The city’s new website is finally live (albeit in preview form) – and it no longer looks like a template from 1999.

It unveiled the preview Wednesday as the first phase of its web redevelopment project. The beta site is the beginning of a new website and has five working pages: animals and pets, corporate priority projects, council and committees, garbage and recycling and HSR transit.

“We’ve taken our time to build a solid foundation upon which we can continue to adapt to the ever-changing developments in the online community,” said Coun. Russ Powers, chair of the web redevelopment and service channel sub-committee.  “One of the strengths of the preview site approach is that it will allow us to introduce the new format of the website and get things right on a small scale before rolling out the entire site.

"The scope of the city’s online services is so large that we’ve decided to use a preview site to help us gain feedback before the website is completed this fall.”

As this is just a preview and the city’s full new website isn’t expected to launch until the fall, Hamilton will have two websites live until then, while city staffers move content around.

The city says the old site will still be the “authoritative source for information” until the transfer is finished. Many people have complained that the old site is brutally hard to navigate as it is.

The city’s new website is built with “responsive design,” which means it automatically resizes depending on the type of device you’re viewing it on-desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

“Nearly 40 per cent of our website visitors are using mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets,” said Councillor Powers.  “Once the website is completed, the new design will make our website accessible to all citizens, businesses and visitors on any device, with any browser, from anywhere.”

What do you think of the city’s new website? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.