Top Six Reasons to Choose EvoGov for Your Website Project:

We are sometimes asked "why should we choose EvoGov over XYZ company?"
So we came together as a team to create our top list of reasons why you should choose EvoGov as your website partner instead of our competitors.
Enjoy!


Value

  • One Service Fee (Hosting) - We charge just one service fee for ALL of our applications. Our competition invoices for services and web applications separately with an a la carte approach. The only fee we charge separately from our hosting service fee is for our mass email delivery, as we incur a fee from SendGrid.com for our mass email delivery. This is still very modest, at $1 per 1000 emails sent. Other than that one mass email service fee, you get ALL of our applications from our CMS platform for one reliable monthly or annual fee. If you chose us, you will not to choose the applications that you want to pay for, and lose functionality in your project.  
  • No Hidden "Maintenance" Fees - Our competition charges a "maintenance fee" on top of their hosting fees, application fees, and other service fees. We feel that this is unethical and should be included as part of your hosting fee. We do not feel that you should have to pay for application development on top of your hosting. The web company should fund their own R&D and not pass those costs on to you as a fee. When calculating your annual service fees, you have to add their maintenance fees to the cost of hosting. 
  • No Per-User Fees - We recently won a project for a city that was paying a municipal website provider from $14,000 per year to host their website. The reason? Per-user fees for one of their website applications. With EvoGov, you will be able to forecast and budget your website cost of ownership more easily and accurately as we do not charge any per-user fees for any of our applications. 
  • No Massive Platform Update Fees - Our 5th generation website platform is built on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, so there is no charge to make your cloud-ready and scalable. We have seen Vision Internet (a competitor) quote over $30,000 for a site to be upgraded from their older website platform to their newer platform. We would never charge that much for a platform update, and we don't see a platform (coding language) update coming for at least the next 10 years.  Our 5th generation cloud website platform is called Evo Cloud, and you can read about its technology here: www.evo.cloud .
  • No Separate Mobile/Responsive Fees - We don't charge separately for a mobile-ready version of your website, as all sites that we build are now built on Bootstrap, which is the world's most popular mobile responsive website framework.
  • Lower Cost of Ownership - Like other providers, we also offer free re-skins of your website to update it every 2-3 years to keep it current. Our low fees, constant application updates, and design refreshes ensure that your investment in your new website will last longer with us.

Quality

  • Always a Custom Design - We have many proven design layouts that are turn-key, and we also build bespoke website designs for our clients. The approach we use to start a new custom design for a customer depends on what they are looking for. Sometimes a client will like some of our previous work, and we may start from a similar layout to work we have done in the past. Other times, a customer may bring a selection of "admire sites" to us to look at, and we will pull design inspiration for the new website from those admire sites. Some of our competitors (i.e. Revize and others) force you to choose a design from a pre-built layout that they have already done. This saves time for the web design company, but can cut into the individuality that your presence deserves. We like the best of both worlds approach where we can take the best practices of quality layouts built on successful project, and make those custom for each client. But if you find something better and different, we are happy to build that as well.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed - All design prototypes must be approved by you before the site is built. ou have to sign-off on the design that we create for your organization, so it has to be approved by you before we build the site. your satisfaction is guaranteed or we will make it right for you.
  • Best Practices are Baked-In - Our many turn-key layouts, which can serve as the starting point in a custom design, have best practices for website usability already built into them. This can help to ensure that your new website is easy to use, easy to manage, and more standards-based.
  • Bootstrap Mobile Standard - All of the websites that we build use the Bootstrap ( www.getbootstrap.com ) mobile framework, which is the most popular mobile website framework in the world. By contrast, our competitors (ie CivicPlus and others) use something else entirely. We feel it is smartest to build websites using a front-end framework that is standards-based, so that if you ever have to change CMS platforms in the future, the design functionality of the site is easier to migrate. It is smart, and just the right thing to do. This is part of our commitment to build standards-based websites.
  • ADA Compliance - We are committed to making the websites that we build accessible to the largest audience possible. One challenge with ADA compliance is that the standard was written in 1990, and has now been replaced by two new accessibility recommendations. Most municipalities assume that there is a set checklist that web developers must adhere to and commit to. That is not entirely true at all. The latest recommendation spec for building sites that can better serve people with disabilities has multiple levels of compliance (A, AA, and AAA) for each end every recommendation, with many of those recommendations being non-mandatory. Even with this unclear picture of what a compliant website is, we will continue to strive to build the most accessible websites possible for our customers and their website users.
  • Fast, Clean Code - We constantly see websites from other providers that use images larger than 2MB on their home pages. This slows their website to a crawl, and defeats any mobile work they may have done. Even the largest municipal website development firms make this mistake routinely. Through quality control, we test the websites that we build to make sure that they load fast, and look good on all browsers.

