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Build a User Friendly Website - Ideas for Childcare Providers

By Melissa Newby

Maybe you already have a website, or maybe you’re thinking about creating one. Either way, there are some basic things you can do to make your website as friendly and easy to use as possible for parents and other providers who will visit it. A good website should be informative and easy to navigate. Whether the primary goal of your website is to attract new parents, or communicate with your current clients, consider the following ideas to make sure your website is as easy to use as possible.

Consider visitors to your website who may not have a very fast internet connection. Limit content that will make it hard for these visitors to use your site. Cursor trailers, music, and a lot of picture can all slow down a site and make it take a long time for your site to load. Many people will move on to a different site rather than sit and wait for a site to open. If you choose to use music or cursor trailers, give the visitor a clear and easy way to turn them off.

Websites should be easy to navigate. Consider putting navigation buttons across the top, or down the side. Keep the number of choices limited, so people aren’t overwhelmed. Make sure it’s easy to find out how to contact you. A button labeled “contact” that goes to a page with your phone number and e-mail address is the easiest way to make sure parents who want to get in touch with you are able to.

Make sure you update your website fairly often. It looks unprofessional to be advertising your upcoming summer rates when the summer is over. Even little changes, like lesson plans the children are working on, or what you are serving for lunch that week make your site more interesting and encourage people to keep coming back.

Be careful when using pictures that show your children’s faces. In an age of more and more unthinkable acts against children, not showing their faces on your site is one more way to try to keep the children safe. If you are going to use pictures, make sure you have signed waivers from the parents saying that it is ok to post pictures of their children.

Website are a strong tool to reach possible new clients and communicate with your current clients. Keep your site, simple, easy to navigate, and updated and you’ll have an excellent marketing tool.

Melissa Newby, MSW, has worked as a therapist and in marketing. She also co- founded http://www.daycarematch.com with her husband.

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