Managing multiple websites across a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is no walk in the park. With lots of schools under one roof, keeping each site up-to-date, secure, and compliant can feel like you’re juggling a dozen full-time jobs. It takes constant monitoring, regular updates, and tons of coordination to keep things consistent and meet all the regulatory standards.

Recently, we chatted with our customers to find out what features they think are essential to cut down on workload and avoid duplication when managing multiple websites. Their feedback was gold, full of practical tips and innovative solutions.

By understanding their needs and challenges, we can create better tools and support systems to streamline the process. We’re excited to share these valuable insights with you, pointing out the key features that can make a big difference in managing multiple websites within a MAT.

14 Must-Have Features for MAT Website Management

1: Updating Links Across All Sites

Imagine having to change a single link on 20 different websites. You would have to log in to each site, navigate through various menus, and manually update the link on each page. It’s a nightmare.

Not to mention, the chances of missing a link or introducing errors are high. A streamlined system, however, lets you update links across all sites simultaneously with a few simple clicks.

This not only saves you a significant amount of time but also greatly reduces the risk of errors, ensuring consistency and accuracy across your entire web presence.

2: Posting Trust News Across All Sites

When the Trust has an important announcement, it should reach every part of your virtual domain instantly. Posting news centrally ensures everyone across all school websites stays informed and on the same page.3: Sharing Information for Staff on Dashboards

This approach not only boosts transparency but also creates a sense of unity and coherence within the educational community, making sure vital information is easily accessible to students, parents, and staff.

Staff dashboards are critical for internal communications as they centralise important information. A unified platform can distribute updates, announcements, and resources seamlessly to all staff members, ensuring everyone stays in the loop without the need for repetitive tasks.

This not only enhances efficiency but also fosters a cohesive and informed team environment, ultimately contributing to better organisational performance.

4: Sharing Vacancies

Job openings should be easy to find and apply for, no matter which school they’re linked to. A centralised system for sharing vacancies lets candidates see all available positions across the entire Trust. This makes the recruitment process smoother and attracts a broader pool of qualified candidates by offering transparency and easy access.

Simplifying the application process helps schools fill positions more quickly and ensures they’re hiring the best talent out there.

5: Common Design

Having a cohesive design across all school websites not only looks professional but also strengthens the Trust’s brand identity. This unified and polished appearance boosts confidence among students, parents, and staff. Plus, using common design elements makes managing and updating the sites easier and quicker, ensuring everything stays consistent.

It also simplifies training for new staff members responsible for website upkeep, as they only need to get familiar with one design framework.

6: Reminders for Policy Updates

Staying on top of policy updates is crucial for keeping compliant with regulations and standards. Regularly checking and updating your policies makes sure your organization meets all the current legal and operational requirements.

Setting up automated reminders for policy reviews and updates can be a game-changer, ensuring nothing gets overlooked. This not only gives you peace of mind but also cuts down the risk of non-compliance. By using these reminders, organisations can simplify their processes and keep their operations running smoothly.

7: Ease of Use

A user-friendly interface is crucial for any organisation. When staff find it easy to navigate and manage their websites, they spend less time dealing with technical issues. This means they can focus more on their main tasks, boosting productivity and efficiency.

Plus, a simple and intuitive interface cuts down on the need for extensive training and support, making everything run smoother.

8: Supported and Maintained Software

Reliable, supported software means fewer headaches and smoother operations. It’s comforting to know there’s a dedicated team behind the scenes maintaining and updating the system. This gives you peace of mind, knowing everything runs efficiently.

Plus, with ongoing support, any downtime is quickly addressed, keeping your business on track without unnecessary interruptions.

9: Free Design Refresh Every Three Years

Updating the design every few years keeps things fresh and engaging. By periodically incorporating the latest trends and technologies, we can enhance user experience and satisfaction. Offering a free design refresh ensures that the Trust’s websites always look professional and appealing.

This approach not only attracts new visitors but also keeps our existing users interested, fostering trust and loyalty.

10: Post Alerts Across All Sites

If there’s an emergency closure or an urgent announcement, being able to instantly post alerts across all sites is key for keeping everyone in the loop. It helps ensure that everyone is quickly informed, reducing potential risks and allowing for fast, coordinated responses.

Timely updates can really make a difference in managing crises and keeping things running smoothly.

11: Free Support from Website Experts

Having access to a dedicated support team can really make a difference. Free, expert support means you can resolve issues quickly and keep things running smoothly. Whether you’re dealing with technical glitches or need advice on best practices, having knowledgeable pros ready to help ensures problems are handled efficiently and your operations stay uninterrupted.

This kind of assistance boosts productivity and gives peace of mind, knowing help is just a call or message away.

12: Management of Domains and Security

Managing and securing your domain is crucial for any website. Good management services don’t just guard against malware and unauthorised access—they also keep your site running smoothly by optimising load times and ensuring uptime.

Effective domain management means staying on top of updates, monitoring for weaknesses, and putting strong security measures in place to protect sensitive data. By investing in these services, you can offer your users a secure, seamless experience that builds trust and keeps them engaged.

13: Management of Website Attack Mitigation and Uptime

In today’s digital world, cyberattacks are always lurking, targeting businesses and individuals alike. That’s why having strong defences and keeping your site up and running are so important.

These steps help protect your sensitive data from hacks and make sure your online services are available 24/7, building trust and reliability with your users.

14: Ofsted & Regulatory Compliance Across Sites

Making sure all websites meet Ofsted and other regulatory standards isn’t optional—it’s a must. This is key to keeping up the quality and integrity of educational standards. A system that ensures compliance across all sites makes it easier for individual schools, offering a steady and reliable framework to follow.

This way, schools can spend more time teaching and less time on administrative tasks, benefiting both students and staff.

Wrapping Up: The Final Word on Effective Website Management for MATs

For MATs, running a website is more than just keeping it up and running. It’s about cutting down on workload, avoiding duplicate efforts, and making sure every site is secure, compliant, and user-friendly. By focusing on these aspects, MATs can streamline their operations, enhance communication, and spend more time on their main mission: delivering quality education.

Got other features you’d add to this list? Or maybe you’re hunting for a solution that ticks these boxes? Feel free to send us a message—we’d love to chat!