Monday, March 24, 2014

What's In A Web Page - Things You Should Be Sharing. Part I

Let me start by asking you this question… 

What do you do when you open a web page to a site that you think has information about spring and Summer clothing and it is still talking about the upcoming fall collection?  

You would open up another web page with the information on it that you are looking for....right?  

That is the same thing that happens if a parent, community member or even your students do when they go to your web site and there is no information available that they are looking for.  They go somewhere else, and that is not good.  

I see this every day in what I do both in and outside of the school system.  I admit that I may not have the best patience when it comes to outdated web pages but just think about this scenario:
  • I am a parent, living out of state, who is moving to the area this summer and I need to figure out what school I want my child to go to in the fall.  
  • I start looking into the schools that are close to my new home and when I check the teachers’ websites many of them still say "Welcome to the new school year" or "Have a Wonderful Holiday Break."  
That would not be a great way for a prospective parent to start their search of a new school for their child.  This may even cause that parent to reconsider attending a school in the area based on their first impressions of what they see on a teacher’s web page.  

Think of it this way, your web site is selling a product.  Whether that product is something that is tangible that you can hold in your hand or an idea of what there is to offer.  If the web site is not current or full of non-relevant information you will lose the sale, and in a game of numbers could mean the difference between an extra classroom of students and a teacher or combining classrooms of students and losing a teacher.  

What if you are applying for and/or are receiving a grant and part of the requirements are that you keep a current account of activities on your website.  You may lose the grant because of an out of date web page or site.

This scenario may seem extreme and some of you may be saying: 
  • "No way, that's not me." 
  • "I keep my web page up to date."
  • "My students won't go to my webpage so why bother."
  • Some may be saying "It doesn't matter because a parent will see the school web page before mine and that is all they need to see."  
But let me tell you more often than not those first impressions are the ones that stick regardless of how good you or your school is.  

So let’s get away from the negative and look towards some positives.  Just some simple things that can enhance your websites to keep them informative and current for anyone that may be looking at them.

Let’s start with today, we are in the final week of March and we all know what will be starting up at the beginning of April.  Yes, its review and testing time.  Raise your hands if you agree that you will spend the bulk of the quarter reviewing for a week of testing, then retesting.  Caught you, some of you actually raised your hands and that's OK.  

Join me next week to keep in the loop as I talk more about ways to keep your web site up to date. 

photo credit: jinkazamah via photopin cc

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