School websites are notoriously bad. Why? Because creation and website maintenance is usually given to a paid third party service or assigned to a very busy tech savvy Teacher who is focused on educating their students (as they should be) and not strategically updating content on the website. In this post we will go over 5 easy tactics that will improve your school’s website.
Most modern websites include some sort of blog feature. Blogging is a way for you to share relevant and up to date information with parents, students, faculty and potential families investigating your school for their children. This up to date information helps people feel connected and part of your schools culture. It’s also a great opportunity for your school’s journalism class!
2. Clean and Clutter Free
Often school websites try to cram every bit of information they think visitors (parents and students) need on to one page. This actually works against you in two ways.
1. The visitor is not sure whats important and can get lost or miss vital information
2. The impression of your school is chaotic and unprofessional
All information should be accesible from the home page but not necessarily displayed there. (Think Menus and Subpages) This clean and clutter free approach is efficient and effective.
You can only fit so many words on page. Good thing a picture is worth a thousand of them. In a previous post we discussed the importance of professional quality images and visuals on a website and how they play into creating a professional online environment. For a school we want the visuals to display and share the rich learning and positive events going on. This enhances the school culture and camaraderie which in turn helps student achievement. Students perform better when they feel good about their learning environment.
Your students use Facebook and Twitter, why don’t you? Most schools try to block social media from their networks but you should give serious consideration to utilizing these great tools. With how often your students are engaging in these social realms anything your school posts will be almost instantaneously shared. Your students can then interact with your content and communicate with the school. This goes back to improving how your students feel about your school and thus improving how they perform at your school.
5. Full Control
Is your school website controlled by a third party? Is your school a priority for them or just another line item on a checklist? Without full control of your website keeping your content updated can be difficult and time consuming. It’s never a good situation when you are waiting on someone to do something for you. It’s perfectly acceptable to have someone else build your website but you need to be in control of creating the content. This doesn’t mean you have to become an HTML and CSS expert. There are plenty of ways that you can execute full control over your website without having to know any code at all.
I hope you found these tactics thought provoking. I’d love to hear other ideas or methods you have used to improve your school’s website in the comments below.