Technology

  • Managed-Source, Using the Latest Cloud Technology (No PHP, No Drupal, No WordPress, and No Joomla here) - We decided not to use PHP, MySQL, or any of the turn-key open-source PHP CMS platforms because we would have had to overhaul how they manage security, code updates, and individual applications to achieve the performance and scale that we require. While a great website can be built on just about any platform, we felt that the more powerful of the open-source CMS solutions (like Drupal) were just not user friendly enough for municipal employees to use. This strategy has paid off for us, as we are migrating websites from these other platforms constantly. In the case of WordPress and Joomla, the security track record of those solutions is just not acceptable for government websites (in our opinion). They also don't lend themselves very well to group ownership/management of content as a security model. Details on our technology stack are here: www.evogov.com/technology .

    Takeaways:
    • Safer than most PHP/CMS solutions.
    • Object-oriented code stack (Python).
    • Code is versioned on GitHub.
    • Separate development environment for testing new technology.
    • We push code updates to production almost daily.
    • Better group security model.
    • No plugins necessary as municipal functionality is built-in (safer than plugins).
  • Direct Design Code Access - Our competition does not give you access to your design files within your website. So if you want to make a change to images, colors, fonts, or page layouts - you have to call them. And there WILL be an hourly fee if they have to touch your design files. With EvoGov, we believe in being as open as possible with your website's files and design. You get a code editor for page layouts, CSS, and Scripts right in our software. All of those design files also have versioning built-in in case you make a mistake. No other provider offers this.

    Takeaways
    • Designers on your staff have full access to design code.
    • Avoid hourly fees for basic interface edits.
    • Code versioning on all design files eliminates major errors.
    • Site template system enables you to have many different page layouts for your departments.
    • Multiple layouts via the template engine enables you to have emergency layouts ready to go for public safety occurrences.
  • Bid System - We offer a front-to-back bid posting and management system that none of our competitors offer. And the best part is that it comes free with our CMS.

Security

  • Non-Destructive, FOIA-Compliant Data Deletions - We built our software from the ground-up around the premise that it should not be possible to physically destroy any data in your website or applications. Your staff simply cannot destroy data. While there are delete buttons for removing records, those delete buttons simply hide the content. Your administrators can then "undelete" any content that is removed. Removed content is tracked in terms of who deleted it, when they were logged in, and what their IP address was at the time they deleted data.
  • SSL Encryption Comes Standard - SSL certificates are now included for free with all domains that we host. These are 2048 bit encryption certificates which are very secure.
  • Cascading Security Model - Our bespoke security system is designed for groups, applications, content, users, and user groups.
  • LDAP Security - We can use your in-house Windows LDAP server to control logins to your CMS and also to your secure staff website's front end.
  • Separate, Secure Staff Website Included Free - we offer a secondary secured website for your staff at https://staff.yourdomain.com which acts as an Intranet for your staff. The hosting, setup, training, and SSL are all free if you host your main website with us. This solution is safer than our competition that creates an Intranet within your public-facing website. We feel that is not a safe approach, so we give you a second website for free.
  • Data Backups - Data is backed up OFFLINE using nightly rotating physical drives at a secure location.
  • International Backups Coming Q4 2016 - Storage buckets on our AWS cloud that store the files for your entire website will be set to perform incremental synchronized backups to the new AWS datacenter in Toronto when it comes online in late 2016. Our Canadian customers will have their entire website and files served from within Canada, and backed up to the USA. This two-way backup plan, combined with offline physical backups will offer the best protection possible for our customers.

Support

  • Project Management - We will provide your team with our proven resources that will ensure that your project is a success.
  • Live Training - Training is included for free in all of our projects. More than a single meeting, we usually have several training meetings with multiple departments within your organization.
  • Downloadable user manual - This manual is being updated, as we are revamping our admin interface in late 2016 for a 10X speed boost.
  • Phone support is always free.
  • Live Chat - Integrated live web support from within our applications.
  • YouTube Video Channel - This is being updated as our new admin is being prepared.
  • Email Support
  • 24x7x365 Emergency Phone Support - This is provided to admin users of active customer accounts only).
  • Live On-Site Training - This is available at an additional cost. Free within the State of Colorado and Philadelphia area.

Vision

  • Focus - Unlike competitors that own multiple businesses, are owned by private equity firms, or service multiple markets, we only focus on building powerful websites that service local government municipalities and their affiliated agencies.
  • Ethics - Fair and accurate billing. Honest, competitive up-front pricing. All-inclusive packages that you can plan budgets on.
  • Vision - We are constantly innovating new technologies, like our 311 and GIS integration that we are working on now. 2016 was our most productive year in 15 years in terms of application development and R&D results. We spend most of our profits on R&D for new technologies.
  • Ownership - We own 100% of our company privately, and we use all of the software that we create for our own websites. We intend to be in this industry for many years to come.
  • Future Applications - We are hard at work on several new applications that we feel will be game-changers in the municipal web services area.
    • 311 System - We are hard at work on our new complaint tracking system that integrates with many other systems.
    • GIS Integration - Our programmers have experience building real-world GIS applications for the petroleum industry. We will use this experience to build out new functionality for municipalities.