Marion County residents can expect to see changes to the county’s website, as it will soon transition to a .GOV domain.

The Board of Supervisors approved a transition plan to a countywide .GOV domain during the Nov. 25 meeting. Andrew DeHaan, Information Technology Department Head, presented his plan for the transition to the board, which was unanimously approved.

According to DeHaan, Marion County is one of about 10 counties in the state that has not transitioned to a .GOV domain. DeHaan has created a four phase plan that will last approximately two years from start to completion.

“This whole four phase plan is designed to be as painless as possible,” DeHaan said.

Phase one of the plan includes procuring the name for the new domain, which takes between two to three months. The new name will be marioncountyiowa.gov. Since this is a .GOV domain, the name is set and unable to change.

Phase two will involve redirecting users from the website’s current domain to the new .GOV domain. This phase will last approximately 12-18 months. During this phase, emails will still come to the old domain, but the new domain will serve as the primary email address and incorporate all outgoing mail.

Phase three will update constituents of the domain changes, while phase four will phase out the old domain.

DeHaan says there are several benefits for transition to a .GOV domain. Currently, the county operates on a fourth level domain and is dependent on those above them. This means that if one level of the current domain crashes, Marion County’s website also goes down. The .GOV domain will serve as a first level domain.

“This moves us over to a .GOV domain that we control,” DeHaan said. “We’d control the reliability of it, as well.”

Other benefits DeHaan discussed included improvements to security and reliability, automatic recognitions and reliability and increased constituent confidence.

Emma Skahill can be reached at eskahill@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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