Your school website is often the first point of contact for prospecting parents and guardians, who are deciding which school is right for there children.
There are many variables people consider when choosing a school. Some of those factors are out of your control such as religion, private or public, how many pupils attend the school etc. There are, however, some variables you can control on your school website design, that can influence whether a parent will contact with your school for more information.
Below are our 8 tips for making your school website more effective. Implement these and your visitors with thank you for it!
01- Professional school website design
The saying is ‘never judge a book by its cover’ but that’s exactly what people do when researching local school websites. You only get one chance to make a first impression so make sure your school website has been professionally designed, includes prominent links to important pages and is mobile friendly.
02 – Home page design
Your school’s website home page is the most important page on your site. It’s should be designed as portal to direct visitors to other pages / categories on your website. It’s also a great place to showcase school statistics, news and up an coming events.
03- Use a trusted Content Management System
By their very nature, school websites are updated and regular basis. Therefore, you will need to utilise a CMS system to manage content. There are many to choose from and they all come with different benefits so do your research and choose one that’s right for you. WordPress is an excellent platform and provides flexibility when it comes to transforming your design into a working website.
04 – Search facility
Every good school website design should include a search facility. Sometimes a visitor will have seen some information on your site and they can’t quite remember where that page was. A search facility allows them to quickly find what they are looking for. It’s worth noting that you can group content using taxonomies that include categories, tags, author, date etc.
05 – Simple and clear navigation
When conceptualising your school website think carefully about your site’s navigation. Think about how visitors will drill down from the top menu to find the content their looking for. Ideally, your visitors should be able to find content within 2 clicks!
06 – Quality graphics & images
Enhance the professionalism of your school website by utilising good quality graphics and images. There are so many websites that provide good quality images for free nowadays that there’s really no excuse for using poor imagery.
07 – Now your speaking my language!
Having a language switcher on your website is a great way to translate your site into another language on the fly. Google Translate does an excellent job of translating your site into other languages. It’s possible to create specific alternate pages for a language if you want it to be 100% accurate but this is much more costly and time consuming.
08 – Link to social media pages
Provide links to your school’s social media pages. Bare in mind that you don’t need to display your school’s Facebook feed or Twitter feed on your home page because displaying external code via an iframe will slow your site down. A simple link to the social media platform will be enough.