A school website you can’t use is about as useful as a car you can’t drive. As such, introducing your staff to your website and getting them up to speed with your new CMS should be a high priority for your school. The responsibility of maintaining the school website may fall into the hands of your school staff and teachers, but a great website provider won’t leave you behind.
The Value of Excellent Tech Support from Your School Website Provider
To ensure that everything is running smoothly, your school website provider should give you unlimited technical support. There should be an in-depth initial training for the administrators and users before the big launch. This is typically done through web conference training.
Once the torch has been passed, your staff should still have access to other forms of technical support. This may come in the way of phone support, which includes an emergency hotline for times when your needs are critical. The administrators and users of the site should also have access to a Help Center where they can review the basic and advanced functions available through your site and its CMS.
Introducing Your Staff to Your School’s Online Hub
Now that your site administrators are well acquainted with the website, how should you go about introducing its functions to your school staff? Here are a few suggestions that can make this task easier:
1. Start with the Bigger Picture
- Before you delve into the inner workings of your site, first give your staff a general overview of the website. Tour the front-end and take special note of the pages that will be relevant to the particular users you are teaching. Direct the teachers to the teacher and class pages, for example.
- Give everyone a tour of the different categories in your top navigation. Show them where the search function is and how the contact form works. Give them a sense of ownership of the site from the start and let them see the benefits of having a website to represent your school.
2. Get Up Close and Personal
- After the website tour, it’s time to start looking into the CMS -- the platform that allows users to manage and update the school website. Here, it’s okay to be selective when it comes to the sections you want to show your staff. Prioritize the author environments that matter most to the people you are teaching. If you’re with the admin team, be sure to show them how the CMS automates the processing of school facility reservation forms.
- Teach every user how to create and upload text and media, how to update existing website content, and how to view and save draft posts. Be sure to demonstrate how to delete posts and files and how to retrieve them if necessary.
3. Cloud-based Office Suite Integrations
- Make sure that the website users are aware that your CMS has been integrated with cloud-based office suites like Google and Microsoft 360. This way, they know that they won’t have to go through hoops just to sync their calendars and upload their files to personal pages. Show them how to take advantage of the single sign-on verification by letting them log onto their CMS account through their phones or computers.
4. Engaging Your Visitors: Social Media Postings and Newsletter Subscriptions
- Next, give your staff a rundown of how the built-in social media manager works. Show them how they can link posts and announcements to the school’s official social media accounts and how they can schedule posts for later. In addition to these, give your staff an overview of how the newsletter builder works. Make sure you discuss the process of building a newsletter entirely in the CMS, how to make a custom recipient list, and the settings they should check before sending the newsletter.
5. Form Creation and Automated Submissions
Allow your school staff to make full use of your CMS by introducing them to its built-in form builder. Show them how to build forms and how they can make these forms accessible to the website’s visitors. It is also important to mention how the form submission process works.
- Let your staff know that they won’t have to manually collect and collate the forms every cutoff period. The system automates these processes and ensures that each type of form is forwarded to the relevant departments and personnel.
Getting a new school website is a big investment, and it’s important to ensure teachers and staff are getting the most out of it. By giving your staff a sense of ownership of the site and acquainting them with the tools and features available, your school website will remain engaging, relevant, and up-to-date for all its users.