Your school website is a primary source of information for students, parents and the community and it also functions as a communications hub that helps you connect with everybody you need to on a daily basis. Your school website is often the very first impression people have of your school, so it is absolutely vital that it be professional, easy-to-use, and help convey your school’s unique mission effectively. All sites are not created equal, and different sites will have different needs. But developing any website requires a significant investment, both in terms of time and money, so you need to make sure you find the right provider and website for your school.
Set Website Goals For Your School
When on the lookout for the best school web hosting company that will help you build an amazing school website, you must first know the key areas of focus. For private schools, the website is often the first step in the recruiting process. School websites are a great place for storytelling. You can greatly improve engagement among students, teachers and parents by providing them with a platform to share their views, ideas and feedback. It must contain all the relevant, mission statement and goals about the school, and also provide regular updates. School websites serve to promote district and school brands and it can also create contacts and business opportunities.
Review Technology and Ease-Of-Use
Review the technology behind the site, because you certainly don’t want it to become outdated as soon as it is launched. The two major areas of concern would be whether your site is responsive and whether it has interoperability. A responsive website can easily adapt its appearance to fit any device, whether tablet, desktop or mobile, so that it loads properly. Since people use different web browsers and operating systems, your site should essentially work on all of them. ADA compliant software and website compliance training, and rock star customer support services. Google also recently announced that they are rolling out mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing means that they will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for. So, your school website better be ready.
Choose The Right Host For Your Website
A web host is basically the server that stores your websites. Today, schools and districts can opt for either internal and external hosting. Whether you are managing your own servers or are using a content management system (CMS) through a school website provider, you really need to find a safe, secure reliable host. When making your hosting selection, consider the provider’s reputation, reliability of the hosting services provided, and the ability to maintain ADA website compliance. There are hundreds of hosting options online but you need to do due diligence to see whether any of them are appropriate for your site. Being strategic about your choice will help you avoid more serious problems down the road.
Your web hose must offer the most current technology for web hosting. Their support should come from knowledgeable, experienced staff—this will make maintaining your website a breeze. Lunarpages offers different hosting plans to suit your school budget, from shared to VPS hosting. We help schools showcase slideshows, photos, videos, documents and set up community board for students and parents. Through our, ‘Education Program’ Lunarpages donates web hosting services to U.S. public schools, grades K-12.
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Before choosing a web hosting plan, you also need to consider the functionality of your site, the number of visitors you expect to receive, and the total number of pages in your website.
Create Your Website
You can create your website either by using a content management system, or by using a website builder. There are more design flexibility and site functions with the former, whereas the management process is much easier with a website builder.
The most critical aspect of a school website is the ongoing upkeep and management. There will most likely be multiple parties (administrators, teachers, secretaries, coaches, etc.) involved, with different technical knowledge and skillset. Not all of them will be website experts. There will be content updates, copywriting, and content additions on a daily basis. It would definitely be useful to ensure that your website provider accommodates the non-technical user too. The simplest way of editing the site, easily adding content, making design changes, or embedding links, photos and videos would be with a content management system (CMS), which works almost like a word processor. If you are using a CMS platform and doing all the work in-house, then check whether there is annual training included as well. Every provider will have a different CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) with unique characteristics and features. You can test the CMS out to find out how whether it is suitable for your staff.
Once you’ve got the domain registered, your Web Hosting plan set up and the design of your site established, all you have to do is upload your content to the web server and your school website will be live on the Internet for everyone to browse. There you have it, that’s how easy it is to publish your own school website. Lunarpages has very affordable web hosting plans and also professional web design packages for spectacular websites. We even offer free web hosting services for U.S. public schools, grades K-12.