We’ve put together the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions to ensure you have all the details you need to get started on your next school website project.
Choose a category to quickly find the help you need
What should a school website include?
A school website should be secure, scalable and robust, provide excellent value for money and be easy to update.
Your school website is your window to the world, so it should include lots of information relevant to both prospective and current parents. And not forgetting all the statutory guidance as stated by the Department for Education.
Ideally it should also be user-friendly, easy to navigate and include the option for you to freely add content (text & images), news articles, links, calendar events, galleries and social media feeds as required through your Content Management System.
Check out our free DfE checklist to find out more about what must be included on your school website.
What do I get when purchasing a school website from e4education?
Every website we create is expertly designed and securely built onto our feature-rich intuitive Content Management System (CMS) and includes an SSL certificate, data encryption, Single Sign On (SSO) and Double-Authentication as standard, to ensure your data is safe and secure.
Our CMS is built on a single-code base and maintained in-house by a team of professional developers, ensuring that you will receive all of the latest updates and never be on an outdated platform.
These are just some of the intuitive features available as standard with an e4education website:
- Social Media Integration
- Content Templates
- Image Editing
- In-line text editor (WYSIWYG)
- Accessibility Settings
- Scheduling & Archiving
- SEO tools
- Unlimited storage
- Customisable user permissions
You will also benefit from unlimited technical support and advice, professional on-boarding and interactive training to ensure you get the very best from your website, as well as regular account management, bi-monthly newsletters and access to our latest resources, offers and insights.
Should you need it, we can also provide MIS-integrated communication tools and booking & payment systems, as well as any additional services you may require - such as photography, videography, branding or prospectuses.
What experience do you have in building school websites?
Founded in April 2001, e4education started as a few like-minded people helping a handful of schools. Our small team had big ideas and their goal was to make the web more accessible to schools, and in doing so, make schools more accessible to their stakeholders.
Many years and thousands of websites later, we are now one of the UK’s leading school website providers.
Our experienced and talented team of designers, developers, project coordinators, support advisers, account executives, business development managers and marketers work with over 2,500 schools and 200 multi-academy trusts across the UK and abroad.
It is a testament to the strength of our business and the commitment of our team, that many of the customers who first joined us almost twenty years ago, are still with us today.
Are your websites mobile-friendly and responsive?
All of our websites are fully responsive, mobile-friendly and are built using a mobile-first approach.
We utilise graceful degradation, lazy-loading and coding efficiencies to ensure that all of our website are fully optimised for all screen sizes and browsers.
What system do you use for your websites?
The platform uses a variety of technologies, from Varnish on the caching layer to PHP and MySQL for our media server to .Net and MSSQL for the content management system. We ensure that we use the right technology for each element, with security, usability and value for money at the forefront of those decisions.
All personal data is encrypted using industry standard algorithms and all data is backed up securely using the Microsoft Azure platform.
How easy is it to use your system to update the website?
Our system has been designed with the end user in mind and is exceptionally intuitive and easy to use.
Built exclusively for schools and multi-academy trusts, our Content Management System (CMS) has been designed to meet your specific website and communication needs and can be mastered in minutes, regardless of technical capabilities or experience. Should you need any assistance, our team of fully trained customer support staff are always happy to help.
“A great factor in our original decision to work with them was the user interface and inline CMS which is simple and effective to use. We have been quickly able to learn how to complete tasks, with the help of the interactive tutorials” - Mikey Gibson, The Minster School
How much does a school website cost?
The price of a school website really depends on what the requirement is. We can offer an essential website for those who are tight on time and budget. However, most schools opt for our bespoke website package which can be tailored to the individual needs of their school. Whether you choose an essential website or a bespoke website with us, you will still have full access to our feature-rich CMS software and the same level of support and advice.
Each website is subject to an annual maintenance charge, which includes unlimited support for the lifetime of your website and free access to our system updates – this both future proofs your investment and ensures that you are never on an outdated platform.
All of our quotes are valid for 30 days from the date issued.
Are your websites templated or bespoke?
For Trusts who want a consistent design across all their schools we offer a very cost-effective solution. Firstly, we create a lead school bespoke design, and then clone this design to the other schools with personalisation of colour and branding where required.
We also offer our much-loved, versatile essential range which offers a selection of design options, giving schools the ability to choose from a variety of features, fonts, colours and styles. An essential site is our most cost-effective solution and, for those who are short on time, it can be usually be live within a week.
Who will work with me during the process?
You will work with an experienced project coordinator who will personally manage your project, taking you through the process from start to finish, answering any questions you have and ensuring that your website goes live on time and to specification.
If you opt for a bespoke website or design project, then you will work with one of our talented, expert designers who will help you to bring your ideas to life. Behind the scenes, your website will be built by our experienced front-end developers and your initial content will be populated by our meticulous content coordinators.
From the start of your project, until long after your website goes live, you will benefit from unlimited access to our excellent customer account executives, support advisers and implementation specialists, who will help you get the most from your website.
Is photography included as standard with my school website?
