How to make your school website project ideas a reality

When discussing a new school website design with Schudio, 6 - 8 weeks is the timeframe that we will give you. But how long does it actually take to make your school website project ideas reality? From our experience it can take anything between 2 - 523 days (and counting!!) Thankfully the majority of projects fall somewhere within our 6-8 week suggested timeframe. How do we ensure that your school website project ideas turn from a vision to a reality in the shortest possible time?

Let's take a look at three schools we have recently worked with to see how their school website project ideas came to be a live site:

Case Study 1

How long did it take to go live?

This school website went live a mere two weeks after signing their contract with Schudio.

What stage of the process did the site go live?

Getting a site live was a priority for this school. We transferred the content onto one of our designs and colour matched the site with their logo. The site went live at this stage.

Once the site was live we added the final touches. Our graphic designer adds bespoke artwork to give each site a unique feel. The compliance team complete a thorough audit of the content against the latest Ofsted requirements. And the client requested some small tweaks such as swapping images and moving pages.

The school also attended the training session after the site went live. This meant they had a live site that they couldn't really update themselves. If your site goes live before a training session we are happy to update the site for you until the next training session. However, we find our clients prefer knowing how our software works prior to the site going live.

Normally we complete all stages before the site goes live. Then we can put the site live knowing you are totally happy with the website and confident that your content is compliant.

Why the rush?

Their current website was about to expire! We see this often at schools - website providers get in touch right near the end of the contract to say they need to renew or move on.

Schudio Tip

Make sure you are aware of when your current website provision is due to expire. This will allow you to prepare your school website project ideas in advance and leave yourself enough time to launch your website as a finished article rather than a work in progress.

If you do find yourself in need of a website fast then don't worry! Make sure our team is aware of your deadline from the start. We can ensure the troops are rallied and ready to deliver your website by the deadline. The team will transfer all your content so the content on your new site will be equal to what is on your current website.

Case Study 2

How long did it take to go live?

77 weeks...and counting!!

What stage of the process did the site go live?

This site has not yet gone live. Our team have transferred the content, created beautiful artwork and delivered training. We are just waiting for the final go ahead.

Why the delay?

We understand that many factors play into how your website project is managed at school. There are many scenarios at school that demand your time. Incidents with children, Ofsted visits, staff sickness, exams....all of these will take away from the time you have set aside to work on your new website.

Schools in this situation often end up paying to keep their current site live for longer than they need to and occasionally paying the company to keep that site up to date. A long website project is costly, both in finances and time.

What do Schudio suggest?

There are things that can be easily actioned to help prevent your website project dragging on. Your partner should be there to help avoid this situation.

  • Let us help you! Our team are experts in dealing with schools and managing their website projects. We've probably encountered a similar situation to what you are facing at school. Allow us to suggest ways to get your website live despite difficult circumstances.
  • Sort photos early! If you want to take new photos for your website then make sure you do it early. We have known schools take months to find the time to capture images for the school website. Is it worth arranging a Schudio photographer to do that for you? In just one day they capture hundreds of images that you can use on your website, in your prospectus and on any printed material that you produce. Or perhaps speak to a parent or governor with photography experience. You might find that they would really love the opportunity to help.

Once we have transferred your content the site is as up to date as your current site so from a content point of view the sites are equal. We would suggest putting your new Schudio site live in this situation. Once your old website is gone, you have one less expense and drain on your time. This will give you more time to implement your school website project ideas.

Case Study 3

How long did it take to go live?

This project took 8 weeks to complete

What stage of the process did the site go live?

The website went live after we had transferred the content and completed the Ofsted audit. We then sent the preview to the client and processed the amendments that they requested.

The clients came along to our Essential School Website training session so they knew how to update and add content on the site. Once the session was completed they processed the instructions to make their site live.

How did they manage within the time frame?

School number 3 worked well with us to help keep their project on time. From the start, they communicated their school website project ideas clearly. Previews were reviewed and feedback sent to us promptly. The school also purchased our photography package and booked the date in as soon as they started working with us. We had the photos taken, edited and ready to publish on the preview once the content was transferred.

What do we suggest?

There are several steps you can take at school to make sure your website project stays on track. Responding to emails promptly is really helpful. Whether it's your website preview, photographer booking the day or your training invite. Acting on these emails helps us to keep your project moving along at a steady pace.

How to make sure YOUR website project runs smoothly...

The suggested program for your website would look something like this:

Week 1 - receive the content request email from your project manager and gather all content.

Week 2 - send over your school website project ideas to Schudio

Week 3 - 5 - Schudio transfer your content, audit your content and send over your preview

Week 6 - 8 School review of the site, 2 staff members attend training and the website goes live

So what do you need to do NOW if you're planning a school website project?

Here's your critical steps to get off to the best possible start if you're looking at launching a school website project in the coming months.

  • Have an initial chat at school regarding your school website project ideas then assign the website project to one person at school.
  • Make photos a priority. If you are using a Schudio photographer, book this in at your earliest opportunity early. Or if you are capturing your own images why not make sure all staff members are aware and make it a team effort.
  • Nominate two members of staff to attend Essential School Website Training. Your staff will be equipped to manage the site as soon as you go live.
  • Don't hesitate to get in touch. If you are ever unsure of anything give us a call, don't wait until the end week or try to figure it out. We are always more than happy to help.

We'd love to talk to you about your project and how we can help make your vision a reality. Drop us a line to chat things through.

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