I recently visited a terrible school website. I found them through a google search, and was greeted by a distracting font and too many bright colors and i wondered who gave the school website design ideas. In fact, I didn’t even wait to finish checking what great qualities the school had. I simply closed the page.
That’s just the way people are wired. We are already suffering from an information overload so we make subconscious judgments about what and what not to consume.
Presenting your school website in ways that are uncluttered and easy to understand can trick people’s busy brains into spending more time viewing your site which translates into more potential to win parents and new comers over.
1. Stick to your basic school colors & theme
You’d be surprised how many schools go too far trying to play with colors in a bid to be creative. Simplicity is key. Be consistent with your main school colors both on and offline. But even too much of a good thing is bad; if your school color is bright red for instance, combine it with a secondary, neutral color so you don’t blind your site visitors.
2. Take it Easy
We know how much you’d like to cram all the info about your school into your web pages but it’s for the best that you don’t. Put up only what’s necessary and make your website easy to read and navigate.
3. Home page
Your home page should draw potential parents and students in at a glance. Look at what other top schools are doing, but don’t copy them. You want to stand out without being too tacky. Draw inspiration from Edudemic’s list of 25 best school websites.
What are the most frequent questions and inquiries you get from potential parents and students? Let those be the first things people find on your website. You should also include functioning contact details and a comprehensive school calendar containing all major dates especially resumption and holidays. Oh, and your location of course. These are some things people would like to know without searching too much or having to call you.
5. Link to social media
Directing your traffic to your social media is a great way of keeping people in touch with important school announcements and events as they happen. Read our social media guide for schools series to find out how to implement a competent social media strategy in your school.
6. Pictures pictures pictures
People love pictures; we process them faster than text and they are more personal than text. Share photos of students activities, projects, staff, facilities to let people see for themselves how awesome your school is.
7. Go Digital
Teachhub.com recommends that you also explore software systems you can integrate that improve operational efficiency like allowing parents monitor academic performance, student behavior and other important details parents love to know. Try safsms for free now. The great thing about it is, we can integrate it into your school website and you’ll see how it helps manage teaching, learning and parent engagement.
8. Keep it professional
Bear in mind that potential parents, existing parents, students and competitors are going to see everything you post. Keep it classy. This includes the pictures you put up. No, you don’t have to get a photographer – you can assign a teacher, for example who is good at taking nice, clear photos. Somebody reliable, like a trusted admin or teaching staff should vet everything that goes up on the site.
You can also create a category on your school website to provide tips and resources for students and parents – your existing parents will love it, and it’s a great way to get new comers to your site.
If you already have a school website, and it’s guilty of any of the common mistakes on this list, its not too late to backtrack and make some changes now. It just might be costing you prospects. If you’d like a new website of your own, reach out to us and we’ll give you a reasonable quote.
Of course there’s more to a school website than these 8 things we’ve listed, but nothing else that you can’t learn along the line. With these basics, you’re on your way to drawing in more clients from your school’s online visitors. If you liked this post, then your friends will love it too. Hit a share button after reading!