Photography is not included as standard with our website projects, however we offer competitive pricing and seasonal rates with our fantastic in-house photographer which can be purchased as either an add-on to your project or as a stand-alone service at any time.
Can I reschedule my photography shoot if it rains?
Unfortunately as our photography calendar books up months in advance, we do not offer contingency dates based on the weather.
We appreciate that the weather on the day can sometimes be disappointing, but our photographers are trained professionals and will make sure that you still get amazing shots for your new website or prospectus, even if they are mostly indoor photographs.
Should there be a brief interlude in the rain during the shooting period, our photographers will do everything possible to break the schedule and get the children outside for the outdoor shots you require.
What is the average lifespan of a school website?
The average lifespan of a school website is 3.4 years.
Some of our customers like to refresh their design every couple of years but it is often personal choice as, with our single-code base content management system, updates are regularly rolled out to the system, ensuring you are never on an outdated platform.
How secure will my website be?
All of our websites are extremely secure, with Single Sign On (SSO), two-factor authentication and SSL certificates issued as standard.
Our development team perform regular penetration testing on our websites, all personal data is encrypted using industry standard algorithms and all data is backed up securely using the Microsoft Azure platform.
Can I include videos on my school website?
Yes. Our websites have a built-in video file manager, as well as the option to embed videos that are externally hosted on YouTube and Vimeo.
Can I add social media to my school website?
Yes you can. You can pull in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds onto pages within your websites and many customers also choose to feature a social media feed on their homepage, as part of their website design.
To avoid duplication of work, you can also share content to Twitter and Facebook via our built-in social media integration, which allows you to push news stories and blog posts automatically to your school feeds.
Are your websites Ofsted compliant?
The responsibility for website content to be Ofsted compliant lies with the individual educational establishment, however we will do everything we can to assist with making this as easy as possible for you.
All of our websites are exceptionally easy to update and we have put together a free checklist to help ensure you have included everything that is required on your school website.
This is regularly updated in line with Department for Education guidance.
Is there any downtime when launching a new website?
No. When you are ready to launch your new website, our support team will send you the DNS instructions for your domain - this will point your website URL (e.g www.e4education.co.uk) to your new website hosted on our servers.
These changes can take 24 – 48 hours to propagate, however as long as they are entered correctly, you will have no website downtime. During the 'go live' process, your users will either see your old website or the new one - but there should never be a point when you will have no website showing.
After propagation is complete, your users will be able to visit and enjoy your new school or trust website!
How much content is included with my project?
You can add unlimited content to your website, there is no restriction on the number of pages that can be created.
As part of your project, our team will help you populate a specific number of pages with the content you provide. We will then provide your team with support and advice on populating your remaining content.
If you are an existing e4education customer embarking on a new website project, we can transfer all your existing content to your new website for you.
How much support and training do I receive?
Once logged into the Content Management System, you will be able to access our built-in Interactive Help System which offers on-page tutorials, videos and user guide as well as the ability to raise support tickets and access our comprehensive Help website.
To help your team on-board successfully onto your new system, we have dedicated Implementation Specialists, who will be able to assist you to get the very best from your new website and/or communication and booking tools.
Although our platform has been designed to be as user-friendly and intuitive as possible, you may wish for more intensive training. If so, this is something we can arrange either over the phone or video-conference, at your school or at our offices in Peterborough.
Do you outsource your developers or are your websites built in-house?
All of our developers are employed by e4education and all of our websites are built in-house by our talented team.
Can I link my website calendar with Google or Outlook?
We can set up your website calendar to pull in events directly from your internal Microsoft™, Google™ or MIS calendar. We can also sync your calendar with the SOCS calendar if required.
This fantastic functionality is available for only £50 + VAT a year - helping you save time and reduce the need for duplicating events across two calendars.
What additional services do you offer?
As well as expertly designed, innovative websites we also offer:
- MIS Integrated communication tools
- Booking platforms
- Payment systems
- Logo design and branding services
- Prospectus design
- Virtual Tours
Do I have to buy the communication & booking tools with my website?
For the most cost-effective savings and for the ease of having all of your systems in one place, our tools provide the perfect complement to your new website, however they can be added on at any time – should you wish to purchase these tools at a later date.
What happens if I want to leave and what is the cancellation period?
We're sorry to hear you're thinking of leaving us.
If you wish to cancel your contract, then we require 30 days’ notice in writing. Please contact our Customer Relations Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will arrange the necessary next steps for you.
What are the payment terms?
Our standard payment terms are 50% up front and 50% when your website goes onto our development severs.
We can also offer payment plans on larger projects - please contact our team to find out more.
Are you an eco-friendly company?
e4education is committed to the continual improvement of our environmental performance and reducing our carbon footprint by 25%. To help achieve this, we have become a member of the “Investors in the Environment” programme and are working towards the Investors in the Environment green accreditation.
As part of this, we have chosen to work with one of only 12 printers in the UK that is recognised as Carbon Balanced by the World Land Trust and also members of the Carbon Capture programme administered by the Woodland Trust.