Frequently Asked Questions

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Increase the transparency of the development review process and how decisions are made.





The Basics
What is Simplex Code Manager?
Simplex Code Manager is an online tool that a municipality can use to create their own website to post their land development regulations and related documents online in a unique user-friendly format. Simplex was developed by a team of community planners who wanted to allow municipalities to more effectively share their land development code with the public and other users. There is no other online solution that compares to Simplex.
How much does Simplex cost?
The cost for the core package is based on the population of the municipality. A municipality can also subscribe to additional advanced modules for a flat rate or add additional storage space. For the current fee schedule go to Subscription Rate under the Overview tab.
Aside from Simplex Code Manager, what are my options for posting a land development code online?
Although nothing really compares to Simplex, there are other ways for a municipality to post a land development code online. The first option, utilized by many municipalities, is to create a PDF document and post it online. Although this is quick and easy, it does little to present the content in a user-friendly and accessible format. The second option is to pay a company to create and then maintain a streaming code text file. While that is a step in the right direction, it again does not present the information in an intuitive format. The on-going maintenance cost is prohibitive for many municipalities and it is not possible to post related documents such as application forms, meeting agendas and minutes, and maps on the same site. The final option is to develop an in-house custom website. Again, for many municipalities, this is cost prohibitive or the expertise is not available in-house.

Simplex is the ultimate cost-effective solution that allows municipalities to create their own custom website and have complete control over when and how content is posted. We developed Simplex so that you can focus on what really matters – the big picture and all of the fine details related to community planning and development.
Can I view a website created with Simplex?
Yes. Go to Sample Website under Overview. This sample is intended to show the full functionality of Simplex.
Do I need to know how to create websites to use Simplex?
No. Simplex has been set up so that you can create a website with no or little experience in website design. Users should however have basic computer skills. Wizards and online help are intended to take you step-by-step through the process of creating and maintaining a website.
How do people access the website?
When you are ready to put your website online, simply put the website's URL on your municipality’s website.
How do I get started?
To create a temporary account or regular account go to Create Account under Get Started. As part of the registration process you will need to establish a site administrator who will be responsible for the site. You can begin working on your website as soon as you complete the account setup process. We will send you an email with information about your new account.
How much does a temporary account cost?
The 45-day temporary account is free. You will be able to test the functionality of Simplex and create a website that can be deployed when the account is converted to a regular subscription.
What web browsers do you support?
Simplex is designed to work on the following web browsers:
    Chrome – 11.0 or later
    Internet Explorer – 8.0 and later 
    Firefox – 5.0 and later 
    Netscape – 4.72 and later 
    
We recommend that you use the most current version. Also, JavaScript and cookies will need to be enabled for the site to fully function.
Who controls the content on the website?
The account holder controls what information is posted on the municipality’s website.
Who owns the content on the website?
Each account holder owns the content they add to their website which may be protected by various laws and international treaties. The website and related software, including the various templates, are the property of Civic Webware.
Do I need to buy a license or software?
No. As a registered account holder, you are not purchasing software. Rather, you are using our website on a subscription basis to create and maintain a website. Account holders are subject to a use agreement that documents the rights and responsibilities of the account holder and Civic Webware LLC.
Can a municipality’s website be copyright protected?
Yes. The name of the municipality can be listed along with Simplex Code Manager as a copyright holder.
How many people can access a website once it has been deployed?
As with any website, your site can be used by an unlimited number of users at one time.
Can Simplex create a website for me?
Although Simplex Code Manager is a self-service online application, our support team can create a website for a municipality. If you would like a quote, send us a copy of your land development code and we will contact you for any additional information. Once the website is up and running, the municipality will be responsible for keeping it up-to-date.
Who developed Simplex Code Manager?
A team of community planners worked with experts in web design and coders to create Simplex. It all started when we thought that “there must be a better way” of sharing a municipality’s land development regulations with people within the community and professionals who need to have easy access. We put our years of experience to work to design a solution that is easy for the municipality to create and maintain and for the end-user to use.
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Account & Subscription
How much support time is included with a subscription?
Although Simplex is designed to allow a person with little training in website design to create a website on their own, we realize that questions may arise as you set up or maintain your website. Technical support is available. For more information, go to Contact Us under About Us.
If I cancel my account, what happens to the website and content?
As provided for in the terms of use agreement, the link to your website will be disabled as soon as you notify us that you are cancelling your subscription or if you have not renewed your subscription within the renewal period. Your account will be converted to a closed account, which can be reactivated within one year of cancelation. If you do not reactivate your account during that period, all of the content will be removed from our servers.
Are there any limitations to a temporary account?
If you have a temporary account, you are able to create a fully functional website, except that it cannot go online until a regular account is set up. Other than that, the full potential of Simplex is at your fingertips.
Can I upgrade my temporary account to a regular account?
You can upgrade to a regular account within 45 days of when you created the trial account. All work that you have done will be simply transferred to the regular account.
What types of subscriptions are available?
There are two types of accounts: temporary and regular. A temporary account is free – how cool is that? A regular account is a paid subscription and allows you to create a website and then deploy it online for all to see and use.
Why can’t I pay with a credit card?
We don’t accept credit card payments because most municipalities don’t have that payment option. If that changes in the future, so will we.
Why aren’t the advanced modules available in the core package?
Recognizing that municipalities are different and have different needs, we didn't want to create a one-size fits all approach. The bottom line is we only want municipalities to pay for the service that they take advantage of – and no more.
How do I get started?
To create a temporary account or regular account go to Create Account under Get Started. As part of the registration process you will need to establish a site administrator who will be responsible for the site. You can begin working on your website as soon as you complete the account setup process. We will send you an email with information about your new account.
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Website Hosting
Who hosts the website?
A municipality’s website and all related content is stored on our servers.
Who owns the content on the website?
Each account holder owns the content they add to their website which may be protected by various laws and international treaties. The website and related software, including the various templates, are the property of Civic Webware.
Is there a limit to how much information I can put on the website?
Each account is allocated __ GB of storage space for posting of digital files. Additional storage space can be purchased as an upgrade to a regular account.
How many people can access a website once it has been deployed?
As with any website, your site can be used by an unlimited number of users at one time.
Do I need to install software on my computer to use Simplex Code Manager?
No. Because Simplex Code Manager is a web-based service, you will not need to install software on your computer. You can access your website from any computer with Internet access. One of the benefits of using this platform is that we are able to make improvements with immediate deployment.
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Website Design
Do I need to know how to create websites to use Simplex?
No. Simplex has been set up so that you can create a website with no or little experience in website design. Users should however have basic computer skills. Wizards and online help are intended to take you step-by-step through the process of creating and maintaining a website.
To what extent can I customize my websitel?
Within the basic structure that Simplex provides, you can customize your municipality’s website to fit your needs. We provide you with various templates that you can use and further customize. You are also able to create custom text-based pages and custom matrices. You can brand your site by adding a logo and title block to the website header.
How much time will it take to get a website up and running?
The amount of time it will take to create and populate the various pages will depend in large part on how much information you decide to include in your website. The basic structure for a custom page can be set up in 10 minutes or less. Populating the website with data will again depend on the type and amount of information you elect to post. Below is an estimate for some of the templates in the core package and advanced modules.

