News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/16/2012
Subject :

Redesigned City Website Rockets into Cyberspace
Contact : James Keene, City Manager    (650) 329-2563
Bob Harrington, Web Advisory Committee Member    (650) 324-1793
Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto City Manager James Keene and the citizen volunteer Website Advisory Committee are pleased to announce that the final cutover to the City's new and vastly improved website will take place today at midnight. Night owls have first crack at using the new site. The rest of our community can start their day off tomorrow with personalizing the website with their own preferences with our new "My Palo Alto" feature. The address for the City website will remain

This “hard launch” follows a two-month beta-test period that began last May. During this period, visitors to the old website could easily “click their way” to the new, redesigned version and once there, surf around and provide comments. Nearly 5,000 users took the City up on their offer to test drive the new website.

“We handled the transition from old site to redesigned site with this 'beta’ site approach to ensure ample opportunity for community comments,” said City Manager James Keene. “We were delighted to get so much useful feedback from the public during the ‘soft launch’ period. Working with our Website Advisory Committee we came up with a great initial redesign and thanks to the added community input in the Beta, we’ve been able to make the final website even better.”

The website redesign project grew out of the City’s commitment to improve the way residents, businesses and visitors access and get information on and access to City services. The breadth of information and connectivity our community requires has evolved as technology has advanced. The City needed a website that could meet those demands. The redesign process was a collaborative effort between City staff from 13 different departments and a dozen community volunteers with specific expertise in web design, management, and analysis.

“We’re happy to put our name on the new website. Residents on the committee worked hard to do a good job, because we knew our friends and neighbors would not be shy about giving us feedback!” noted John Raftrey, a member of the Website Advisory Committee.

“We set out to make the website more visually engaging, more interactive and easier to navigate. We feel we achieved those objectives,” commented Bob Harrington, another Advisory Committee member.

The new website represents several design and technology changes intended to improve navigation, offer better organization of content, and provide improved interactive communication functions incorporating current web technologies. Over the next few months, City Staff will be updating content and navigation. Beyond this, the City realizes the future will bring constant advances in technology, along with changes to City programs and online services. So to maintain its standard of excellence, the City considers its new website to be forever a work in progress. 

For more information, you may also contact the City’s Chief Information Officer, Jonathan Reichental at or (650) 372-2121.