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We regularly update this section with useful hints and tips on how schools can improve their online presence. There is also practical advice on school website related issues.

Is responsive design facilitating lazy design....?

I have never spent a huge amount of time looking at our competition – given that we strive to be their benchmark and not the other way around, but I am always looking to see if anyone is doing anything new within our sector.

In web, 2013 has to go down as the year of ‘responsive website design’ – RWD. And from a digital marketing agencies perspective, tailoring a website for every device by building a ‘fully responsive’ website is an exciting prospect.

What concerns me though, is how RWD seems to have become an excuse for a lack of creative design. Agencies are using the same frameworks for multiple websites, with little to differentiate each site other than the client’s colours and branding. Yet in the same breath they are selling a bespoke design?

If your school is about to embark on a new website of its own, then let me dispel the myth that because it’s responsive, it needs to bear any similarity to any other website already out there (not to say the website provider wouldn’t like it to – it’s much less work for them). A well designed responsive website, should be unique to the school (not just on desktop but on tablet and mobile also). It should convey the same individuality, design theme and indeed marketing messages regardless of the device.

For school’s looking for a new website provider, pick your supplier carefully, trawl their recent launches (usually announced via twitter) on desktop, mobile and tablet and ask yourself ‘is this really bespoke design?’ For those agencies re-using their templates, it’s time to up your game!

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