Zachary J Baehr

#4 – When your website needs a promotion

Somewhere along the line, school websites became the ‘low on the totem pole’ of assignments, and even though the need for better websites has risen, the content needs have not kept pace. The person in charge of the website has this task listed near the bottom of their growing list of tasks, when in actuality it is your digital front door to essentially your entire audience! 

The school website may be both complementary and competitive (and repetitive) of the paid app you have.With website technology today, apps can be a great addition for attendance and grades, things that fit neatly inside a database and must be kept under a password. 

Most everything else is a better fit for a traditional, mobile-friendly website design. Many of the content needs break the mold of an app (think about creating the content we discussed in step 3 … in an app?) The ease of mobile friendliness among website designers solutions take away the key critical pinpoint that school app makers tell you. In short, they want their app to be your mobile website, though school recruitment from today’s log-in apps is a horrendous idea. And who among us isn’t recruiting 24/7/365?

Years ago, when schools admitted and finally paid for a real website, they were offered a template that could “plug and play” to fit their colors and desire for a newer looking website. There was a little plugin, but not a lot of play. It was and is a rigid collection of bricks that were hard to move. And then companies decided to offer more, increasing the number of templates they offered but not truly meeting our need for expanded and creative content options. Schools had little choice but to go with it. 

There has to be a better way. Schools need website design and content design options. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution because we all have different stories to tell. Schools need to be able to create landing pages that fit the needs of upcoming events. I see schools use third-party products and a link to it from their website because they’d rather figure out a new third-party product then succumb to the limited choices with their actual website. What sense does this make?

This does not help search engine optimization, it does not help brand awareness, and it ruins the continuity good web design is supposed to offer. Remember that column you read from the principal last week? Try finding it on the website. If someone tries searching your website you won’t find it because it was not posted on their website, but instead on a different website somewhere else.

So what do we need? We need design inspired by content and user experience. I am a huge proponent of a WordPress-based website with Elementor as the design solution. Add the right plugins, and you have content options abound. Creating pages is easier, categorizing posts is easier, adding unique bits of information is fun, and synching up calendars is a blast (if such a thing could be!).
If you are thinking this describes you, please reach out to me for more details at

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