Whether it’s a new family moving into a nearby neighborhood, a teacher considering employment, or a parent who needs information about an upcoming event, there are countless reasons why your website is now, perhaps more than ever, the face of your school district and must make a positive impression to anyone who visits.
Today’s importance of a school or district website was among the topics discussed during the recent Gaggle Webcast, “Get the Most (and More) From Your School Website!” Attendees heard from Chris Skinner, Instructional Technology Specialist at El Campo ISD in Texas, who described the challenges, solution and results involved in re-launching one district and five school websites over a short summer recess.
Earlier in the webcast, Andrea Keith, Gaggle’s Vice President, Strategic Services, discussed key reasons to start thinking about replacing an outdated school website, including long page load times, the entire site not being mobile-friendly, and pages with too much information. “With good intentions, we want to share a lot of information on our websites,” she said. “While that’s a good thing, you want to be careful to do it in a manner that’s easy to read, is inviting and doesn’t put too much in one place.”
Andrea, who was joined during her presentation by Kyle Sands, Gaggle’s Web Hosting Specialist, added another reason schools should re-evaluate their current web hosting solution: E-Rate. “Although more money is going into E-Rate, these funds are for connectivity and not for websites and other services,” she said. “For the 2015-16 school year, web hosting is not an eligible service.”
With districts or schools scurrying to find ways to pay for web hosting without E-Rate, Andrea cautioned attendees who relied on E-Rate funds not to settle for less, specifically pointing to features that some schools might think they don’t need such as content migration services, little to no customer service, and no way to connect the website to other technology.
Before turning the webcast over to Chris, both Andrea and Kyle outlined a simple four-phase implementation process to follow when launching a new school or district website.
- Plan for success.
- Website setup.
- Prepare to launch.
- Launch and ongoing support.
Watch the entire Gaggle Webcast by clicking here and scrolling down the page to the section of “Archived Webinars.”