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Residents frustrated by broken links after launch of new Royal Borough website

Frustrations have been aired over broken links after the Royal Borough introduced a new website earlier this month.

The council’s new website went live on Thursday, September 3, but it warned residents that they may encounter problems.

The website’s old domain address was www3.rbwm.gov.uk but it is now www.rbwm.gov.uk, which means any links with the old domain are not working.

In at tweet, the borough said: “Our new website is live. Links published before [Thursday, September 3] will be broken, this includes any bookmarks or favourite links you may have

“You may also find broken links within search engines as it takes them time to recognise the pages on the new website.”

The changes have led to some residents taking to social media to share their annoyance with the new website.

On Facebook, Adam Thompson said: “There's still links from search engines pointing to host like "www3", which no longer exists. Would it not have been an idea to keep that alias alive and just redirect from old links to new?”

Sani Koch added: “Not sure who did the website testing but they failed. Account logins don't work, password resets don't work and different UIs [user interface] are confusing the experience.”

But deputy leader of the council and lead member for IT, councillor Samantha Rayner (Con, Eton and Castle) said: “The website should still be working as the old one did, this is just a new platform.”

Cllr Rayner explained that a new website was necessary as the previous provider could no longer offer the service.

“Transferring a whole system over will have glitches, so we’re asking people to let us know if there is anything so then we can correct it,” she added.

Leader of the independents, councillor Lynne Jones (Ind, Old Windsor) added the council website ‘did need upgrading’ but ‘it has caused so many problems’.

“I think we’re all struggling with the lack of links, because we’ve all got mails that have links in them that we refer back to,” she said.

“That’s where I’m finding particularly that I’m having issues, because I’m having to go and find them again.”

She added: “I’m sure residents are struggling with it.”

A council spokesman said: “When you change the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) back to the original, there is no way to maintain link integrity.

"We have been publishing this change to our residents and councillors as well as sending emails to those who had a My Account with our old provider. With just over a week of running the new site we have nearly 5000 accounts set up.
“All social media content from when the new site went live points to the new site. If people are looking at old posts prior to September then it will be the old website as that was correct at the time of publishing.
“Broken links in search engines is beyond our control and we would encourage residents to save www.rbwm.gov.uk so they can easily find our website.”

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