A private school in the Dallas area had a site which was aging, difficult to maintain, and didn't reflect their character as a caring, loving environment with the highest academic standards.
Grace Academy was struggling to maintain its website and use it as an effective tool in the midst of a busy school year. Their existing site was completely static (created in HTML).
Our marching orders were three fold:
Grace Academy has no internal programming or design or dedicated IT personnel so the requirement was for an intuitive CMS WYSIWIG editor that required no knowledge of markup or programming techniques.
- Capture the collegiate feel which reflects the school's academics as well as their genuine love and care for the students entrusted to them
- Enable the faculty to easily maintain their site, adding and changing content as needed.
- Enable the site to display dynamic content.
The CMS architecture had to be flexible enough to cater to Grace Academy’s specific development requirements and allow for extended plug-in functionality.
Namely the ability to customize all events to display on a school-year calendar basis rather than a standard calendar year, the ability to allow an admit to briefly display warning messages for events such as school closings due to weather which would automatically disappear off the site once they had expired.
A data-driven website developed in Microsoft .Net and SQL Server, all built within and managed by Telerik’s Sitefinity.
Sitefinity truly allows all the functionality that Grace Academy needed and way,way more. Because so many features are included out of the box Grace Academy decided to add a blog for displaying various images from events in a less formal, more family oriented way.
The school’s faculty is now able to simply edit content within a web interface that approximates Microsoft Word, save the changes and publish the page, instantly updating the content. Fonts used, sizes and all other design elements are controlled outside of the editor so those editing content don’t have to worry about anything other than making sure the site says what it needs to say. The formatting is always consistent with the rest of the site!
Site Visitors can now view all the content on the site without being drawn into old content and without looking at pages which have differing styling. The end result for them is exactly what it should be, a consistent, professional site where the information they want to find is always a click away.
The addition of dynamic content was also of great benefit to the site, in the past parents had to find the yearly calendar and then find the dates coming up, and if the staff hadn't had time away from their real jobs to update the calendar the information might be wrong.
We implemented a system for event handling where the next few upcoming events are always displayed on the home page. Now, when a parent comes to the site they might only need to view one page and get everything they need! That is a great benefit to them and increases parent (customer) satisfaction greatly. All event details are similarly now only one click away from parents. Their yearly calendar is now much improved as it automatically updates itself when one school year is over so that all upcoming events are kept fresh.
These improvements have yielded the school with a best in class website which provides great value as a marketing tool to those looking for a great school for their children as well as a great resource for communication with existing students and their families.