Why You Should Have a Website for Your Program
There’s no excuse to not have a digital presence these days and websites for directors is no different. An overwhelming amount of people take to the web to research and learn. Websites are the new business card and often frame the first impression of your program. Here’s why you should have a website in the first place.
You’ll Be Findable
With a web presence, your program will be easier to find and feel more established. Can’t you attest to trusting a product or company more because it’s website felt fresh and up-to-date? A website that’s easy to find will help attract recruits from younger classes or transfer students looking to find a way to connect in their new schools. Also, when fundraising season comes around, it provides a place for potential sponsors to learn more about your program and what they’re helping support.
Strangers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the information on your site. Create pages within your site for students and parents to access. All those forms, information packets, syllabi and schedules that you’ve probably sent a dozen times can live on your site, ready to be accessed. It’s also a helpful place to house assignments and learning resources for your classes.
It’s For Community
We’re all about community here at Director’s Choice and it’s probably no different with your kids. Showcase your group’s photos, accomplishments, and celebratory announcements!
We understand your time and resources are valuable. In fact, many of us at Director’s Choice have been in your shoes, so we can appreciate how you stretched you are. Building a website may feel too big a task, but I promise, it can be well worth it!
“I Don’t Know How”
There are many companies out there who specialize in making web design easy and attainable. Wix, Weebly, and Wordpress are three that I have directed people toward because of how they craft their interfaces to make building a site intuitive. Any non designer with limited know how can still build a site with these web tools.
“I Can’t Afford It”
The aforementioned companies all have either a free version of their product or a plan starting as little as $5 a month. That’s trading one large morning coffee for a website that will work for you all day.
“I Don’t Have the Time”
With all the time that you spend answering questions from students, parents and others, you could save half of it by developing and maintaining a website. Redirecting inquiring minds to a digital wealth of information and knowledge will be blissful when it’s the end of the day and your brain is fried. Invest your time now, so you can save more of it down the road.
How to Succeed
Okay, you’ve got a website or are thinking about one, but how do you suck the marrow out of it? These are three simple ways to make a successful website for your program.
Keep it up to Date
Arguably the hardest, but most crucial part of having the website is updating it. So, give yourself a weekly minimum to be accountable to. Weekly accomplishments like spirit awards, assignments and videos to watch, or expectations for the following week are things most programs already implement! Now, it’s just a matter of posting them.
You’ll also want to write in your calendar for a refresh every year. Look at forms, information packets, and schedules to confirm they’re up to date and correct.
Make It About the Kids
For every student you have, you have at least one parent, aunt, neighbor, friend etc. that loves to take pictures of them. Enlist program fans and school photographers to dress up your website with photos of the students! Also, provide pages that are for your students to reference. Include assignments as well as long-term documents like syllabi, schedules, packing lists, and trip itineraries.
Make It Pretty
An early lesson taught in design school is that form follows function. A site that’s nice to look at and easy to navigate will be used, plain and simple. When you sign up with one of the web design companies that I mentioned before, they will normally have pre-designed themes for you to choose from. This makes site building easy, because the design has been done for you and all that’s left is to add content.
Every director will say they’d like more time. A website can continue your work while you commit your time elsewhere.