School Websites?

Does Your School have a Website?

  • Yes

  • No

  • I don't know


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Nightingale

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Do you think schools should have websites?

Does your school have a website?

If so, what's on it? and why?

Is it more for current students or recruiting?

What's the URL (so we can all go look)
 
Our website is for both recrutting and student information. I have gotten at least one student from it this year - plus I have set up a newsletter/mailing list for relaying information about upcoming events and announcements. All information about the students themselves has been stored in a password protected directory.

gotkenpo.com
 
My instructor feels that his market is only a ten mile radius of the
school's location. That's why he's not interested in a web site.

I'm writing a very basic one that I'm going to stick out there, just
because. What if a kenpoist is going to move here, and is looking
for a school? It'll just have the curriculum up to my status though.

I know I'd like to use it, so I can refer people there so they'll know
what curriculum I'm on, whenever the case comes up (and it has
already).

The might not be a WHOLE LOT of benefits to a school having one,
but 1) it couldn't hurt 2) like Mr Billings said, if it gets you one
student who sticks it out for a year, it's good financially for you
3) it lets other kenpoists from other areas what your school is
about.

My instructor is planning a kenpo camp in May of next year, and
I think it'll be one heck of a way to promote the camp to people
outside the general area.
 
I train & teach at Horizon M.A.
It is not my school.

It belongs To Datu Hartman & Miss Stranc.

They do have a Web site.
I It keeps thing's up to date.
We are always geting new people from it.

I have not seen it in a while
so i don't know if anything is new.
:asian:
 
I think they are good for recruiting, but also for current students. Events can be listed, dates, classes, news, its just a good sound business decision I think. My school has a...how do you say....amature page, but I am creating a full page almost done, I'll post it when I'm done. I think the problem is worse though if the school has one that is very poorly done, that can hurt the school I think personally.

7sm
 
Websites are useful, especially if it's the umbrella organization.
You get students and contacts from people inside the area you want to reach, but you get the added bonus of those out of the area who are willing to travel to check it out.

Here are the sites:
Kuk Sool Schools Page
School where I assist (sorry about tripod pop-ups). Im not on the instructor page yet. Efforting.
:asian:
 
I have had a lot of prospective students contact me after finding our website. The key is to make sure that the search engines can find your site if a student is looking for you using a search engine. You do that by using Meta Tags. For instance, on my site, I use the following meta tags:

<meta name="description" content="The The Heiwashin Dojo, located in Baton Rouge Louisiana is dedicated to teaching traditionally based martial arts for the modern world.">

this tag is a description and is generally the description used in any search engine desription of your site

<meta name="keywords" content="Heiwashin, USJJF, USMAF, Martial Arts, Martial, Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, baton, baton rouge, rouge, Aikido, Judo, Jujitsu, Ju-Jitsu, Jiu Jitsu, JiuJitsu, USJJF, Federation, budo, bujutsu, jitsu, jutsu, kenpo, kempo">

these are keywords that someone may use to look for your site. Notice that I use variation of spellings. Remember, not everyone may spell things the same way that you do.

<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">

This tag tells the "robot", the search engines own program that scans the web, what to do when it finds your site. The instructions about are telling it to "index the page" and then "follow all of the links on that page". In other words, follow my links and use the instructions found there. On each of the other pages, I have a similar tag that tells it to also index that page.

<meta name="revisit-after" content="15">

More instructions to the robit telling it to revisit your site in 15 days and then reindex the content. That way in case you make changes, it will be reflected in search engine results.

<meta name="author" content="Robert Carver">

This tells who the author is. Useful in case you have some creep copy your site and then fail to remove the above. You can then point the finger and show that they have illegally copied one of your pages.

<meta name="copyright" content="This page, and all contents Copyright 穢 2000, 2001 by the Heiwashin Dojo, Baton Rouge, LA">

Just standard copyright stuff

<meta name="reply-to" content="[email protected]">

Last, a means for folks to contact you. Also, this is picked up by the search engine in case they need to contact you. The downside is that you will end up on every spam list in creation.

If you use tools such as meta tags, you will find that you site can be a real asset to your school.

My dojo website btw is http://www.heiwashin.org

Good luck!
 
Coming from a professional viewpoint, I think every school could use one. That said, how much of one is the big question.

