Spring cleaning? Don’t forget your school website

With lambs in the field, flowers blooming and the clocks having recently jumped forward, it’s time for the annual spring clean. With this in mind, below is a suggested list of areas you might want to consider when giving your school website a thorough ‘tidy up’….

  • Improve userability – Have you ever looked at your website from the user’s point of view? Sounds obvious, but as the custodian of the site you’ll probably be more focussed on content than the journey through the site. If it is difficult to navigate, is cluttered or disorganised you might be turning away parents before they get passed your home page. Keep it simple. Your home page should direct and pull visitors deeper into your site, helping them increase their knowledge of your school.
  • Ofsted ­– Sorry to say the dreaded word, but Ofsted requires Schools and Academies to publish specific information on their websites. Some pointers to help you make sure your site is up to scratch can be found here – www.wpeducation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/WP-WEBSITE-QUESTIONAIRRE.pdf. However, see this list as a starting point, and use the requirements to kick start your spring clean.
  • Links to social media – Linking through to Twitter, Facebook etc, particularly if they shout about your school’s achievements, both academic and extra curricula, can help boost visits to your site and improve your search ranking. A well visited website ranks higher than a dormant one and Google is the first place parents are likely to visit to find school details.
  • Mobile technology – Many websites were built before mobile technology took hold of our everyday life. Is your website mobile compatible and have you tried it on your smart phone? Once again this simple test could check whether you are losing valuable visitors to your site.
  • Clutter – Is there unnecessary content on your website that doesn’t serve a purpose? Or perhaps pages that aren’t ever viewed? Find some time to run through your site with a fine-toothed comb and take a note of any parts that you think need improving or are obsolete. Unnecessary content and images can slow down navigation. Visitors won’t stay on a site where it is slow and frustrating to find the information they want.

This might sound time consuming, but it will help to improve your school’s profile, parental and student engagement and therefore, potentially, your number on role. What better reason to get that feather duster out!

 

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