Nine Things To Consider When Choosing A Web Host For School Website

Posted on October 24, 2012 by

Schools are the foundation of any modern society. Whether you run a private-owned elementary school, high school, community college or major university, an educational institution offers the necessary training for those who want to achieve success in a competitive workplace. Private educational establishments work like normal companies with students as their clients and business operations are normally handled in classrooms. It is therefore necessary to put the school name on the internet. Most schools don’t have the budget and expertise to host their own servers, which means they need to hire the service of a web host. These are a few things to consider when choosing a reliable web host for school website:

Let’s face it, many schools have very strict budget. In current economic situations, schools activities are getting cut and teacher salaries are put on hold. Consequently, it’s a bit unlikely that you have enough money for more expensive hosting plans, especially those with expensive dedicated servers. You should make a list of web hosts with rates you can afford but with most if not all features you need. In recent years, fully-featured hosting plans has become much more affordable and many can already be considered affordable; at a rate of $5 per month. It is generally recommended to pay a couple of years in advance to save even more money, if the web host agrees to offer you a discounted price.

Schools are big communities of students, teachers and parents. They aren’t just about a place where people teach and learn. A proper web hosting plan allows you to establish an interactive, multimedia-rich website that helps everyone to have easy access to important information on school events. Although you can post videos to YouTube, websites with self-hosted multimedia files can often provide more seamless user experience.

Green practices
If you teach sustainability practices in school, why not extend your commitment by building a green and carbon-neutral website through the purchase of renewable and clean energy certificates. This had become a popular trend since web hosts usually run energy-intensive data centers.

Accessible support
Although teachers are educated folks, it is likely that they are not trained in website development. Make sure you can contact the customer service easily when unexpected issues arise. Reliable support staffs should be able to receive your calls 24/7.

Easy control
Again due to a series of budget cuts, schools may end up having one of the teachers managing the website. Make sure it is easy to manage any aspect of website control. Look for web hosts that offer user-friendly control panel like Plesk our cPanel. These control panels are widely used in the industry and web management couldn’t be easier with them.

Marketing services
School website could be your most important marketing tool for attracting new students each year. Therefore, a web host should be able to provide professional assistance in online marketing campaign. A web host may offer affordable marketing services for managing pay per click (PPC) marketing campaign and statistics analysis.

Unlimited databases
Without doubt, your school website will contain plenty of database material, especially if each student, teacher and staff has an account. Teaching schedules may change frequently and hundreds of new students attend the school each year. Your web host should be able to support a large database that has thousands of entries that are accessed frequently. Look for web hosting plans with unlimited mySQL databases, which allow you to store, modify and display your online data without any restriction.

Email support
In any school, communication is always a key factor. Students, staff and teachers should have email accounts to keep communication channels running smoothly between them. Consequently, a web hosting plan with unlimited emails allows you to keep people connected even during holiday season. If budget allows and you have thousands of people in school, you may consider to have the web host set up a dedicated email server. The plan should also include support for Microsoft Exchange that can help you to manage thousands of email account easily.

Like any business, your school may grow in size and number of students. Many schools find their student base expand steadily each term. This often result an increase in traffic and you need a web host that can grow with you. If possible choose a web host that allows you to upgrade to dedicated server plan or CPS hosting package, which offers all the computing power you need.

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