School websites are so important. We have already listed down why all schools should have a website.
We understand how busy the schedules of people working within the education department. Providing quality education takes hard work, and good and inclusive communication.
Whether you decide on giving the task of developing your website to someone inside; hire a web developer outside your school; or purchase a subscription from a website provider; consider our provided information below prior to making your choice.
1. The School’s Budget
Be open about how much your school can afford to allot to your school website project so that your provider can discuss with you what features and services can be made available based on your budget.
2. The School’s Goals and Future Plans
The goals for your website should be clear. You should know the aims of your school website, what you envision, and what features you want to include in the future. Your budget may be limited at the start, but your provider should be able to accommodate your future plans to avoid the need to transfer to a different provider. The transfer from one hosting provider to another can be complicated and expensive especially, if it’s between two differing technologies.
3. What type of technology the provider is going to use?
There are various content management systems that website developers use to create a website and some use in-house proprietary software. Here are what you need to enquire about the technology your website developer will use:
a. Its user-friendliness.
Your school will be uploading content like news and announcement and you might want to add additional pages in the future. The technology that your website provider uses should be easy enough to navigate when you choose to do everything yourself after the handover of the website.
b. Its accessibility and scalability
The technology to be used should be accessible enough in various devices, whether it’s using Android, Windows, or Mac systems. It needs to be easily installed in different types of servers, ensuring additions, backup and transfer can easily be done. It must allow expansions should you have plans to add additional functionality in the future.
c. Its customisability and flexibility
The technology to be used should allow you to fully customize its “look” according to your brand. Some proprietary software only allows for a certain “look” making most websites appear somewhat basic and the same. Strong individual “branding” of your site’s appearance and format shows the uniqueness of your site and thus, creates a valuable marketing tool for the school.
4. The provider’s Security and Backup Plans
You should always inquire about what will happen to your website when you have already stopped paying subscription fees. Your provider should be able to provide you with a complete backup of your whole school website that you can easily install and set up on another server. Choose the provider who uses industry standards security, CMS-specific optimised hosting to make sure your school website is never lost.
5. Availability of Technical Support
Technical support is important because your school website needs to be maintained and managed. Check your provider’s availability to fix whatever issue the website encounters and make sure you have continued support which often comes as part of a monthly plan, and ask what happens if you stopped paying your subscription.
There are many school website providers and developers, it’s a big decision to find the right team that fits your needs. If you’re ready to start planning for your school website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or answer this worksheet and we’ll gladly help you plan for your website.