School Websites: points for consideration
What is essential for a school website?
It is important that every school invests in a quality website. Parents and pupils need to have the chance to learn more about your school, communicate with staff and develop an appreciation of your entire mission.
The focus for schools has been has been on logical and structured layout of content. Information needs to be relayed quickly and it should be easy-to-find for teachers, parents and pupils. With most of us browsing on our mobiles, your school website has to offer the same performance across all devices – mobiles, laptops and desktops. Information and content to be incorporated into the website need to be easy for teachers to add. Professional, well-taken photographs will always complement your website.
What is the typical content on a school website?
Typical content that teachers are regularly updating would be booklists (PDFs), photographs and policies (PDFs). Some schools also like to have a banner whereby any urgent reminders or news can be quickly uploaded.
What style & design is best for a school website?
Secondary schools and colleges have generally preferred a classic traditional corporate look whereas primary schools have welcomed more flexibility with style and quirky designs, populated with a variety of colours.
In all instances, if your school website is poor, slow to load, not responsive and lacks up-to-date information, it will reflect badly on your school values.
What information do you need to show?
A typical school website will include: Home Page, Principal’s Welcome, History of the School, Vision, Mission Statement, Board of Management, Policies, School Classes, parents pages for School Calendar, Parents’ Association, School Uniform and Booklists, News & Contact Page showing contact details and Google map. Videos can add variety and interaction too.
What functionality should a website for a school have?
School websites should provide information quickly and that is easy-to-follow, allowing for PDFs and the ability for teachers to add their own content to their relevant class pages.
‘Can we have a payment button on our website?’
If you need to take payments via a credit card, PayPal, Stripe etc, it’s no problem to put a payment button on your website.
What else could you provide in addition to the website?
The Format team is open to any ideas you may have or desire for your school. Some of our recent requests from teachers have included:
- apps for parents & pupils to show daily school lunches
- apps that allow parents to send in an absence note if their child is off
- group class texts to be sent by teachers via an app
- multiple methods of communication enable parents and teachers to choose if they want to phone, live chat, text or go the social media route