Efficient website planning is the key to having a successful school website in today’s internet-savvy environment.
Whether you are launching a brand new website or revamping your existing one, a little bit of planning goes a long way in ensuring stellar results.
You can plan better, organise your efforts better, test drive user experience, and simply be confident in the final product that you put in front of the world.
Let us explore the 5 most important pre-planning musts you must adhere to when planning your school website.
Consequences and opportunities
Planning your website in advance helps you recognize the consequences and opportunities that come with running a website. You can test out various elements of user experience as 88% of users are not likely to come back to a website if they have a bad experience with it.
Similarly, with over 55% of website views coming from mobile, it is important to create a design and structure that flows on all sorts of devices. Most importantly, you want to create a website that can be easily navigated by parents and students alike.
By identifying the consequences and opportunities, you can work toward avoiding the consequences and capitalising on the opportunities.
There are many elements to focus on when it comes to website pre-planning. You may look at historical data, conduct surveys of the end-users, or consult with your team to get ideas rolling.
We have come up with the 5 most pre-planning musts to include in your school website checklist.
- Launch date
The first order of business is to set a realistic launch date for your website. Make sure it isn’t too early or too late, but rather gives you sufficient time to prepare and test run the website to derive desired results.
Setting a launch date gives a purpose to the project. Everyone involved knows the deadline they are up against and they start working accordingly.
- Stakeholder buy-in
Stakeholder buy-in refers to getting all the relevant people involved in a process. For your school website, that would mean both your internal team and people from your executive team. Everyone coming together will bring crucial viewpoints to help create a dynamic website.
Stakeholder buy-in can have a huge impact on getting the project up and running. As was the case with the University of Auckland when it set out to revamp its digital presence in 2016.
Upon dividing tasks among different teams, you should also set deadlines to ensure that the project stays on schedule. The deadlines should be actionable, meaning they should cover the time the tasks would realistically take to complete along with some buffer time for contingencies.
Another important aspect of school website pre-planning is to establish communication channels between various teams. It is important to keep every team in the know-how about what the other teams are doing.
Sometimes, tasks are shared between teams as well. For example, the content team cannot start working on the content structure unless they have the design layout from the design team.
As you create your school website, remember that the most important aspect to always keep in mind is to stay focused. It’s easy to stray toad including fancier elements into the design, but it is far more important to focus on the functionality of the website.
As a rule of thumb, keep things simple and realistic. Only add something if you think it will add real value to the website. If it doesn’t, steer clear from including it.
School websites are often the first point of interaction between many schools and their potential students or parents. It’s important to have a functioning and attractive school website in today’s day and age.
A little bit of planning before you get started on the project goes a long way in creating a website that serves every faction of your end-users. Be realistic and stay focused to create a stellar website for your school.