About Our Site

The DVRPC Website (www.dvrpc.org) — established in 1994 — is the Commission's primary internet presence. It is maintained by DVRPC's Office of Information Technology. The mission of this group is to provide technical services and support to the Commission's planning professionals and administrative staff. This includes hardware and software support, networking infrastructure, training and troubleshooting, design, programming and database support. Additionally, we assist our member governments and business partners with their technical needs and offer support and assistance in a unified regional approach to technology in the planning community of the Delaware Valley.

Since 2003, DVRPC has also maintained an RSS Newsfeed which is sydnicated through Feedburner. In 2010, DVRPC launched a presence on Twitter to supplement our website communications.

Website Specifications

These specifications are for the www.dvrpc.org website. In addition to our primary website, DVRPC maintains the www.AirQualityPartnership.org website, which has its own set of specifications. Finally, the www.ClassicTowns.org and www.RideECO.org and websites are maintained by external parties on behalf of the Commission.

This site is designed for use by most browsers. This site has been tested using Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari. The current design of the DVRPC Website was launched in June 2009 with ongoing additions and improvements. The site was designed using semi-fluid techniques, so that it can be viewed at 1024 x 768 all the way up to 1900 x 1200 resolution without any significant impact on the user experience. The majority of this site's pages are static HTML files less than 25 kilobytes (kb) in size.

Each page on the DVRPC Website (with few exceptions) will conform to the following standards:

  • are XHTML 1.0 Strict compliant;
  • use an external stylesheet CSS;
  • provide a link back to our homepage;
  • provide a link to the Project Manager's email address (for subjective inquiries);
  • provide a link to the Webmaster's email address (for technical inquiries);
  • open links to other domains in a new window;
  • identify links to non-SGML documents (such as .doc and .pdf files), including their estimated size;
  • incorporate the website's 3-column shell design.

Files that are complex in design and/or layout (as well as all meeting minutes) are posted in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. These .pdf files range in size from 5 kb (for meeting highlights, flyers and announcements) to over 40,000 kb [40 MB] (for detailed figures and downloadable final reports), with an average file size of less than 250 kb for meeting highlights, and less than 8 MB for final reports. The size of linked .pdf files is always provided to assist visitors.

Acrobat files are posted for easy viewing in Acrobat Reader, which is availible as a free download from the Adobe website.

Interactive content is provided by links to databases using Active Server Pages (.asp) technology.

The DVRPC Website is hosted in-house by the Office of Information Technology using Microsoft-based technologies.

The DVRPC Website is designed, programmed and maintained in-house by the Office of Web, Creative and Publishing Services.

The Webmaster of this site is an active member of the National Association of Government Webmasters (NAGW). This website is the recipient of the 2009 NAGW Pinnacle Award in the large population category.

This site was created using XHTML 1.0 and CSS Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1), and follows web accessibility guidelines.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict | Valid CSS | [Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0]

Website Statistics

The DVRPC.org website receives over 13 million hits per year, which does not include traffic to the seven specially-marketed websites we also maintain. Tuesdays between 11 am and noon are the busiest time on our website. Over 23 gigabytes (GB) of information is availible on our site. Over 700 static HTML webpages are crawled weekly.

Website History

Version 1 launched in late 1994 on the LibertyNet community network based out of the University of Pennsylvania (www.libertynet.org/80:dvrpc). Highlights included downloadable sections of the Draft 2020 Long Rang Plan

Version 2 launched in late 1995 (www.libertynet.org/~dvrpc) and was characterized by a blue background, a few images and multi-colored rules.

Version 3 launched in September 1997 when our site was moved in-house (www.dvrpc.org) and was characterized by a baby blue and grey background with a gold column on the homepage that included an imagemap linking to each county's website in our region. Monthly updates were featured on the homepage and we started posting Data Bulletins online (with space-delimited data files).

Version 4 launched in April 1999 with a new website design that featured a 3-column homepage and 2-column subpages. A homegrown site search was implemented. Javascripts were first implemented as rollovers to show the contents of each major section of the site. All content was validated to the HTML 4.0 standard in January 2000, then migration to the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard started in July 2000. In January 2001, we began using a Faveicon (DVRPC.ico) which displayed on Netscape Bookmarks and IE Favorites. In April 2001, we began using external javascripts (.js) which simplified the updating and consistency of repeated content (like headers and footers). In October 2002, we upgraded our search feature using a hosted solution from Atomz. At this time, we also updated page contacts using break-out boxes in the left column. In December 2002, the website was tested for and validated as Bobby AAA / Section 508 Compliant.

Version 5 launched in April 2004. We started publishing regular eNewsletters about new content on the website. "Poll the Region" was launched on the homepage as an informal way to guage the opinions of our site visitors. Our Publication Abstracts and Calendar of Events were now dynamically-generated by databases. In January 2006, DVRPC's first XML Newsfeed was launched using the RSS 2.0 specification. At the same time, we launched the "Link of the Day" feature to showcase the websites of our 352 municipalities. In January 2007, our Website Policies were added to the footer and visitors were first able to adjust the size of the text on the page. In May 2007, our Publications Database was completely revamped, offering multiple ways to search our catalog. Additionally, videos were first posted on YouTube. In July 2007, our Municipal Data Navigator was launched, allowing visitors one-stop shopping for municipal-level data. In December 2007, the DVRPC Homepage was given an update by replacing the meeting calendar icon with a live feed of the next three meetings scheduled. Additionally, an A-to-Z index of our website's contents was launched. In January 2008, the Announcements Scroll was replaced with the 3 most recent announcements in the RSS Newsfeed. In February 2008, a widget that displays the latest 3 publications to be released was added to the Homepage.

Version 6 of the DVRPC Website launched in June 2009, which is the current website. In November 2011, a refresh of the website (v. 6.5) took place, streamlining the code, cleaning up the graphic user interface (GUI), and adding additional language translation options. Additionally, the homepage center column was divided into multiple 'widgets' to provide more timely information to our visitors, such as a "Happening Now", "New Publication", and "Twitter Update" widget.

RSS Newsfeed

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, which is a format for sharing information to website visitors. Like Bookmarks or Favorites in a web browser, you can save (or subscribe) to a newsfeed for future reference. However, unlike Bookmarks or Favorites, you do not have to manually go to each website you subscribe to to see what is new.

You can subscribe to an RSS Newsfeed using a browser installed on your computer, such as Internet Explorer 7 (and greater), Firefox 2 (and greater), and most of the latest web browsers, or you can use a free hosted online news reader/aggregator, such as Google Reader, Yahoo! News or Bloglines (which allows you to access your news from anywhere like work, home and school). This icon RSS Subscribe icon will be visible in most browsers on websites with newsfeeds properly referenced.

The main RSS Newsfeed for the DVRPC Website is /xml/rss.xml, which was launched in January 2006, but now lists all announcements going back to late 2003. For more information on this technology, please visit Wikipedia.