Responsive School Website vs School App
- The scenario:
The organisational aim is to promote engagement with the community.
The content has been written, it's on message and is crying out for readers and people to engage with it. But how can it be best promoted, and promote engagement through that content?
The website seems a natural solution. The public facing marketing tool already in use. But is there something else to look at?
In this post we'll compare two of the most popular options to increase engagement. A responsive school website vs school app?
A Responsive School Website
To ensure the best levels of engagement the content should be presented in a way that's easy to read, easy to find and all of this regardless of the device being used. To make the responsive school website vs school app decision, first establish what makes a website responsive.
A responsive website is a website that responds to the device it is being viewed on and displays the website in a contextually relevant way. This means the text is readable without needing to zoom in to the page. With no scrolling action to the left or right to view the bits of the website that have 'fallen of the edge' of the screen.
A responsive school website is key to increasing engagement, with around 60% of website traffic now being contributed to mobile browsing (and this figure growing all the time). Having a website that works to effectively display content across different sized devices is more important than ever before. Ensuring content is easy to consume immediately makes it easier to engage with, especially when trying to generate positive engagement.
Hopefully your website is already responsive, if you aren't sure you can check your site using this tool.
A responsive website is a necessity. Every website built by Schudio is built to be responsive. It's really that important! There's no additional work involved in keeping a responsive website up to date either. A responsive website is just a different view of the main website. The content is exactly the same and updating the website updates both views of it.
A School App
A school app is a fantastic way to promote engagement. There are 2 ways a school app can work (and a 3rd that's not really an app).
The two ways to have an app are: A 3rd party app, or an individual school app.
- A 3rd party app, like the Schudio app, will have a set name and logo (set by the company). The content displayed within the app can be changed. This type of app has within it an option to select a school, and then the app pulls through the selected branding and content and 'becomes' the school's app. While apps like this are available to purchase, Schudio offer this app for FREE!
- An individual school app will be branded with a school logo and name. It will only display content and branding about one school.
The 3rd way is by saving the webpage as a shortcut on a device. On most devices this shortcut looks like an app on the main screen, and tapping it loads the web browser with the website. This can be an effective way of displaying the website, but it's not an app.
Responsive School Website vs School App: Similarities
When looking at a responsive school website vs school app there are some similarities. Like a responsive school website, an app is designed to work and display the content effectively on the device it's running on. Within an app this is potentially even clearer than a responsive site. Tools and controls not available within a website can be used for an app.
Responsive School Website vs School App: Advantages
One of the biggest advantages an app provides in the responsive school website vs school app debate, is the ability to send a push notification to the app user. (If the app includes that functionality). The push notification can be used to send alerts about a school closure, reminders for different activities, etc. (We usually advise it's not a replacement for the text service because you can't be sure all parents have a smartphone and are receiving the notifications. However it's certainly another string to the communication and engagement bow).
Responsive School Website vs School App: Differences
One of the biggest obstacles for an app is that it is not immediately available for a visitor to use. The app needs to be downloaded first, and then the content can be viewed. Updating a school app is also potentially a bit different from a website because the content needs to be added to the app. There are a couple of different ways this can be done. Usually the app will require updates to be made via some CMS (content management system) software.
The Schudio Solution
This means if you have a Schudio website, you know it's responsive, and you know there's an app too! And there's no additional work to make the content appear in each place. If you add content via the software it will be added to both the website and the app with one step! Providing the best environment for engagement possible by presenting your content in the most accessible way. With a Schudio solution there isn't really a responsive school website vs school app debate - we include them both.
At Schudio we provide a FREE app for schools, and this is updated through our CMS software - the same software that our website clients use to update their websites.
We also can provide a branded customised app if that's the preferred option, just get in touch with your requirements. We'd love to explain how we can help.