Does your website need an autumn clean up?
September is often the time for a review of the school website, especially if you didn’t manage to find the time at the end of the summer term. This year the start of term has been extra hectic for many – and schools tell us they have really focussed on getting children settled and trying to reduce any COVID case transmission, which is very understandable and I know parents like us are very grateful!
This year the website tidy may be more urgent than ever in order to ensure parents and visitors can find the information they need the most.
Re-evaluate COVID Content
We know virtually every school had to make some quick changes to the website last year to add pages for home learning information during lockdowns and school closures to non key worker children. What started as one page for most schools quickly grew to a whole menu tab with pages for each year group. Some schools have also added galleries for sharing the work done at home and connecting families. This has been wonderful to see but means you may need to take a look and reflect on what may need to change to keep all relevant pages accessible and easy to navigate.
This year is still unpredictable but if you feel you are not using home learning so much anymore you could choose to move this menu tab when it stops being used so much. You can even hide a whole menu section with one click from the navigation – leaving it ready to quickly add it back in the case of class closures again. Or perhaps you have found the pages really useful and just want to rename the menu tab to keep it long term?
Consider your overall content
You may have also found that the higher usage of your school website (we have seen a huge increase in traffic to school websites) means that parents are now more likely to access other areas of the site they didn’t use before. Could this mean moving things around so that the popular areas are easy to find? Have you had any feedback from parents on what they love? Or have you had emails asking where to find certain things which may need moving to become more prominent?
Engage Parents with Galleries
With parents becoming so much more involved in their child’s learning during lockdowns you may also want to make the sharing from school to home more of a feature than before to keep parents in the loop. A website page for this is less labour intensive for busy teachers than using 2-way communication tools, although they also have their place. Simple photo galleries can really make the difference for parents who may feel more distant than ever now children have returned to school and they are still having parents’ evenings online.
Use Quick Links
You may also, during the last 18 months, have started using more online tools and learning platforms. Your website is the ideal place to add links to these on a page, or to add links from a Quick Links sidebar to make them easy to access. We can also help you to incorporate links to commonly used platforms into the header or footer of your website so they are available on very page.
You may have found that you used News items more during lockdown too, and perhaps needed term dates and calendar entries less. Will that trend continue or do you need to update the diary entries?
Use Forms for Feedback
You may wish to survey parents to see how they used the website over the last year. You can use the built in form builder in the CMS to create your own survey and ask for feedback.
If you need help or inspiration with anything school website related, please feel free to get in touch and we will help you all we can.