Redesigned website launched this summer, with many plans for future enhancements
Technology is ever evolving. As a well known, independent college preparatory school, Malvern saw an opportunity to evolve with it this past summer.
Social Media and PR Specialist Mrs. Sarah Ravenfeld, who led the website redesign, is very pleased with the outcome. “It’s a better design, it’s mobile responsive, and I think it looks nicer,” Ravenfeld said. “It’s clean, it’s bright, it’s easy to navigate.”
One of the main reasons for switching to a new website came from the website provider itself. The school’s main database, Blackbaud, combined with another company, Net Community, and began phasing out the way Malvern previously managed the website, according to Ravenfeld.
“They weren’t going to update it, and we wanted that mobile responsiveness that Net Community doesn’t have,” Ravenfeld said.
Another major change this past summer was the implementation of a new homework and grading website. Formerly known to students as Backpack and Schoology, MyMalvern is linked and integrated directly with the new website.
“There’s also the integration with ‘On Campus,” which we branded ‘MyMalvern,’ which has grades, assignments, all that kind of stuff,” Ravenfeld said.
The website has been in development for a little longer than one may expect.
“We really full force started in January, just after the new year,” Ravenfeld said. “We launched on August 9, so eight months.”
Although the new website has gotten good parent and student reviews so far, Ravenfeld thinks there is still work to be done.
“I would like to add, particularly [to] our academic section, more video,” said Ravenfeld. “I don’t know if we are there 100 percent in telling our story.”
“Our athletics are good, our extracurriculars are good,” said Ravenfeld. “Great things are happening on campus and so I want to be able to take what’s happening on campus and be able to show it on the website.”
Ravenfeld would like to add more visually appealing aspects to the website. “Definitely more student driven or professional video, because people don’t really read,” she said. “Video seems to do well, so we want more short clips of what’s going on inside and out of the classroom.”
The student reviews have been mostly positive. Malvern senior Matt Wray is a particular fan of the new website.
“I think it is much more attractive, much more easy access,” Wray said. “If the old website was a plain cheese pizza, the new one would be a Tom Gray chicken bacon ranch.”
Senior Tom Maguire also likes the site. “It looks alright, it’s easy enough to navigate,” Maguire said.
Maguire is in favor of implementing some change on the home page. “I would make [the home page] look a little nicer, show a little more student life,” he said.
With positive reviews and plans for new features, Ravenfeld is happy with the result of the new site. “It’s good, and I’m very pleased with how it looks and I was really excited to roll it out to the community.”