Core Package Templates
Home – 1 hour
Land use matrix  – 3 hours
District matrix – 1 hour
Definitions – 2 hours
Procedures – 1 hour
History of code amendment –  hour
Official code text – 0.5 hour
Zoning map – 0.5 hour
Supplemental forms – 0.5 hour
Meetings – 1.5 hours
Interpretations – 0.5 hour

Advanced Modules 
Comment form – 0.25 hours

If you are spending more or less time than what is shown, let us know; that is good feedback.
How do I manage the content on the website?
A content management system is integrated into Simplex so that you are able to manage your content, when ever and how ever often you want. Once you learn a few basic steps, you are off and running.
What types of templates are available?
For a current list of available templates, go to Take Tour under the Overview tab.
Are there any templates specifically designed for a form-based development code?
At this time, we don't have any templates designed specifically for a form-based code. However, we are working on some that we think you will like.
Who controls the content on the website?
The account holder controls what information is posted on the municipality’s website.
Is there a limit to how much information I can put on the website?
Each account is allocated __ GB of storage space for posting of digital files. Additional storage space can be purchased as an upgrade to a regular account.
When can I put my municipality’s website online?
Your municipality’s website cannot go online until you establish a regular account and we have received payment for your subscription. As soon as we receive your payment, we will promptly send you an email indicating that your website can be activated at any point in the future when you elect to do so.
Why aren’t the advanced modules available in the core package?
Recognizing that municipalities are different and have different needs, we didn't want to create a one-size fits all approach. The bottom line is we only want municipalities to pay for the service that they take advantage of – and no more.
Can I add additional features to the website using custom code that I develop?
The overall architecture of Simplex does not allow a user to add custom code to a website. However, if you have an idea for a new feature, let us know and well evaluate your suggestion along with others we receive. Because we want to meet our client’s needs, we are constantly improving Simplex. Go to Suggest Feature under the Contact Us tab.
Can I revise a template that I've added to my website?
Yes. A template is intended to save you time and is really the starting point. Each of the templates can be modified by changing the page name and the general architecture of the page. If a page consists of a table, you can add or delete columns, reorder and rename columns, and of course add rows. Text pages are of course totally customizable with your content.
Can I post digital files on the website?
Yes. You can include commonly used digital files in a table. To do so, the column type must be properly defined. Currently, the following files can be posted: 
    •   .jpg or .gif files 
    •   Microsoft Word files 
    •   Adobe Acrobat files
    •   MP3 files
Can I add a logo to the website header?
Yes. You can insert a logo in a .gif or .jpg format into the website header.
Can a municipality’s website be copyright protected?
Yes. The name of the municipality can be listed along with Simplex Code Manager as a copyright holder.
Can Simplex create a website for me?
Although Simplex Code Manager is a self-service online application, our support team can create a website for a municipality. If you would like a quote, send us a copy of your land development code and we will contact you for any additional information. Once the website is up and running, the municipality will be responsible for keeping it up-to-date.
Can I post an audio file?
Yes. You can post an MP3 file in a table so long as the column type is properly defined.
Will you be adding more templates in the future?
Definitely. Our development team will be creating new templates and they will be added to the template library at no additional cost to subscribers.
Can I import a database (e.g., MS Access, Excel) that I have into my website?
No. Although users do not have the ability to import an existing database, our support team may be able to do that. Contact support@simplexcodemanager.com. Let us know what type of database it is and how many records there are.
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Site Administration
How do I and others in my department with access privileges log into the management website?
Your website is accessed through the Simplex website. Click “Account Login” in the upper right corner and enter your username and password and the CAPTCHA code in the pop-up window.
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Help
What type of help is available online?
We have embedded info tips in each of the wizards and in the basic framework to provide help when you may need it. In addition, you can review our frequently asked questions page.
What type of technical support is available?
We have an experienced technical support team of community planners and IT specialists. An account holder can send an e-mail with their questions and we will respond by e-mail or if necessary by phone. Our staff is available Monday through Friday, except regular holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CST).
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Copyright © 2011
All Rights Reserved
Simplex Code Manager
is a service of Civic Webware