Here at Finalsite, we're beaming with pride to have recently launched the St Lawrence College (Ramsgate) school website redesign. It's hard not to feel sentimental about our relationship with St Lawrence College – we re-branded the school's online presence and launched their website in 2013 built on the School Website CMS, Fluency.
Then, just as we were all set to start redesigning the website, things changed (for the better!) and School Website merged with Finalsite. The merge has meant more support for clients, more products, services, integrations and the introduction of an even more powerful, dynamic CMS - Composer.
Having been through the website design process before, Marketing and Admissions manager, Melissa Gabbott, understands that the world's best international brands are fresh, consistent and have an impeccable understanding of their audience. So, three years on, in late 2016 the team at St Lawrence College reviewed their website, paying even more attention to the needs of their audience and user experience. "We looked at our competitor's websites and felt it was important to keep up with web trends, both in design and functionality," says Melissa.
Whereas day places are currently oversubscribed at St Lawrence College, there is still room for growth in boarding admissions. "We wanted the website to appeal to international students and families that hadn't heard of us before," says Melissa. "My favourite website feature is the interactive map at the bottom of the homepage," This map displays local landmarks and gives international visitors insight into the experiences a British school can offer. It also highlights the nearest airports for those families enrolling from across the globe. "I'm also very happy with the Senior and Junior landing pages, with their selection of fast facts and statistics; they're much more engaging for our audience." For local visitors, the website features a pop up banner that promotes events such as upcoming open days and summer camps. International visitors can read the website in their own language using the using the embedded google translate tool.
St Lawrence College are one of the first British school websites that have been redesigned on Finalsite's CMS - Composer, and there has been a lot to learn from the project. We asked Melissa how her recent experience with Finalsite compared to the initial website build, three years ago. "The process is continuously improving, particularly the communication, the weekly calls were very motivating for me and kept things moving forward at pace. We couldn't have had a better project manager!" At Finalsite we work hard to consistently deliver a positive experience for our clients. Jess Clarke, Head of Projects, says "We've defined the parameters of the project management process, and the high level of communication between my team of project managers and our clients has meant we're able to exceed the needs of our schools."
The next step for St Lawrence College is to start using the website to capture data to inform their marketing and admissions strategy. We look forward to watching St Lawrence College grow, both in their admissions and online presence.