General School Website Questions
Q. I already have a school website, why do I need a new one?A. The school website is often the first impression people have of the school so you'll want to ensure you're making that all important good first impression. A school website is also a powerful way to engage and inform current parents and other members of the school community. Most schools already have a website, however with the fast pace of technology, your school website may not be as effective as it could be. Unfortunately, the worst case scenario is that your website is frustrating current parents and putting off prospective parents and staff!
Depending on your priorities, there are a number of key questions to consider:
- Does my school website design showcase my school, presenting a professional, successful image to prospective pupils, parents and staff?
- Does my school website meet statutory requirements?
- Is my school website easy for parents to use on their smartphones?
- Is my existing Content Management System (CMS) easy to use?
- Do you have access to a friendly, UK based support team?
- Could I save money every year with Greenhouse School Websites?
- Does my website meet the best possible accessibility and usability standards?
Q. I already have a school website, can I transfer the old content?
A. Yes we can quickly copy and paste text from your old school website and upload any documents provided.
Q. How quickly can you design a new school website for me?
A. We always try to work to your deadlines but most schools take 4-6 weeks to go live with a new school website.
Q. Help I need a new school website today! Can you help?
A. We can! We can provide an "emergency school website" within a day which benefits from the same powerful CMS as all of our websites but has a simpler design. We can then work on your bespoke design in the background.
Q. Do your websites come with any warranty?
A. Yes. As we wish to build a lasting, sustainable relationship with our customers, all our school websites are, as a minimum, satisfaction guaranteed.
Q. Can you come and visit us?
A. One of the ways we can offer such great value is by not having a sales force which travels the country. We work with schools by telephone and email which works really well as you can see from the feedback we get. And in reducing the time we spend in trains or cars we can concentrate on providing excellent services to you by phone or email. You'd be very welcome at our offices in Greenwich though!
Q. Do I have to sign up to a lengthy website contract??
A. Absolutely not! We want to work with schools because they want to work with us, not because they're locked into a multi year contract. Our contracts are 12 months in length and we're very proud of our incredibly high (98%+) renewal rates.
Q. Do I have to pay anything before my site goes live?
A. No. Trust is one of our core values and we treat everyone we work with with trust and respect.
Greenhouse School Website Content Management System (CMS) Questions
Q. Which CMS do you use?
A. Our school Content Management System (CMS) has been designed and built specifically for schools and enhanced over the last 10 years with feedback from schools.
Q. Do I need special software to update the school website?
A. The school website can be edited anytime, anywhere by anyone with access to the internet and a standard website browser. No special software is required and it's really easy to use!
Q. Do you provide CMS training?
A. Yes. We'll show you how quickly and easily you can keep your school website up to date during a training session. We also provide unlimited support in case you get stuck.
Q. Can multiple people edit the school website?
A. Yes, multiple users can log in at the same time or you can share the same login details.
Q. Are there any limits to the number of pages, documents or photos I can add to the school website?
A. We hate limits. You can add unlimited pages, documents or photos to your school website.
Q. Can I create password protected areas on the school website for, say, Governors?
A. Yes you can password protect individual pages, or require viewers to log in to view collections of pages.
Q. Can we restrict some school website editors to only edit certain pages?
A. Yes CMS users can be assigned different roles which provide them with different levels of access and publishing rights.
School Website Hosting & Domain Names
Q. What is a domain name?
A. Put simply a domain name is the address that people use to find your school online; it's what you type in the browser's address bar to go to a specific website. For example, our domain name is: www.greenhouseschoolwebsites.co.uk
Q. Do you provide website hosting and domain name registration?
A. Yes, domain name registration (should you require it) and hosting are included.
Q. My school already has a domain name, do I need another?
A. Not necessarily. Most local authorities have provided schools with domain names. If you wish you can use this domain. However, some local authority names are very, very long. You may find it beneficial to register another, shorter name and use it alongside, or instead of, the local authority domain name.
Q. How can I make my website more useable?
A. Although we do not agree with all of the recommendations of Jakob Nielsen, the web usability guru, we recognise that some of his comments are valid. Our sites are optimised to:
- reduce download times
- avoid frames
- use logical menus
- maintain consistency of layout, typography, capitalisation etc.
Q. Is usability a legal requirement?
A. There are no laws explicitly concerning usability, although the boundaries between accessibility, which is a legal requirement, and usability do overlap.
We can also provide a smartphone friendly template offering a tailored experience for those visitors.
Q. What is 'standards compliance'?
A. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), one of the web's controlling organisations, releases technical specifications, recommendations and other missives for Web infrastructure. To be standards-compliant means that your website is built following the published and relevant Web standards specifications.
Because web standards incorporate and support accessibility compliance, a standards-compliant website is one step closer to accessibility compliance.
Q. Is Standards Compliance a legal requirement?A. In many jurisdictions, accessible sites are mandated by law.
In summary, standards compliance offers the following benefits:
- Faster page loads
- Lower bandwidth usage
- Ease of maintenance
- More compatibility; less lock-in
- More flexibility in selecting a web supplier or in-house staff