Many schools just use their website to provide the most basic information about the school, but the truth is your website can be a lot more than that. Plan your site carefully and it can become a far more interactive tool that benefits the teachers, parents and students.
Here are some of the main things to look out for when you get your website designed.
Choose designers with experience
When you look for a designer, don’t stop at finding a company or individual with experience in business websites. Even though they may design beautiful websites, this is not enough. You need to hire an individual or agency with specialist school website design experience, such as a company like CSI Media.
When you find a design agency with experience, make sure you look at their previous websites. Are they simple, complex, attractive, sleek, easy to use? Do you like the look and feel of them? Only through trying them out for yourself will you get a good idea of what the agency is capable of, especially ones that have extra features and tools to improve the learning experience
Get a website with advanced teaching and learning tools
A key feature of your school website should be the ability to use it as a teaching, learning and notifications resource. For this, you may want to get a virtual learning environment (VLE) built into the site.
You can accomplish so much with a VLE, so ask your designer all about these. An effective system will be packed full of tools to make the website into an interactive experience that is much more effective than a simple website. Using a VLE:
- teachers can post information, notes, homework, details about students, attendance, reports and more;
- parents can get access to information about their children securely and effortlessly, as well as information about upcoming events;
- students can find information about homework, lessons and extra-curricular activities.
Quite simply, if you don’t have this ability in your school website, you are missing out on a valuable resource.
Consider ease of use for teachers
If you go down this route and choose a website that can enhance the learning experience, you will need to make sure it is easy to use. Teachers will want to get access to it to update the system with information, class notes, homework and sources, and they should be able to do so effortlessly.
Talk to your designer about this. Find out how they will design your website with ease of use in mind, and make sure it is a priority.
Consider an app alongside web design
There are other things that could enhance the website experience that you may want to consider. One of these is the ability to get an app designed alongside the website.
Many people use apps these days on their tablets and phones, and you could use a school app to make it even easier for teachers and students to get access to important information and updates.
An app can provide:
- a way to provide push notifications to parents via their mobile phones;
- the ability for parents to send information privately and securely;
- information to parents about their child’s attendance.
An app can do all of this in a user-friendly way, so find out from a designer how they can make it work for your school.
Get more from your school website
Don’t settle for a basic website for your school when there are so many superior options available. With some careful planning, your website can become a community-focused website that brings advantages to all parties including students, teachers and parents.