Website Tips for Daycare Centres

Does the word “website” frighten you? Do you relate website design to complicated programming, complex html / java scripts? Ever wondered how a small daycare centre can afford to setup a website?

Website designing has evolved since the start of internet. What used to be a complicated task, fit for a computer programmer, has now been made easier. Most web hosting packages now comes with web builder programmes that enable non web designers to setup a professionally looking website without any/little knowledge of computer programming languages.

Here’s how you can easily develop a website for your daycare centre:

Step 1 – Purchase a domain name (www.YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME.com)

You can buy them from many domain name providers that is available on the web. Go to Google / Yahoo and key in “purchase domain name” and you’ll have a list of domain name companies trying to promote their services to you. Domain names are usually charged annually. It can range from as cheap as $1.99.

Step 2 – Sign up with a web hosting company

Many web hosting companies offer free domain name registration for as long as you host your website with them. Web hosting packages are charged monthly but many web hosting companies will offer you a discount if you were sign up with them for a number of years. There a number of things you need to take note of when selecting a web hosting company. How much space? How many email accounts are permitted? Does it have a website design software?

Step 3 – Write your website copy

The most important and sometimes challenging task of building a website is to write the website copy. Fret not. It can be relatively pain-free.

First and foremost, I would suggest spending some time to surf the web for good examples to copy. The rule of thumb is, if you like it and find it attractive, then most likely your customers will as well.

Here are a number of suggested information to include on your website.

• Home page – This is an introduction or welcome page for your daycare visitors. Visitors normally land on this page first so you should make it easy for your visitors to navigate through. As they say “First impression counts” so ensure that it is attractive. However, don’t overdo it and put too many pictures because it will take a very long time to load.

• Core value and goals – As providing daycare services is a delicate profession, core values and goals of the daycare centre are extremely important.

• About us – Include a photo and short bio of all the caregivers. If it is too tedious, then have at least the daycare centre manager’s / principal’s information.

• Programme / Curriculum – List down what subjects you offer as part of your curriculum.

• Schedule – Include a schedule of the centre’s daily activities. If possible, even include a menu.

• Photo Gallery – Snap some photographs of the children at play, during storytelling, etc and include it in your photo gallery. Some website design software already have a photo gallery function included.

• Rates and charges – Some owners may not like the idea of publicizing the charges, so it’ll depend on your preference. Personally, I feel that it helps to qualify your customers.

• What’s New – If possible, have a “What’s New” section where you can include short writeup about your centre’s activities or make announcements of upcoming events such as open houses.

• Contact us – In your contact page, list not only contact details such as address, telephone and email but include a map as well. It will be useful for parents who wish to visit your centre.

Step 4 – Follow the step by step tutorials or guides to setting up a website.

Most website design software comes with tutorials on how to develop a website step by step. It varies from software to software. I won’t lie to say that is a piece of cake but you’ll get better with practice. Just think of the amount of money you will be saving by doing it yourself.

Remember to publish your website only when you have checked it thoroughly. Preview it first to ensure the layout is fine. Check the spelling. Nothing is worse than a website that is poorly developed.

Step 5 – Promoting your website

The first thing you should do is email to all your friends and family and let them know about your website. Encourage them to forward to as many people as possible.

Next is to include your website address on everything; on your namecards and all your marketing materials (brochure, flyers, posters, advertisements and banners).

Get your website listed in as many places as possible. There are also many web directories which you can list your website and not forgetting the metroguides. If you have purchased a franchise, ask if the franchisor will allow a link from their website to yours.

If after reading this, you find it too cumbersome, there are 2 alternatives. One is to have someone professional do it for you for a fee. Second is to forget about having a website for your daycare altogether.

Seraphina Tan
http://www.articlesbase.com/small-business-articles/website-tips-for-daycare-centres-153398.html

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