For the small group that meets at the local gym 2x a week, and isn't an majorly formal group, a 1-3 pager stuck on a free service is probably all they need. I'll have a description of what they do, how to find em, and maybe some lineage or training outlines...not much else really is needed.

For the more 'official' school how much depends on what you do. The bigger, more active your school is, the larger and more professional your site needs to be. You wouldn't hand your students paperwork with food stains, or dozens of cross outs would you? You want your web site to show case your professionalism. (Plus, if you place pics up, you can choose when to take them and which ones are shown for optimum impression.)

You can:
- Use it as a virtual tour of your school, open 24/7/365.
- Highlight your training and experience (a resume)
- Showcase your instructors backgrounds and diversity
- Promote future events
- 'Scrapbook' past events
- Post class schedules. Whens the kids starter class? When are you open?
- List what arts you teach.
- Post test schedules (cuts down on paperwork)
- Post test results...Let your students know they are up. Great for the kids IMO.
- Curriculum aids. From the simple technique list, to full blown video walk thrus (for your students only of course) ;)
- Got a special guest instructor or seminar coming up? Great place to promote it is on-line. Get enough of a jump on it and folks may contact you from all over, just because they want to learn from your guest.

The bigger your school, the more useful your site becomes. It is the job of your web designer to pump you for information so that you have the best site possible, and its truly what -you- want...not what the designer wants cuz 'its cool'.

You pay a small amount every month to maintain the space, and maybe some content updates (depends on the design contract, etc). In return, you get a ton of potential. You can fit a heck of a lot into 1 MB of web space (If the designers good at squishing the images down and doesn't use the bloated editors like Frontpage) 5mb allows a great deal of flexibility, esp with picture galleries.


Ok, ya built it...now how do you get traffic to the site? Simple. You tell everyone. How? Simple again. Put the address on your business cards...on your flyers...in your phonebook ad...in a BIG! sign in your front window...on the bumper of your car...you tell -everyone- who calls to check out your web site...post it on the proper forums, newsgroups, search engines and directories on the internet...tell your 'friendly' competition about it and get them to link to you (You swap links, great for increasing some search engine rankings)...have I mentioned -YOU- tell people about it?

If you didn't have a web site, how would you find new students? Add the web site to your marketing toolbox and really use it.

Lets spec this out....
10 pages @ $65/page = $650
1 year hosting at $25/mo = $300 (high estimate, most schools fit in under 20 MB, I charge $11/mo for that, less with annual payments ($112.20/yr for MartialTalk members)
lets round this up to an even $1000 for the first year. (I'm estimating high here...)

If your average monthly rate for students is $65/mo, you need about 1.5 students per month to break even.

A website is only as good as the designer, who can only be as good as the quality of the information provided them by the client. Give your designer the information they need to give you the website you deserve.

Heres some of the costs and what you need:
Domain name: $7-10/year through godaddy.com more professional than those long names with the ~ in them, and easier to remember. Whats easier? karate.com or www.widgit.com/~karate

Hosting: Free to hundreds per month. The free sites tend to be over crowded, have ads, popups or other content killers, restrictive requirements, limited bandwidth (How many times have you hit a tripod or geocities site thats been temporarily off due to exceeding its transfer?), etc. The -really- cheap hosting also falls into similar categories. Crowded servers, low reliability are often the norm, sadly. Of course, you can also pay a ton for your hosting and end up just as bad. So do your research first.

Design: Free to $100,000+. You can trade lessons with students in return for doing your website. Problem is, what do you do if the student leaves the school? An amateur designer -can- produce a good site. It won't be an award winner, but it can still be functional and look good. The downside is that they may not have the depth of experience or resources to take things to the next level. This is where the pros come in. Make sure to check out samples of their work. Ours is available at www.silverstarsites.net/clients.html for example. You should like their work before you hire them. WebDesign doesn't have to be super expensive. We've designed many sites for under $500. You can make things cheaper by having a student/secretary do alot of the prep work. Deciphering handwriting takes time and time is what you are usually paying for. Give your designer all of your text on a floppy-disk in a .txt or MS word format and you'll save a few hundred bucks just from the proofreading and spell-checking. Keep your hand in it. Check out your site on a regular basis as its being developed. Make sure you can do a review or 3 during the development process to make certain things are going right, and on schedule.


