The Davis School District launched a new website this fall that will cost $75,000 annually.
District spokesman Chris Williams said the switch was made in an effort to have a more organized and user-friendly website.
“A web page is something that has to be looked at all the time,” he said. “It’s dynamic and we want to make sure it’s up to date.”
The district hired Finalsite, the same company the Ogden School District picked in 2017 to rebuild their website.
The new Davis School District website design cost $75,000 up-front and it will cost an additional $75,000 each year for maintenance and support, according to the district’s technology services administrator Mark Reid.
Williams said the money will come from the district’s general fund.
The district has signed a five year contract with the option to opt out at the end of each year. If Davis sticks with Finalsite for the full length of the contract, the website could end up costing $450,000 in total.
Comparatively, the Ogden School District’s website has a different design and cost $40,000 for the first year plus $30,000 annually after that.
Williams said it’s typical to switch CMS providers every few years. He has been with the district for about 20 years and said he thinks this is the fourth website redesign he has seen.
“We used to use Dreamweaver to build the pages so things have moved on since,” he said.
The district had been with Schoolwires, their previous web design and management company, since 2009. Schoolwires, which was acquired by Blackboard in 2015, charged about $73,000 up-front while annual fees for maintenance and support varied from $50,000 to $80,750, according to district data.
From 2009 to 2018, the Davis School District paid $641,527 for their website.
“It was packed with all sorts of information but it got to a point where there was so much information people didn’t know where to go,” Williams said.
The new website launched Aug. 1, 2018, and features large moving video panels at the top of the screen. Each individual school website also has consistent design elements, something Williams said was done purposefully.
“The overall response from parents and the public has been, ‘We love it,’” he said. “It makes sense. You can go from site to site and there’s a standard look and feel.”
Even though the look of the website is more standardized, each school can update and tweak its own website as needed. All 90 of the district’s schools have a webmaster on location who works on the site, though that isn’t their only job.
Williams said the new website layout is also more mobile-friendly than the previous design. It is also compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.