You’ve spent a huge amount of time on creating your courses and even more in mapping the learning ecosystem for your RTO, but where do you take this wealth of resources? How do you select a site builder and make sure that your virtual home is the right one for you and your students?
There are plenty of options out there but to help you narrow down your list, here are the key attributes to look for to land the best website for your RTO:
Ease of Use
While most would have website development or tech experts on board, your team could do so much more if your site structure is designed with non-coders in mind. This means being able to apply changes through a “front end” editor versus applying code to enact them.
Image Source: WordPress.org
Sites of this nature allow you to simply drag and drop content types and (managers would love this!) delegate your site’s upkeep to multiple members of your organisation. The simple interface comes in handy especially for RTOs, as learning materials continuously evolve and catching those minor errors can leave a lasting impression on students.
Select websites offer ready-to-publish themes to have you all set up in a jiffy. There’s a wide catalogue of designs to choose from and customizations can be done within themes to keep you consistent with your branding. Depending on your comfort level, you can choose to work with these templates or build your site from the ground up.
Image from Catchthemes
Needless to say the better the experience your visitors have on the website, the better odds you have in converting them to enrollees. Have your best foot forward with a website that looks professionally done, uncluttered, and easy-to-navigate. Remember: your design helps direct the eyes of your site visitors.
Compatible with Integrations
The best site builder is one that can integrate apps and functionalities that you already trust. Find one that’s compatible with your payment API, lead generation and tracking tools, SEO plug-ins, and other apps you have in your marketing toolbox.
Consider the added value of allowing visitors to seamlessly share your pages on social media or of having a chat box where visitors can direct their queries. Memberpress, in particular, offers powerful course-building features to get you started on your feet.
Account for the whole experience you want to be built into your RTO website and cross-check its compatibility with the site you have your eyes on. That way, you avoid the unnecessary migration in your site-building process.
This early on, check if your site of choice gives you that wiggle room for growth. If you were to grow ten-fold from where you are today in terms of content, traffic, and added features will your site be able to host the “grown” version of your RTO? Can it still maintain speed performance, reliability, and security features to match your evolving needs? Moreso, will it incur additional charges that outpace your expected revenue?
When choosing a site, make a choice that you’d be comfortable with in the next five years. Will your RTO cater courses in more than one language? Do you expect an influx of courses in the next few semesters? Do you foresee contact management as a significant asset to your organisation? Plan for the best case scenario for your RTO and you’ll thank yourself later.
It’s one thing to have a reliable customer service for your site builder and another to have a whole community actively contributing to the dialogue of how to make the site work for you. There are sites including WordPress whose fans provide invaluable support to beginner sites and even for more advanced ones. They also host Wordcamps across the globe, empowering local site builders to partake in the latest site innovation and gain expertise to take their business up a notch.
More than a nice to have, this kind of community can help your RTO stay competitive and relevant to your audiences.
Truth be told, you have a rich selection of website builders before you. We’re pretty sold on WordPress, but the real perfect site is one that combines a simple interface with a healthy share of functionalities that meets your current AND future needs.
The ideal virtual home awaits!
Contact us if you need help in setting up or upgrading your RTO’s virtual home.