The modern School Website has become an important tool for a school’s online presence. This is a way it can communicate with parents and celebrates students’ big achievements. The website is also an effective way the educational institution can search for prospective pupils and instructors.
So the big question is: how can we make the design as eye-catching and effective as possible? You can focus on several areas including the following ones:
Add a well-designed noticeboard
This can help to highlight school news or announcements. This could include breaking news or announcements about approaching school events.
Add white space
Have ever considered that Google’s homepage has tons of white space? While you want your school site to be eye-catching, it’s critical not to clutter it with too much text, images, and video.
There should be enough empty background space so the text/images will actually be more accentuated. It will also be easier for visitors to see the important info they need to find.
Provide easy navigation
Studies show that most visitors to a website make a first impression within less than a second. Smooth navigation can be the difference between a potential parent/student deciding whether or not they want to learn more about your school. Avoid things like hidden content and rocky navigation.
This should start with basic navigation conventions and a solid structure. You could add quick links throughout the homepage so visitors can move around to the pages with the info they’re searching for. This could be for current or prospective parents/teachers, for example.
Make the website user-friendly
This might seem like a generic term, but it covers some specific issues. Is the school website easy for visitors to click through without tons of scrolling and such?
The problem is visitors are spending too much time on the homepage there’s a greater chance they’ll get lost/confused. Those are certainly two results you’ll want to avoid when you’re trying to introduce your school to parents who are thinking about sending their kids there.
One of the keys to making a school homepage user-friendly is to keep the basic design very simple. Yes, the website should be informative and especially for people who are learning about your school for the first time. That said don’t overdo it.
The key is to provide information that prospective parents are looking for. Make the info easy to read and well-organized. If you do that, then the “less is more” rule will certainly apply.
Include social media information
Today’s school homepages wouldn’t be complete without including a Facebook account since it’s the world’s largest social platform. Current/Prospective parents/students can get updates about the school.
Make sure to include a link to the school’s Facebook page. You could also add a Like/Share button to help get the word out about your school.
Add quality images
This is a powerful and effective way to represent your school. The quality of the images you post is definitely important so avoid phone cameras.
Consider hiring a professional photographer for your website’s photos. The pictures themselves will tell the story. Consider adding a gallery in the header of each web page since it will serve as one of the best representations of your institute.
A static header on each page is an alternative if you want a less photo-centric approach to your school web development. The key is to have some sort of consistency throughout your website, so it seems like a full jigsaw puzzle instead of separate pieces.
Embed video in school’s homepage
To say that streaming video is “trending” would be an understatement. In a sense, your school’s website isn’t complete until you include at least one video that introduces prospective parents/students to your institution.
Make sure you’re not just adding any a video for the sake of doing as such. The video should be attention-holding, informative, and memorable. Todays’ video editing tools make it easier than ever to add different elements to the video to add value.
Browse other school websites and get inspired
While you obviously shouldn’t directly duplicate other school’s web design, it helps to get some ideas by browsing some large schools’ sites or award-winning sites. This can help you pick up some ideas you can incorporate into your own site.
Know your target audience
Here’s another helpful tip for school website design. One of the biggest problems of today’s online retailers is they don’t focus on their target market when doing web development. Schools often make the same blunder on their website.
Make the homepage easy for prospective parents to find out any info they need about your school. You should add some well-designed admissions or prospectus buttons. The prospectus is especially important for parents who aren’t very familiar with your particular school.
Update News & Events regularly
When conducting school web design, the News & Events part of the site can be one of the most visited ones. This shares info like noteworthy events during the current school day, major school events, and student/school successes. If a school doesn’t have this feature, make sure to add it.
That’s just the start. It’s just as critical to make sure News & Events is updated regularly. This will help provide updates about past and future events, for example. Parents might want to know details about a future school event and students might want to see images from past ones. News & Events is the solution.
Next, keep in mind that “news” means just that. Make sure not to overdo it about issues like parking that aren’t really “news” per parse.
As always consider adding a photo with news items. A picture is worth a 1,000 words, and especially a parent’s student or student’s friend appears in the image. It also adds another dimension to the news items.
Keep writing crisp/clear
This is a critical step to take in terms of your site’s content. It’s better to use basic words and phrasing. Even paragraphs should be short at 2-3 sentences, for example, instead of humongous blocks.
Add school Name/Logo on homepage
It’s safe to say this seems like a case of stating the obvious yet it’s definitely worth noting. Not only should the school be displayed but it should be displayed prominently.
You should also consider displaying the school logo. This symbol can be just as recognizable as the school name itself. So make sure to include both the school name and logo on the homepage. The logo should also include the school colors.
Finally, keep in mind that “news” means just that. Make sure not to overdo it about issues like parking.
Include the right elements in the welcome
The welcome at the header should put the school front and center. That includes a basic description and strengths. You should also consider adding a photo and keywords can help put the finishing touches to the welcome.
What’s the big deal? If the welcome isn’t eye-catching with some pizzazz, it will be tough to prevent first-time visitors from leaving the site. That’s definitely a situation you’ll want to avoid when potential students and teachers, in particular, are browsing the site.
Include a description/strapline with school
The type or phase of your school might not be clear just from the name. So it’s a good idea to use a description or strapline to qualify the name. The strapline is a secondary header that will further explain the school’s type/phase.
Having read through this article above you can see there is lots we consider when designing your new school website. Let us help you and guide you through the process. Contact us for an initial consultation to discuss your project in detail.