A guide for private schools: Why putting you in control of your website saves money

Sam McGuire
  • Sam McGuire
  • Senior Digital Designer

The best websites for private schools are the ones that are regularly updated and refreshed – keeping parents and the wider community on top of everything that’s happening. With school budgets becoming ever more stretched, it can seem like a challenge to maintain a vibrant and professional website that’s always up to date, bringing the life and activity from school to screen.

Actually, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Not if the school takes control of their website.

School skills are web skills

Schools are particularly well positioned to maintain control of their websites, because of the range of in-house skills that will be available. Schools are incubators of talent – staff with expertise in English, art and design can all be brought to your school website at no additional cost.

Using those skills and talents will not only save you money but will also give you the opportunity to highlight some of the things that your school excels at. Your school website is a showcase that can play a big part in attracting parents weighing up different school options. By taking control of your content you can demonstrate the very best of what your school offers in a way that has impact through authenticity.

Spontaneity without the spend

As we said at the outset, school websites that are regularly updated and refreshed offer value to parents and the school community. They’re also the most alluring to those parents who are researching possible schools for their children in the future.

By making additions, whether it’s information about an upcoming event or news of a particular success or project, a regularly updated school website highlights the school’s dynamism and range of opportunity. A constantly updated roll of success stories is compelling evidence of the school’s ability to outshine the competition and make the most of pupils’ abilities.

When you’re in control of your private school’s own website you can be as spontaneous as required, making last minute edits and announcements, without having to worry about budget implications.

Start with the right CMS

Being in control of your school website sounds nice but what about the techie know-how? Isn’t a really stand-out school website a job for the professionals?

Actually, the secret of an outstanding school website that is controlled by the school itself is all about the first steps taken with the school web design agency.

It starts with your school web agency creating a dynamic and persuasive fully responsive website, but one that puts you in the driving seat when it comes to updates, input and content management in the future. School content management and your school website designer come together via your CMS (Content Management System). CMS is the application used to create and modify your website.

Here at The Graphic Design House, we use Umbraco, which is a clean, modern, user friendly CMS. With Umbraco, anyone can become a content editor and the private schools we work with like the fact that you don’t need a degree in computer science or programming to get excellent results. Put simply, if you can use Microsoft Word, then you’re already 90% equipped to work with Umbraco.

Get your CMS right at the design stage of your school website and cost savings from in-house content management will accumulate from the outset.

Now that you’re ready to save your school money and improve your school web content, all that’s left is to decide who’s in charge of what and when they need to do it. This is the final piece of the jigsaw. Contributors should be clear about what’s expected of them, while one person should have overall control of content management. From there it’s up to you – you’re in control!