A good website, like a good brochure, or a good looking school can go miles to help you market and promote your school. A bad website, just like a poorly done brochure or poorly maintained school can do just the opposite.

Hope this helps. :) Any questions, I'll help as best as I can.

:asian:
 
My school is listed on our systems main site with a link to my school on that. My personal website for our small part of the system is down at the moment (my webmaster crashed it i think)

Our site talks about who and what we are , a little of our history , and how to find us. The head of the system also tries to replyt to those signing our guet book. He feels that heads of systems should be accessable to those who are courtious enough to say hello.
 
Shinzu:

"I built our schools website for general info, student interest, and anyone else that might want to know more about TSD. here is the addy:

http://TangSooKarateSchools.tripod.com"

Hey Shinzu.

I bookmarked this site already, but don't remember who gave it to me. Maybe it was you. Nice site, by the way :) Oh, I'm curious to know: Is that your voice on the start page?

Anyways, back to the subject. The IMA (my old assn.) has one www.imahq.net with a link to my old school, East Coast Karate. The East Coast one is old, though. I was a orange belt in the adult class pic LOL.

My new school doesn't have one. But I do believe a website is useful for recruting students. If my master realized that, he's prolly do it in a second. But I never asked him why he didn't have a website. Maybe I should :)
 
Originally posted by karatekid1975

Hey Shinzu.

I bookmarked this site already, but don't remember who gave it to me. Maybe it was you. Nice site, by the way :) Oh, I'm curious to know: Is that your voice on the start page?
[/B]

yep that's me :) glad you liked the site. my instructor was paying for a website, until i told him i could build it for free.
 
Kartekid1975.
Hello, What is a Gup????

I'm curious
Please Tell
Me

:idunno:
 
You love 1975??? I don't remember that year LOL. I was too little to remember it.

Anyways, a gup is like "grade" in TKD (or kyu in Japanese styles). There are 9 gups (levels) in TSD. And it counts backwards till you reach cho dan bo (which doesn't have a "gup"). Then black belt.

So it would look like this:

white belt 9th gup
yellow belt 8th gup (adults skipped this one)
orange belt 7th gup
Green belt 6th gup
blue belt 5th gup (where I stopped at)
brown belt 4th gup
purple belt 3rd gup
red belt 2nd gup
red belt w/stripe 1st gup
Cho dan bo (black belt canadaite)
Black belt

I hope this helped.
 
Im liking the idea of your own t-shirts. I might have to do that. And my class shares a website with a TKD site. Here is the Url if you wanna check it out,

http://www.dragontaekwondo.ndirect.co.uk/taekwondo_kali.html

That takes you straight to the Kali part of the website but there is also TKD and Hapkido parts to it. And if your bothered to check out the photo's Im the only one with a Black Dobuk standing next to my dad........:rolleyes:

Thats my dad below by the way......:shrug: :p ;)
 
Well, if you want to count the college club I'm in as a school, then yes we're working on a web site. I don't think it's completely finished and linked up yet though, so I can't give you a URL to it. When/If it gets done, I'll try to remember to post the link here in case anyone's interested. We do have a Yahoo group set up for the club and there is some stuff there, but the group is moderated and I don't think outside people would be accepted by the moderator(s). So there isn't much point in me posting that link either because you really wouldn't be able to see much without being a member. However, if you're interested in knowing something about what we do, I have been putting my notes on my own web pages and I've got a few links to other places there. I'd rather not make the whole thing publicly available, but you can send me a private message or something if you want to see it and I'll give you a pointer.
 
Originally posted by Master of Blades
And my class shares a website with a TKD site. Here is the Url if you wanna check it out,

I like the site!

Hey!? No choice of "Hapkido" in the Favorite Martial Art poll on the home page? ;)

Originally posted by Master of Blades
Im liking the idea of your own t-shirts. I might have to do that.

If you want to do some shirts and other stuff for your school, you can try cafepress.com. I thought it was a pretty good idea because it's FREE!

Just click the below link to read more about it
Cafepress Info

If you decide to start your own store and want to put me down as a referral, I would be much appreciative. Just put "lacava" as the referral store ID. :)

I hope that helps.
Take care
 

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