, the best designs for schools and daycare centers!

Planning a Site

The task of planning a site can be daunting to even seasoned web professionals. I am here to help you. I have designed an easy-to-follow guide to assist you. Before a web site is created, there are a few things that you will need to do to plan it out and organize it the way that you like. Easy navigation and good content are the things that will attract and retain your potential customers. If they visit your site and find it easy to navigate and their questions are answered while they are there, they are very likely to call you and use your business. Layout and content are the most important factors in presenting a "good" web site.
  • The purpose of the web site

  • The layout

  • The type of content you would like to share

  • Get listed on search engines

  • Helpful Do's and Don'ts for planning a web site

  • The Purpose

    First, you need to decide the purpose of your site. Will it be strictly to attract new families, or do you want to offer information to your current families about your programs.

    You can have as little as one page with your school's name and contact information. You can also have multiple pages, describing what makes your center special as well as images that show how much fun children have at your center. Post your parent handbook and registration information so that parents can simply download everything they need to register their child.

    Once you choose the purpose of your site, you can move on to the layout and what content you want to provide.

    Back to Top

    The Layout

    The layout is the way that your page will look when it is on the Internet. Things to look for when you plan out a layout are:
  • Ease of use
  • Can a parent visiting your site find links to all of the content easily?
    If a parent wants specific information, is it in a logical location?

  • Logical Navigation
  • You want to have some sort of navigation area on your site. It can be vertical on either side or horizontal across the top or bottom. You can choose which you think would look the best and be the easiest for parents navigate through.

    Many sites have a strong navigation area, on the first page. Once you click on a link, all navigation is gone. In order to visit another page you have to click the Back button on your browser. Unnecessary steps like this will make users (parents) lose interest and go to a different site. In order to keep their attention, be sure to have easily identifiable navigation on each page of your site.

  • General Aesthetics
  • Have a nice title or banner at the top of each page identifying your school or center. It's best to have a plan for the location of all text and images. Pages that look like you just put images wherever and pages with many animated graphics look too chaotic to most parents. Plan it out and keep it simple, you'll attract lots of visitors. You also can customize the colors and backgrounds used for your site as well as text size, color, and link color. Backgrounds are fine as long as the area where the text is has a solid color background. You can even change all of these variables for the seasons or holidays, it's completely up to you!
    A good way to start planning out the layout of your site is to check out other web sites. What sites do you frequently visit? What about their site attracts you. Use the Internet to research what elements of a web page you think look best and what layout is the easiest to use. How can you apply these elements to your web site? Don't worry, I'm here for you for advice and to help with your planning.

    Back to Top

    The Content

    Content is what sort of information you want to share with the parents. The content on your site is the most important part of a good web site. Parents and potential clients will visit your site looking for information about your center. If you have strong content, their questions will be answered easily and they will have a good feeling about you. If you have a beautiful web site that lacks content, your potential customers will not be helped and their questions will not be answered. Content consists of text, graphics, images, sounds, videos, downloadable files, etc. Some examples of content are:
  • The history of your center, what makes it different than all the rest?
  • Your logo
    If you do not have a logo, that's no problem! I will assist you in designing a new one that you can use not only on your site but on letterhead, business cards, apparrel, etc.
  • Parent Handbook
  • Registration form and information
  • Curriculum
  • Class activities
  • Staff information/profiles
  • Center closing schedule
  • Daily classroom schedule
  • Enrichment classes/activities offered
  • Details of program for each age
  • Qualifications, awards, and accrediations
  • Pictures of children in the classroom, playing outside, and on field trips

  • When you send me information to put on your web site, send it worded exactly as you would like it posted. Look at me as merely the tool that you use to convert your ideas and words into something that can be posted on the Internet. Also, make sure that when you include pictures of your center including staff and children that you have their written permission (parent's permission for children under 18 years). Some parents object to having their children's likeness posted on the web.

    You can also have a parent's only section that has more detail about your center (children's birthdays, tuition information, class lists, etc.)

    Choosing the content that you will provide potential customers and current families is your decision. You can have as little or as much information as you like. You also have the ability to change the content as regularly as you need. If 4 months after your site is published on the web you decide you want to add a page with your lunch and snack menu, it's as easy as sending me the content and telling me where you want it.

    Back to Top

    Search Engine Listings

    One of the most popular questions I am asked is how to be listed first in a search result. Search engines such as Google, MSN, Yahoo use a complex algorithm to determine rank. There is no way to just be listed #1 immediately; if there were, spammers would exploit it. There are some things that you can include in your site that will increase the rank.

    The largest factor in determining page rank is how many sites are linked to your site. A search engine sends a web crawler (spider) out to follow hyperlinks to find pages on the Internet. The more pages that link to your site the more times the crawler will visit your site, thus increasing your result rank.

    When a spider visits your site, it collects keywords found on the pages. Be sure when you create the content for your site that you include words that a person would type into a search engine to find your site.

    Back to Top

    Helpful Do's and Don'ts

    1. Do choose a good color scheme. Don't use too many bold colors that will overpower the user.
    2. Do include pictures of your facility, teachers, and students. Don't forget to get written permission from each person in your pictures.
    3. Do try to draw attention to important aspects of your site. Don't use flashing or animated images. One or two within a whole site is OK, but any more than that makes it look chaotic and actually takes attention away from the content.
    4. Do choose the best pictures for your web site. Don't focus on having pictures of only your current students. Choose the best pictures that reflect your school, past and present.
    5. Do include specifics for how your want your page to look when you send your content. Don't be afraid to make changes, corrections, or to ask questions.

    Back to Top


    This site is best viewed with Firefox.


    Questions or comments? Visit the Contact Page.
    Copyright 2007