Creating EffectiveSchool and PTA WebsitesSam FarnsworthUtah PTA Technology Appointeesam@utahpta.org
Creating Effective School and PTA Websites • An effective website must be CURRENT • Keep news, announcements, and the calendar up to date. Parents will continue to visit the website as long as there is new information. • Do not leave outdated information on your home page. The first time a parent sees outdated info will be the last time they visit your site. • All information must be put on the website as soon as it is available. Avoid using “More info coming soon.”
Creating Effective School and PTA Websites • An effective website must be COMPLETE • All information that goes home by mail, e-mail, or in backpacks must be on the website first. If parents always get information first through other means, they will never use the website as a source of information. • Your website must have specific information about every item posted, such as events, activities, announcements, etc. Every post needs to include who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Creating Effective School and PTA Websites • An effective website must be EASY TO UPDATE • You should be able to update and add content quickly and easily. • Multiple PTA Board members and school staff should have access to update the website. Information should not be funneled, and bottlenecked, through one person. • All changes to the website should be able to be made without any programming. The website should use a WYSIWYG editor.
Creating Effective School and PTA Websites • An effective website must be PROMOTED • Parents need to be directed to the website through advertising. • Send home notes, post the URL on the marquee, e-mail a link to parents, etc. • Post a coupon on the website that parents can print for their students to receive a reward at school.
Creating Effective School and PTA Websites What is the easiest way to create an effective school or PTA website? I recommend:
Login to Google here If you don’t have a Google account, create one here
Enter your e-mail address Enter your password (twice) Scroll down to complete the form
Select your country Enter your birthday Enter the word verification Click I Accept
Select Local PTA Chapter (this template starts with all the pieces you will need)
Enter the name of your site Enter a shorter name for the URL if desired Scroll down to complete the form
Enter the word verification Click Create site
This is the default PTA template that you will now begin to customize
Click More actions …then click Manage site
This page is the starting page for making template, design, style, color, and logo changes to your site. • But first, click Sharing to give others access to add and change things on the site.
Enter the e-mail addresses of those who will be adding to the website. Select collaborator or owner as needed. • Click Invite these people • Make sure this box is checked
Type a message informing them they are now able to add and edit content on the new website. Then click Send. • Or click Skip sending invitation
List of Owners List of Collaborators You do not need viewers because the site is public
You selected the Local PTA Chapter template, which helps determine some of the functionality of the website, like calendar, announcements, programs, etc. You can select one of these templates to change the look and feel of your website. • Click on Themes to change the colors and format of your website.
Use the preview link below each theme to see how your site will look in that theme.
The colors of this template match my school colors, so I am going to select it.
Click change logo to replace it with yours. • Click Site layout to change the header and navigation
Every time you make a change, be sure to click Save changes at the top. Hint: School logo should be 100 pixels tall and about 50 to 300 pixels wide in order to fit inside the website header. • Click Choose File and select your school logo from your computer.
Now let’s get rid of the YouTube video. Click Edit page. • My school logo
This is a WYSIWYG editor. You can edit text and add objects like pictures and videos right here on this page. • Click on the YouTube video object and click Remove.
YouTube video is gone. The Newsletter object automatically moved up in its place. Click on More actions above and choose Manage Site to make changes to the colors.
Use this box to make changes to individual elements of the theme, such as links, titles, navigation, background colors, background images, etc. I removed the background image and changed it to a background color. Click on Colors and fonts • I changed the menu color and link color to the school’s color.
The background, the menu, and the links now match our school’s color. Now we need to make the calendar have dates for our school. Click How to replace this calendar for instructions
This page has instruction on how to create a calendar in Google Calendar and tie it to your school website. Follow the instructions to create a new calendar for your school, then return to your website.
Once you’ve created your calendar, go back to your school website home page and click Edit page. Click on the Google Calendar object and click Properties
Use the drop down arrows to change the color of the text on your calendar. • Click Display another calendar and select your school calendar. • Make your checkboxes match my checkboxes. • Change the calendar title if desired.
School calendar items are now automatically being displayed on the home page.
Click Edit page Now we are going to edit the Programs page.
You can add text and change fonts and colors just like in any word processor.
…then click the link button To create a link, select the text to make a link…
You can link to a page on your site …or to a web address Then click Ok.
You can insert many different objects into your page, such as images, links, lines, documents, maps, photos albums, presentations, spreadsheets, and forms. • You can also insert dynamic gadgets that pull in recent files, recent lists, posts, announcements, etc.
There are formatting options similar to what you see in a word processor.
You can insert tables into your pages. This will be useful when inputting your PTA board or the school bell schedule.
You can format your page with many different styles of columns, rows, and sidebars.
There is no Education page yet, so I click Create new page. Then I used the link tool on Education. • I want to create pages for each of the commissions, so I started by making a list of the commissions on the Programs page.
Name the page. • Select where to put it. (in this case, it’s a sub-page of the Programs page.) Highlight Programs… …then click Create page.
Then click Save. • Enter text, images, objects, • links, forms, etc for the Education page here.
Now let’s add some news. To add news, click New post.
Click Save. Enter the title. Enter the text. • Insert images or other ojbects as needed.
Your new post shows up at the top. News posts will also show up automatically on the home page.
To change the calendar, click Edit page. Now we need to set up the calendar page so it pulls in our school calendar as well.
Click on the Google Calendar object and click Properties.