Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 27, 2013

County website changes

Switch could alleviate congestion on election night

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens —

The Henderson County website has a new look, but the change is only a step on the path to where the county wants it to be.

Information Technology Director Josh Brock said the new design of the page is the work of County Information Resources Agency, which hosts the website for Henderson County and many others around the state.

“They’ve changed to a new company, EZ Task. That’s who these new templates came from,” Brock said. “We can customize a little here and there, but basically it’s just a blanket template.”

One improvement is that the county website has been moved away from the state server. Previously, the state kept all counties on the same web server, and results could be bogged down by the volume of hits. This switch should alleviate that problem.

“We had about three elections on Election Day where people couldn’t get on the website,” Brock said. “There was nothing we could do because it was hosted by the state. They haven’t shied away from that problem.”

The old website was in use from 2007 until 2013, a long time in the ever-changing world of Internet technology.

“Five years is about the life of a website, give or take. We’re hoping to do something a lot better than this, so this one is kind of a stepping stone in between,” Brock said.

Brock plans to eventually get the county website to the point where you can find more than just a phone number to call a department, but also answers basic questions the caller might have.

“Any place that you work, there are certain questions that you answer every day,” Brock said. “If it’s 8 o’clock at night we want it to be a site where you can get the answer to that question.”

The county recently reserved another web address where Brock hopes to eventually move the site. He also wants to create quick links to get to a particular department.

“There are things that we can make happen with more flexibility, but that’s not where we are at the moment,” Brock said.

The Henderson County website can be found at www.co.henderson.tx.us.