As of Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the domain name used for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government official website and email addresses will change from athensclarkecounty.com to accgov.com. The new, user-friendly domain name of accgov.com was chosen to replace the current domain name due to length, ease of communication, and website flexibility, among other benefits. The new domain is easier to say and spell, particularly over the phone. It is more than 50% shorter than the existing domain; 10 characters in length compared to the current domain’s 22 characters.
"This is a change we've considered for some time as a way to be responsive to concerns from the public and staff about the length of the website name and email addresses and the challenges with communicating them," says Jeff Montgomery, Athens-Clarke County Public Information Officer. "The new name may be familiar to some people due to other ways we've used 'accgov' already and should be much easier for everyone to remember."
The new domain also ties in to existing Unified Government social media branding. The main Athens-Clarke County Unified Government Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts have used “accgov” as their user handles for several years, while accgov.com has been used in conjunction for some time with a web service to shorten links of long website addresses on social media platforms.
While the name will change on February 13, the athensclarkecounty.com domain will continue work by redirecting website visitors to the appropriate destination at accgov.com while athensclarkecounty.com is phased out over the course of several years.
Unified Government email addresses will also change and use the @accgov.com suffix as of February 13. After the change, employees and elected officials will continue to use the format firstname.lastname, but with the new @accgov.com suffix. Similar to the website change, emails sent to current addresses will forward to the updated @accgov.com addresses for some time. However, new emails and replies to emails will come from accgov.com, not athensclarkecounty.com.
In conjunction with the name changes, the website will also begin forcing secure connections on every webpage through Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). Although these are already in use for payment and other secure data areas, they will be active on every page as a website best practice.
The Unified Government’s main website debuted in late 1999 as athensclarkecounty.com. The first official employee email addresses used @co.clarke.ga.us until transitioning to the same name in 2010 after most Unified Government websites were consolidated into one location. In calendar year 2017, website traffic included 1.9 million visitors, 4.1 million pageviews, and 960,000 downloads.
For more information, contact Athens-Clarke County Public Information Officer Jeff Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-613-3795.