director Sally Burbridge said branding questions from Connection Group were emailed in December to a list of about 40 people who participated in last year’s strategic economic plan, which set a new website as one of its goals.

The list included city and county officials, the Dent County Industrial Development Authority board, Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce board and Dent County Community Foundation board.

“They submitted their feedback to those questions that were specifically targeted to what they thought were the top appealing traits of the community,” she said. “And what were the most important features to bring out. Based on that, the consultant took all of that information and developed different sets of concept logos.”

With the logos approved and submitted, Revize will continue site development and check with the website committee composed of people from the various entities for feedback, Walden said.

“When it gets far enough along, we’ll do a soft launch,” he said, which will be announced to the public. “And as things are finalized, we’ll have a formal switch from the current site to the new site.”

The web address will stay the same, salemmo.com, but it will point to the new website once it goes live, with Sept. 1 the scheduled launch date.

“We’re pretty excited about that,” Walden said. “It’s an additional tool for us to share information and engage. It’s an overdue project for us, and we’re glad to finally have it underway.”

Revize has been in the content management system development business for 20 years and has launched over 1,400 city sites. A content management system (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content.

On its own site, Revize calls itself a leader in providing an easy-to-use government CMS designed for municipalities only..