30 Jun Why A Website Should Be A School’s Priority!
Choosing a school can be a stressful and emotional time for any parent. After all, school is the place that their precious pride and joy will be spending the majority of their time for at least the next 11 years! Whether it’s where their tiny little four-year-old will be learning how to read and write, or the place where their pre-teen will learn some essential life skills and eventually sit their GCSEs – parents just want the very best for their child!
So why do schools need a website in 2016? Or more to the point, why do schools need an up-to-date website in 2016?
First impressions are everything!
When choosing a school for their child, one of the key contributors to helping parents make a decision is the school’s reputation. Every aspect of your school needs to show off that ‘wow’ factor; from the uniform on the pupils’ backs, to the outstanding Ofsted reports, and yes – you guessed it – even the website. If people are saying great things about your school, back up the positive chatter with an all-singing, all-dancing website extravaganza and blow the socks off of those parents!
Make the school really come to life by combining the latest web design trends and functionalities with superb imagery and videos – funky animations can make a school look more modern and appealing to pupils! Check out the funky new one-page-website we designed for Redcar & Cleveland College:
Uphold your school’s reputation!
Did your school just achieve the best GCSE results in history? Or perhaps you have just invested in some brand new state-of-the-art equipment that will improve the quality of teaching? This is what your website is there for! Show off; brag about your fantastic results and high-end equipment via your website’s blog – it will only help boost your reputation even more.
On the flip side, schools that are suffering from a bad hit from Ofsted or negative press often utilise their website to turn the negatives into positives, they do this by showcasing the hard work they are putting in to make those all-important improvements and reassuring parents that their school is the right school for their pupils!
Here’s an example of a local school with a fantastic reputation, that we had the privilege of designing a website for – Polam Hall School!
If you want to grow an online presence and be top of the Google pops when users are searching for your school – or even schools in general that are in the same location as you – first and foremost you need a website!
School websites are often hosted on reputable domains, such as .ac.uk or .org.uk, which are considered to be authoritive URLs. Combine a reputable domain with a technical excellence and a sprinkling of SEO, and you’re well on your way to being found at the top of Google. And everyone knows that the higher you rank, the more likely you are to drive traffic to your website.
Technology is rapidly improving, especially where website security is concerned. Many “old-school” websites (pardon the pun) become victim to outdated plugins and themes, which only means one thing – hackers!
Hackers tend to target older websites as they realise that they’re more likely to have security flaws, particularly if they are being neglected by the website owner. Where a vulnerable website may be a hacker’s paradise, it is certainly every school’s nightmare!
Thankfully at Geonet, we use only the most stringent security measures for all of our websites, especially those that hold lots of private data including schools, colleges and universities.
Interact with pupils and parents
Gone are the days when a school website’s sole purpose was to just provide information about the school. With today’s digital trends and advances in website technology, your school website now has the potential to become an interactive hub for parents and pupils! Here are just a few ways to make your school website interactive, exciting and fun!
A virtual tour offers an exclusive feel to your website, allowing pupils and parents to access all areas of the school without even leaving the house!
It gives schools the opportunity to showcase their facilities while offering a bit of added comfort to prospectus pupils who can take a tour of the school and get their bearings prior to induction days and enrolling.
Check out the virtual tours we created to showcase Longfield Academy’s array of sports facilities!
Not only is an interactive calendar super easy to use and update from a user’s perspective, but it acts as one central location for parents to quickly view the dates of all events, exam dates, school trips, school holidays and training days, and parents’ evenings.
An alert ticker does what it says on the tin! It alerts users of important news and events, and appears at the top of each web page. No need to spend time drafting an emergency newsletter for pupils to take home to parents, which may never reach them anyway!
Parent and pupil portals
Third party portals are perfect time savers for schools! A portal allows staff, pupils and parents to view schedules, homework deadlines, news and events that are specific to them by simply logging into their portal via a website.
Does your school website look a little tired, outdated and maybe even a little bit boring? Chat to the GeoBots about how you can really bring the school to life through the power of digital. Give us a shout on 01325 361729 or drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org!