How to Go from a Good School Website to Great
A website is the virtual “face” of a school in the online realm. Just as a school would do its best to look presentable and credible in real life in terms of facilities, services, and staff, a website should showcase a school’s achievements and offerings to the online world.
Technology these days has made it easy and convenient to maintain a website without necessary in-depth technical knowledge or computer programming skills. Some of the best K-12 school websites were created with the help of innovative, easy-to-use solutions from reputable website providers.
Achieving Great Website Design
While using a website design template is a good option, a school shouldn’t stop there. A good website provider works with schools in order to evolve the website further and make it go from “good” to “great.” This means that the website template is enhanced with additional features and functionalities that truly make it relevant and responsive to the needs of the particular school community that it serves.
Just what are the elements that make a good website even greater? Here are some things to consider for school owners and administrators in terms of improving their website:
Personalized Website Design
Website design templates often provide good ideas in terms of color combinations, text layouts, and other design elements. However, they can be generic or too mainstream for your school. Other schools may also end up utilizing the same look and feel, thus making one’s website less unique or memorable. A great school website is able to capture the spirit and character of the organization’s particular culture or heritage.
This can be achieved by adopting the school colors, for instance, or by using a typeface that is consistently being utilized by the school in its other communication and marketing tools. The logo of the school should be prominently featured, of course, as well as other photos of school activities, personalities, events, or awards.
Making sure that a website is a faithful reflection of the school as a real-life community is important. This is very attractive for potential enrollees when they surf the Internet for schools that they can get in to. Parents not only look at the academic excellence of a school, but its atmosphere and environment as well.
Relevant Website Features
A good school website template may provide basic features to engage visitors and users, but a great website takes the user experience to the next level with added “bells and whistles.” These features and functionalities make the school website more useful for students, and thus make it a more indispensable tool for them.
Many (if not all) people today also utilize their smartphones to access the Internet, as opposed to traditional desktop personal computers or laptops, and as such, websites need to be mobile-responsive. This means that a website should adjust automatically in scale when viewed in smaller screens or other gadgets.
A great website also offers seamless interface with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or a dedicated messaging application. The website provider Edlio, for instance, has just recently acquired the popular student communication app, Sangha. The company effectively enhanced the power of its resources by making school websites more accessible to users through the communication app. Such innovations are examples of how a great school website can be achieved through updated technology.
A website design template should load and operate well under standard Internet speeds and technical specifications. However, a great website should be prepared to accommodate the demands of potential high traffic. Especially during peak seasons of school activities and important events such as prom, enrollment, or fairs, a school website should have the appropriate technical backing to service its users and visitors.
Many websites crash in times of increased access and use, and a school website should be prepared for such instances. A great website vendor should be able to provide strong and reliable technical support to ensure that the school website is up and running at all times, and that users are able to access the site regardless of the strength of the connection they are using.
While a CMS may be in place so that schools can conveniently manage the website on their own, the website vendor should still be available to give assistance at any moment and to help troubleshoot any difficulties. Schools should also watch out for and prepare against more aggressive threats of hacking or disruption to their website, which vendors should also be vigilant about.
Investing in a Great School Website
While it may be easy to come up with a good school website, making it great is a different matter. It can take some additional resources in terms of time and effort, but consider these as investments in building a long-term online reputation and brand equity.
Partnering with the right website provider or vendor is key in making sure that the benefits of a great school website are realized in the long run. Gaining the trust and confidence of students, their parents, and other stakeholders in the academic community is priceless compared to the cost of putting up and maintaining a topnotch school the right website provider.