On February 21, Woodward Academy launched its new website under the same URL home: www.wwacademy.com. This redesigned site boasts a modern, colorful design, full of images and videos from campus, and offers quick and easy access to essential information about the school and programming.Discussions of a new website began in April 2016 and formally got underway a few months later in August. The previous site had been live for nearly 10 years and had gone mostly unchanged during the time. Although much of the available content was still accurate, the site was dated and very much not in line with the rest of the school’s communications pieces. Woodward Academy’s communications plan consists of a quarterly newsletter (the Knightly Knews), Knight Pics website, a blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page, and various other print publications. They all hold a consistent style, which the current website lacked. Rather than update the current site, a complete redesign was decided upon to bring it in line with the other pieces of the communications plan.
In order to maintain the aesthetic of Woodward Academy’s other communication pieces, the design of the website was developed in-house rather than outsourced to a web development company. Communications Director, Eric Smidt, compiled the content of each page, mapped the new site, and designed within Adobe Photoshop. Once mocked up, the Photoshop files were passed on to Willetts Technology, who was responsible for converting those files into web compatible versions for the new site. Willetts Technology maintains all web hosting and maintenance for the schools under the umbrella of Sequel Youth & Family Services. After seven months of design and development, the new site was complete.Created with the user experience in mind, the site includes many new features to help visitors to quickly and easily navigate the site and find the appropriate information that they need. A Quick Links panel is permanently embedded on the right-hand side, allowing visitors to easily access their most relevant pages. Each page provides detailed information on all aspects of Woodward Academy’s programming as well as supplementary historical information on the school. One of the best new features are the two online forms: one for employment application for prospective staff, the other an online student admissions form that referring agencies can use for prospective students. These two forms will streamline the student referral and employment application process significantly. Links to all of our multimedia channels are available in the footer of each page, with the blog now embedded within the site. For parents, a frequency asked questions page was created, and contact information for Program Directors, along with their pictures, are easily accessible on the site. The new calendar function, which is prominent on the homepage, will keep visitors up to date on athletic and other campus events.
Woodward Academy photography and videos are utilized and embedded throughout the site. Currently, the new site displays 18 unique videos that offers a great multimedia experience. For mobile users, the site looks great on smart phones and tablets, allowing visitors to access the information easily. The new site is a great reflection of Woodward Academy and the programming and opportunities afforded to students. We hope you enjoy the site, engage with the content, and aspire to be a Knight. GO KNIGHTS!