Risky Web Pages
Some types of web pages, although commonly seen on school websites, can adversely affect the browsing experience of your customers. Often these pages are set up with good intentions, but the amount of ongoing effort they require is underestimated, and they become out-of-date. These pages are risky choices for your website: when they are good, they are very, very good; but when they are bad, they are horrid.
Taking a Risk
Risky web pages include:
· Picture, audio and video libraries. While it is nice to show what students are currently doing, formalising this into a useful library can create problems. What events will be immortalised? How many pictures, or what length of video or audio, for each event? What needs to be pruned, and when? Who will supply the content, and with what?
· Blogs. A teacher will often want to use the website for “regular” bulletins about their subject area, and a blog would seem to be the ideal way of doing it. Unfortunately, though, a long-term commitment to regular blogging is rare, and the frequency of bulletins can therefore decrease significantly over time.
· Faculty reports. These are often imposed from above without a clear vision of what they should achieve. A lack of commitment by busy faculty leaders to this fuzzy purpose means that the excuse “nothing to report” can become endemic.
None of these ideas is bad in itself, but they can leave the Academy website looking like a graveyard for good intentions. If your site visitor finds the last picture or blog or information to be two years old, their impression of your Academy will not be good.
Minimising the Risk
Before implementing any of these risky web pages, make sure the following checklist is complete:
· What will go on the page?
· Who is committed to maintain this page?
· Have they agreed to a schedule for updating the page?
· How will new content be loaded to the page?
· Will the page content be stored as part of the website or externally (YouTube, Facebook, etc)?
· And, most importantly, why will this new page add value to the website?
After implementation, make sure that the pages are checked regularly. If the updating schedule is not being met the page should be suspended or deleted.
STUDENTS want access to their work; and they want recognition for their efforts.
PARENTS & CARERS want to check their child’s progress; they want to know what their child is doing; they want to be able to make payments quickly and easily; and they want effective contact with the Academy.
PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS AND PARENTS want to be able to make informed decisions about the Academy.
PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES want to know about the Academy; they want to know about the job they are applying for; and they want to be able to apply easily.
TEACHERS want the website to show the effectiveness of their teaching and learning.
GOVERNORS want the website to give a favourable impression of the Academy.
THE GENERAL PUBLIC want to know what your Academy school does.