Website Best Practices
Your website is one of the most effective tools your school has to improve communication, engage parents, market your strengths, and build a solid, trusting reputation within your community. These are all benefits that improve education for your students, which makes achieving them worth the effort.
There are typically two primary purposes for any school or department website. One is to provide timely, engaging, and current information to your current parents, students, staff, and community. The second purpose is to attract new students (through their parents or guardians) and to recruit quality staff. So, that means your website must both inform your existing customers and market to potential customers. Below are some basic guidelines and best practices to keep in mind when updating your website.
- Stick to the template. Each campus website is based on the District webpage and should remain consistent with our branding. All campus Homepage, About Us, and Principal's Message pages should not be altered from the established template.
- Consistency is key. Visitors shouldn’t feel like they are visiting a new website each time they open a new page on your site. Consistent design across the pages within your site makes navigation a much easier task. Do not alter the template.
- Keep it simple. Cramming too much into each page creates confusion. Visitors get frustrated when they have to scan through rows of links and images to find what they are looking for. By keeping your pages simple, your website will be easier to use.
- Navigation should be intuitive. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to find what you want on a website. Pages should be well-organized with a top-down design so that visitors can easily browse through the different sections of your site.
- Check your website for errors. As any experienced editor will tell you, a great piece of work can be tarnished by a small error. If you’re a webmaster, check your websites on a regular basis for typos, broken links, and images that do not load correctly.
- Don’t forget the content. Even if your site is beautifully designed, it is only an empty shell without content. A good website has both great design and great content. Therefore, make sure your pages have unique, original content related to your school that makes them worth visiting. Do not rely on District content unless absolutely necessary. Parents on your site for information about your campus, not the school district.
Instructional Technology Manager