Problem solver and innovator. Ben oversees new website projects and is always looking for new features to improve the Schudio School Website CMS.
Ultimately the best school websites are the ones that meet the needs of their end users. Sometimes the goals of the end users will overlap, but determining the purpose of your website from the view of your end user is the key to building the best school website.
The biggest challenge to building the best website is losing the focus on the very first question:
This first question is often ‘What’s the goal of my website?’ but instead should be ‘What is the goal of visitors on my website’
It is also important to remember these 3 key sections when focussing on the visitors to your website.
A well designed website is important. It must work well on mobile devices (read more on responsive design), and have good use of colour and show off your school branding. A good website structure is also key for those seeking to have the best school websites. An attractive site that's difficult to navigate will prevent or deter users from using it.
Of course your website must remain up to date with statutory content. But your website should be more than just a list of statutory items. A regularly updated website can help you engage with your school parents. Websites with regularly updated content usually answer questions before they are even asked. Having a plan to update your content regularly will help ensure content updates are frequent.
While frequent updates are usually a positive thing. If your content is just for the sake of writing, it's probably a waste of time. Write website content with purpose, and with your audience in mind.
You could try blogging as a way of sharing the load for updating your website across your school. Think about different content you could write seasonally. Check in advance that your content pages still contain the most useful up to date information. That any links are still working and useful. You can even have sections of your site that have a specific focus e.g. welcoming families to your school.
To be the provider for the best school websites we make sure all these things are as easy as possible to achieve, and that going forward it will be possible too. We only work with schools and colleges and so our software is designed for schools and colleges to use. As a result the features we've built (E.g. Document Groups) and continue to build are all useful for schools. We manage the updates for both security and functionality. With new updates deployed straight away to everyone, you never have to wait for a renewal to use the latest version.
Pressure on time in school is greater than ever, so ensuring that your website can be updated as quickly and efficiently as possible is key. Sometimes that even includes having lots of different users generating content for your website, wherever they are, and on whatever device.
It's also our job to provide design a website that works well, responds to different devices and shows off your school. A website design that can be filled with content, especially photographs to really highlight and show off your school.
All this means our clients can focus on creating the content for their audience. Content that it's possible to regularly update, even on the go when away from school on trips or at different events. So while there's a lot you can do to become one of the best school websites. If your website software is restrictive, difficult to use, or requires lots of general administration. You may find you never get the time to actually make it the best it can be.
We provide lots of information to help schools as they look to write content on their websites. Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates.
If you'd like more help on creating the best school website you can we run a training session called School Website Best Practice. You can view this, and all our other sessions at www.schudio.com/school-website-training
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