MPS Web Best Practices

School Web Site Organization

Site organization encompasses the hierarchy or structure of pages relative to the site root, and the display of navigational items directing users between these pages.

  • Front Page Requirements
    • The only navigational element available on the front page of a school should be the top horizontal navigation bar.  A front page must not include any artificially created navigational elements (e.g. "sidebars" created using tables).  These elements deviate from the consistent Architeck user experience.
      • Navigational elements prohibited on the front page include the following:
        • Links created from images.
        • Links styled in a manner (e.g. background color, border) different from the default display of links and/or body text.
        • A group of four or more links.
      • Inline links that relate to the other content of the front page are allowed.
    • Periodical, seasonal, or time-sensitive information should not be included on the front page.
    • Candid photographs--preferably of students or of children age-appropriate to your school--are recommended over photographs of buildings, campuses, reception areas, etc.
    • Please include, in brief, your school contact information:
      • Main Office phone
      • Attendance phone
      • Administrator's name
      • School hours of operation
  • Top Horizontal Navigational Bar
    • Required: Labels must exist as a single line of text.
    • Horizontal Navigation must not include a "Home" section, as it causes user confusion with the true "home page", which is front page and root directory of the site.
    • Number of labels should not exceed eight.  Five or six labels are optimal.
    • Each label should be no more than 12 characters in length.
  • Elementary Horizontal Navigation should consist of the following elements:
    • About Us
    • FAQs
    • Information
    • Programs (or Academics)
    • Staff
  • Secondary Horizontal Navigation should consist of the following elements:
    • About Us
    • Academics (or Programs)
    • FAQs
    • Information
    • Sports (or Athletics)
    • Staff
  • About Us
    • This section should answer the question: "What can you tell me about your school?"
    • Content might include general/marketable information for the following: special programs offered, unique qualities, awards, recognitions, focuses, grants, Title 1, technology implementations, student/teacher organizations, clubs, and teacher recognitions.
    • The "About Us" section should be used in lieu of a Principal's Welcome, Parents page or similar pages.  Due to alphabetical priority and simplicity of the phrase "About Us", we believe visitors are more likely to visit this link than other links serving similar functionality.
  • Academics/Programs should encompass:
    • Grade Levels (Elementary)
    • Departments (Secondary)
    • Clubs/Activities
    • Special programs
    • Athletics (Elementary Only)
  • Information
    • This section should inform visitor of school services such as the bookstore, cafeteria, career center, counseling office, health office, media center, etc.
    • Any other general information not appropriate for other sections of the website should be included here.
  • FAQs
    • Frequently Asked Questions are highly recommended.
    • FAQs help to open and standardize communication with the community.
    • They provide easy access to relevant information.
    • Think of the most common phone calls taken, and of questions answered by your front office staff regarding general information about your school.  These questions are good candidates for the FAQs section.
  • Staff
    • Schools must maintain a Staff section on the website using the special "Staff List" interface as initially set up by Web Services or Educational Technology.
    • Other pages must not be used in lieu of the Staff Page interface to create arbitrary staff lists or contact lists.

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