Donovan Group Insights

Summer Website Overhaul: Optimizing Before the New School Year

During the school year, some projects tend to fall lower on the priority list. There’s less time to plan campaigns, conduct communication audits or walk new staff members through the onboarding process. Summer gives you a chance to revisit projects that were placed on the back burner, and one of those projects involves giving your website an overhaul.

Use this quick checklist to ensure your school’s website is in great shape for the upcoming school year.

Make drop-down menus easy to navigate

Take a look at your website’s drop-down menus and hyperlinks. Are they organized in a way that makes sense? To test this, pretend you’re a student, teacher or parent trying to find a specific webpage. If it takes you a while to find the page, consider experimenting with a different, more user-friendly way to navigate the site.

Create clean and simple page layouts

When your audience visits a webpage, they should be able to find the information they’re looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible. Look through your district’s website, and identify pages that are cluttered or difficult to navigate. Work with a graphic designer to make these pages clean, simple and well-organized.

Get into the habit of posting regularly

Does your district post on its blog or announcements page on a regular basis? If not, this would be a good habit to practice before the upcoming school year begins. The more consistently you post updates, the more your audience will visit the website.

Remove pages you don’t need anymore

Webpages that no longer serve a purpose can clutter your school’s website and make more relevant pages harder to find. Take some time to identify and remove webpages your audience doesn’t need anymore, such as pages advertising past events, outdated policies or expired registration forms.

Put quick links at the top of every page

Not everything needs to fit into a drop-down menu. Popular webpages like portal logins, academic calendars, job listings and staff directories can be turned into quick links that appear along the top (or bottom) of every page. This will make important information more readily accessible for your audience.

Start the school year with a fresh new look

Online traffic is slower during the summer. No classes or events mean less people are visiting your school’s website. This gives you an opportunity to revamp any parts of the website that have become cluttered, outdated or visually unappealing. Welcome students, teachers and families back to school with a website that’s easy to use and meets their needs!

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