Does your school’s website need a replacement web hosting provider? Maybe the net hosting contract is up, or it’s just not connecting together with your students, parents, and community prefer it could. Does it lack the functionality you wish to effectively communicate information? It could not reflect your school’s image and just look outdated.
All of these are great reasons to contemplate a brand new website. It’s a primary source of college information for several in your audience and a key driver in your school’s overall communications effectiveness. It can have many adverse effects if your website’s not doing its job.
If you’re a non-public school, your website is usually the primary step within the recruiting process. If you’re a public school, your website and the way you utilize it can make or break a tax levy campaign. Whatever your quiet school – public, private, charter – your website may be a critical tool in fostering engagement and cooperation between students, teachers, and fogeys. You may feel some urgency to urge your new site up and running. However, your website is simply too important to rush the choice on which website hosting provider (content management system) to decide on.
Rather than hastening the method, it’s worthwhile to require some time and make the proper decision. Interview numerous school website hosting providers. Take their platforms for a test drive. Contact their other clients for feedback. Check for alternatives through sites like which provides information on hosting alternatives other than the most popular one available. Do your due diligence so you’ll be able to make sure that you simply have the website and repair provider to satisfy all of your needs.
Before you just start sending out RFPs or getting quotes, use the subsequent checklist for choosing the correct school website hosting providers to guide your search:
1. Take a strategic approach.
Your website is just too important for a snap decision. You wish for a website that satisfies all stakeholders, whether they’re teachers, administrators, parents, or students. Even as you have got lesson plans to steer learning, transportation plans to induce the scholars to and from school, a game plan for the varsity eleven, an online communications plan as a part of a bigger school communications plan is critical.
Here are some belongings you can do to create sure you’re taking a strategic approach:
- Assemble a range committee. You mustn’t make this decision alone. In fact, you shouldn’t make it alone. If you’re the webmaster, IT director, or school communications director and also the decision is essentially yours, surround yourself with other key people. To vet website hosting providers, put together a committee. The committee should include high-ranking administrators, just like the superintendent, together with representatives from your communications, technology, and enrollment departments. You will also include an educator or two.
- Define your goals. What does one want the website to do? Recruit new students? Get parents more engaged? Connect your school to the encompassing community? It’s okay if you would like it to accomplish multiple things, but you must prioritize these goals. Create a written mission of what your website should accomplish and why it exists.
- Gather feedback about your current site. Of your parents, teachers, and students, conduct a survey. What do they like about your current site? What would they prefer to see improved? What may shed new light on your priorities is the feedback from these surveys. I guarantee you’ll identify some glaring needs.
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2. Review the provider’s technological offerings.
Don’t get blown away by aesthetics. Rather, poke into the technology behind the location. Aesthetics can always be changed, but a technologically inferior site is hard to get over. After all, you would like a site that may last for years. You don’t want it to be outdated as soon as it launches.
3. Test the site’s ease of use.
Ideally, with varying degrees of technical know-how, your site will probably be managed by multiple parties. You’ll have administrators adding content and managing calendars. You will have coaches updating team information pages. Within the larger website, your teachers will have their own mini-sites. The list goes on — lunchroom ladies and even school secretaries.
It’s unrealistic, of course, to expect all of these individuals to become website experts. But it’s not an excessive amount to ask of your website provider that it accommodates the non-techie user. You would like a site that’s easy to use and edit. The simplest way to do this is with a content management system (CMS) that enables users to edit the website by simply typing in what they require to determine, very similar to they’d in an exceeding application.
4. Consider design options.
Will you be ready to get a website that appears unique, professional, and aesthetically pleasing? To your school colors and other branding elements, can they match the site’s design?
Most providers base their designs off templates, then again customize certain elements to create the look specific to you. This is often a benefit to you because it saves you time and money. However, you furthermore may don’t need a website that appears generic which duplicates the looks of other sites.
5. Review their support and training.
At some point, you’ll have questions about your website. You will not be ready to work out the way to implement a specific feature. Your team could also be unsure about the way to update their pages within the positioning. You will need to get a communication out quickly and have some issues sharing it on social media.
When these issues crop up, what are your options? Does the provider have a passionate support line? Are you able to see someone on the phone or is it only through email? What are their hours of operation?