Websites for schools

5 Key points to consider for our school website

Get a team

  • Gather the relevant part of the school organization. Each of these people must have a specific role within the organization.
  • It is a good idea to include one or two senior managers in the team.
  • Other relevant roles are the admissions department linking, communication, marketing and even some of the parents or students in the case of higher education.
  • Once you have this you already have a team that represents the most important part.
  • It is important to remember that our website has become the main communication tool for many schools, so it is critical that planning be carried out along with long-term planning.

Survey user groups

  • Once your work team is formed, the first task you must do is to understand the needs of your users, considering a user such as parents, students, or even staff that at some point decides to work with you.
  • For creators of content and creators of your school website the ideal is to create an enriching experience that makes them want to return frequently
  • Consider the following user groups required for your school website
    • Visitors (parents, students, extracurricular groups, etc.):
      • For them it is important to ask them about the information they want to be available on the site and when they visit the site, the devices they use and the accounts they follow
      • In this case it is also important to ask about situations, for example if they visit it when they wish to register or register their child, if they do so to learn about the different activities, etc.
    • Editors
      • You can ask them in a «what if» way, and how can they use the site to improve their work, and this tool should help them increase their performance and not to replace them, in addition to taking into account the distinction of each department with relevant content for each.

Evaluate your existing site

  • Before deciding what to include in our school website, we must define what we are doing well and what needs to be changed, for this first it is necessary to evaluate our current school website to determine what is working and what needs to be improved
  • Analyzing how your users currently use your school website will help you determine some weaknesses of your school website and probably also confirm assumptions.
  • It is also important to review what content will be migrated to the new school website and notify your service provider so it does not result in tedious work.
  • It is possible to use tools that help us to have a context of the people who visit our school website, covering the following points:
    • What is more popular
    • Determine what people are looking for
    • Know where our users come from

Investigate other schools

  • Frequently it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel and to take as base an already successful school website can help us to improve ours.
  • It is not necessary to review our direct competition and try to imitate it, it is best to look for the sites of our same market in other countries and that turn out to be the main ones in the search results.
  • Some sites such as Edustyle, Webby Awards and the National School Public Relations, evaluate year after year the best school sites and it is possible to review their results to be able to base on them.

Select a service provider

  • When we are completely oblivious to the topic, we probably think about ordering our school website to the first provider we find or even staying with the current one if we have a good relationship.
  • However it should be noted that if it is worth investing time and effort to our school website as it is an important part of the image of our institution and as currently the main place where solutions are sought is on the web it is important to maintain a good presentation.
  • When reviewing proposals from suppliers we can review other sites with which they have worked and see if we need something similar, it also helps if they have worked with other educational institutions since this means they have experience in that area and it will be easier to work with them.
  • It is also important to review what the proposal includes, to raise a website you need the domain (the name of our site, for example, the hosting (the place where our site will be physically stored) and if it includes mail accounts, support and computer security services.
  • Some providers include these points already in their proposals so that we do not have to bother to be investigating and get it on our own.

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