The homepage is the most important page to get correct. It is the page the viewer normally reaches on their initial search. First impressions are critical.
The appearance needs to be in-line with the school’s selected branding styles:
• photos (for ease of acquiring and using professional images, check out such sites as: istockphoto (http://www.istockphoto.com/index.php) and crestock.com (http://www.crestock.com/). These sites provide professional standard images at relatively inexpensive rates. You buy royalty-free images which you can then use on your website. You may, however, have good professional ones done for you. These photos need to be professionally presented. Don’t skimp on costs here.)
• motto or catchphrase
• selected key words and key phrases
• good graphics
• clear, directing toolbar/s and other links
• attention grabbing inclusions e.g.
- news updates
- upcoming events
- webpages on your website listed
This website is discussed through the school marketing manual by Bryan Foster.
The School Marketing Plan must include provision for a professional and inspiring school website homepage. This is where more and more students and parents will continually visit throughout their time in the school.
School Marketing Managers and key school staff should use the website for interaction between the various stakeholders within the school e.g. their students, potential students, staff, families and other interested people including parishioners.
Regularly updated bulletin boards and newsletters, upcoming
liturgical and social events, St Vincent de Paul and other charitable
needs and requests, photo and video galleries of school activities, etc,
School Website Examples
To view good school websites, for ideas for your own school’s website, just go to your browser and type in such words as: ‘outstanding school websites’, ‘school websites’, ‘best school websites’, etc. There are so many good examples out there.
You may also visit various school websites, system-level office websites and diocesan websites for both ideas and for key personnel.
Three good examples which see the News as central to their homepage are:
St Joseph’s Hunters Hill at http://www.joeys.org/index.cfm
Brisbane Catholic Education at http://www.bne.catholic.edu.au/
Loreto Toorak site at http://www.loretotoorak.vic.edu.au/home/
Another good example follows and is a more detailed homepage version http://www.riverview.nsw.edu.au/, yet quite effective!
The school community will continually deelop their appreciation of the school's website and expect to interact more with it.