The SNO Report: Best practices to wrap up the school year

May is here, which means some of you are probably already powering down and counting the days until summer vacation. Yeah, we know.

But for a moment, we’d like you to think about SNO. Before the end of the school year, it’s helpful to complete a few tasks to ensure your site is ready for you to come back to in August.


  • Turn your site’s student users into subscribers. The seniors staffers did great work for your publication, but it’s time to pass the baton. To retain all the stories of the students who won’t be on staff next year but eliminate their their access to the site, we recommend changing all those student accounts to subscribers over the summer. When students return in the fall, you can grant access back as needed. If you want to delete the user accounts of those graduating, be sure to assign their content to another author so it isn’t deleted. If the content is deleted, you cannot get it back. If you have a couple dedicated staff members that could post a story or two per week on the site, feel free to keep their accounts active so readers from around the country can find up-to-date news on your site — even in the summer.

  • Update your site. Before leaving for the summer, check that your site is running the latest version of WordPress. Check your plugins and theme. A quick update now protects your site over the summer and gives you less updating to do when you come back. Also, it might not be a bad idea to set up a reminder to check for updates once a month. Continue that behavior year round. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • Send your students away thinking ahead. How’d you fare in the SNO Distinguished Site program this year? What can you do to earn more badges or build on your success next year? Looking at the badge requirements now sets your staff up to start creating habits early on next year that will help them earn the Distinguished Site honors as soon as applications are accepted next year.

  • Be prepared. An extension of the previous bullet point. The SNO Patrol conducts hour-long, personalized training sessions for advisers and staffs. Order a training session now and schedule it whenever makes sense — before the end of this year, sometime this summer, or next fall. The variety of trainings available enable all staffs (beginners, SNO experts, etc.) to get something out of it.

  • Put us to work. Do you have a few funds left in the year’s budget? Order a SNO Site Review for a details analysis of your site with a thorough list of recommended changes. Or, order a SNO Site Overhaul, and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you. You’ll start the new school year with a site that looks and feels brand new.

  • Keep us in the know. Getting out of the journo biz? Retiring? Please, let us know so we can welcome the new adviser in proper SNO style.

  • We’re still hard at work. Join SNO at one of the many regional workshops we’re attending this summer and learn how to make the most of your SNO site.

As always, we want to express our sincere appreciation for letting us build and support websites, mobile apps and features for you and your staff. We hope you enjoy your summer break. We look forward to another great school year with you.

The SNO Patrol