Tips for a Good School Website

Website is an effective way to reach out to audience looking for information online. It allows one to broadcast information to the public and they have the ability to access it 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Websites also serve as channel of communication between the world and the entity.

Schools need a website to reach out to current parents, potential parents, potential and current staff, media and host of other people. A good website (visually and functionally) can make a lasting impression and at the same time a bad one can lead to frustrations.

Here are 10 tips to make sure your school website provides a good experience for your audience:

Tip 1 - Host Your School Website With a Reliable Hosting Company

Always ensure your site is hosted with a reliable hosting company and is up 24/7. Do some research on the hosting service provider before selecting them. You should monitor your site for uptime using one of the several free tools available on the internet. Some of them are: and

Tip 2 - Ensure the Contact Form and Emails Work

I have seen this problem with lot of Indian schools and it in a way defects the purpose of two way communication between the visitor and the school, yes I am talking about the email listing on the site not working or the contact form on the site not working. Imagine you are looking at the school website at mid night (for whatever reason) and decide to shoot of a query to the school, only to get a bounce mail stating “email could not be delivered as the user has exceeded his quote limits” or “email could not be delivered as the email id does not exist”. Believe me this is very common as schools have no one to manage the emails they get.

Please make sure your school does not do this mistake and your emails and contact forms work. Test them periodically!

Tip 3 - Ensure School Website is Not All Looks But is Search Engine Friendly As Well

Is your school site completely flash based? There is a big problem with that. Search engines, which are the drivers of web traffic do not know how to read flash. Thus your site is a black box for them and most likely won’t show up in their search results. Flash sites no doubt are visually appealing but a good mix of flash and html would give it a balance by it being SEO friendly and visually appealing as well.

Tip 4 - Design and Develop a Effective Home Page

Make sure home page of your site allows user to get a glace of the most important things about your school and allows them to choose a navigation path to dig deeper.

Tip 5 - Use Content Management Systems (CMS) to Manage Your Site Content

School sites have lot of content update requirements and a static html site is not ideally suited for this requirement. It is best to have a CMS system driven website which allows easy update of the website content. This can make a difference world of difference as lot of school sites out there have outdated information on them. There are plenty of quality free cms systems out there: drupal, joomla, wordpress etc.

Tip 6 - Ensure Ease of Access to Contact Information

Make sure your contact details, phone, address, address map, email etc is well placed on the site for users to contact you conveniently.

Tip 7 - Avoid Flash Intro Pages

Avoid intro flash splash pages as they do no good but harm you a lot. Splash pages mostly hide all the inner pages of the site from the search engines, resulting in lower visibility of your website.

Tip 8 - Use Multi Level Drop Down Menu to Organize and Show Pages

If you have lot of pages on your school website, it might be worth while to create pull down / drop down menus to expose inner pages. This company offers very stable drop down menu creator which is easy to configure:

Tip 9 - Use Quality Graphics and Brand Site Effectively

Ensure strong brand presence and quality graphics on your site to leave a lasting impression. It may cost you a little but always seek professional help with website creation.

Tip 10 - Incorporate Social Media Features on the School Website

Make the site social media friendly by incorporating flickr (for photo gallery), social bookmarking tools and a blog on your site.
Author: Vikas Sah

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1 Comment:

Bree Zehnder said...

I like how the tips focus on how to make the website and other tools easy to view and find. I think this is an important topic because every school should or already does have a school website and it can never be too late to make it better. School websites are relied on by parents, teachers, students, and the community and it is important to give them this important resource that they can easily find information to help their students succeed better.

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