Solana Beach website upgrade underway

Solana Beach City Hall
(Staff file photo)

Solana Beach will finally proceed with a much-needed, long overdue upgrade to the city’s website.

The City Council unanimously voted May 12 to contract with 360Civic, a company based in Orange County that has provided website design and other services to San Diego, Beverly Hills, Santa Ana, and several other cities and government agencies throughout Southern California.

Last updated in 2012, the website is “outdated and difficult to navigate,” according to a city staff report, and has pages that are “redundant and not updated with recent information.”

“This is an item that has been on our work plan and we’re excited to bring it forward at this time,” Solana Beach City Manager Greg Wade said.

The city of Solana Beach will pay an initial fee of about $31,000, followed by annual fees of $7,500. The council had previously budgeted $75,000 in the 2020-21 fiscal year for the website redesign, but the project had been on hold due to COVID-related budgetary adjustments.

Wade said the agreement with 360Civic is for three years, in addition to authorizing an extension of that agreement for hosting and maintenance services for an additional two years.

The city drafted a request for proposal in 2020 before the pandemic forced a shift in priorities. After resuming the project this year, there were 18 respondents before the council decided to go with 360Civic.

Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner emphasized the need for a better search function.

“I think one of the most important aspects of the website is the search engine,” she said during the meeting. “Many times, people will search for something like ‘accessory dwelling unit’ but they’ll put in ‘ADU.’”

360Civic CEO Ron Zayas said the new version of the website will take about four to six months.

“We have been waiting for this,” Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Kristi Becker said.