Maintaining a successful school website – time for a tidy up?
Schools are busy places with events and changes happening every day so your website can quickly become filled with outdated information. Planning in time to have a quick check of your website is vital to ensuring it is a successful school website that is worth visiting, easy to navigate around and shows your school off to its best. Therefore, the end of the year is a great time to have a tidy up.
Is your site up-to-date
A successful website is up-to-date. Check for out of date information and pages that you could delete or hide until the same time next year. Are there any blank pages you had intended to fill but hadn’t managed to yet? Adding even a small introduction to these pages can improve your school websites ranking and performance in search engines. If you don’t have time yet make sure you hide them until you can complete them.
Focus on the statutory information and make sure it is all current for next term. It is helpful to keep this information in one section as far as possible to make it easy to find for the powers that be.
How easy is your site to navigate?
An successful website it easy to navigate. Has your site grown considerably this year? You might want to think about reorganising the sections otherwise it can get hard for people to navigate and quickly find the information they are looking for. If you need to rearrange sections consider the following:
- Make sure a user can get to what they are looking for in 3 clicks or less.
- Try not to have too many main sections in your navigation/menu bar and keep titles short e.g., home, information, learning, pupils, parents, community, news, contact us.
- Try to keep your drop down menus even in size across each section and not too long. Again, keep page titles short and sweet.
- Make sure all the page headings are words that anyone would understand and not educational speak. If they are educational speak and need to be, when people click on the page make sure it fully explains and demystifies the area for them.
Be ahead of the game
Keeping people up-to-date is the biggest indicator of a successful website. Make sure everyone can stay on top of all the fun and exciting events in school with a fully populated calendar to subscribe to.
Are next terms dates in the calendar? Busy parents need to plan ahead to attend events and with people booking well in advance to get more affordable school holiday breaks they will want to know when to book holidays and when to avoid.
Leaving past events in the calendar is a good way to show what has been on offer in your school over an average year but make sure the forthcoming ones are there too or it will look out of date.
Does your parent section reflect all the work you have done to communicate with parents so far this year? Have you carried out any parent feedback surveys and provided summary feedback on your website? What have the PTA been up to and what is planned for the summer term? What workshops have you run that you could add the resources for? What areas of communication with parents could your website help you improve – are you making the best use of its features?
A successful website is an engagement tool in itself so use it to help you keep parents informed. Don’t forget to remind parents of how to subscribe to your calendar and download your app-like button to help them stay in touch.
Audit your site
Have a check over the PYS Website Audit to see firstly what is missing or needs reviewing. Use the audit to make a planning cycle for each term to help you keep on top of managing statutory content for example, updating funding and finance pages after budgets are agreed, adding latest SATs results when they are released, reviewing policies and pupil premium at the same time each year. Its easy to forget to do these tasks if they are not planned into an updating cycle.
Our top tip for the moment is to focus on the safeguarding area of your website and how you show your approach to SMSC and British values through your website. Neither are statutory but are high priority with Ofsted so important to ensure they are fully covered along with statutory information.
For more tips on the content of your site here are some other blogs you might like to read:
If you feel its time to get your school website updated, have a look at the websites we offer: OneSite.