There are so many features of school websites that can help to improve them and make them stand out from the rest. But when you are launching your new website, what should you be considering if you want to make it as good as it can be?
Here are some of the main factors to consider.
Modern & attractive design
The most important factor to consider if you want to make your school website great is that it has a good design. Your website is the first contact that many people will have with your school, and you need to make sure it presents the right image immediately.
It should be modern and professional. Does it look like a basic template? Is it the same as hundreds of other designs? Or, is it clear that it has been created by a professional designer?
It should be unique and have clear branding, it should look immediately attractive and it should use the right combination of colours, fonts and images to create the right impression.
Mobile friendly design
People visiting your site on a desktop will not know whether it is mobile friendly, but you cannot get away with only having one version of your site. As soon as someone visits your site from a mobile device, they will instantly be able to tell whether it is designed for mobiles or not.
You want to make sure that you are prepared for any visitors. More and more people are using mobile devices to access the web, and you have to provide them with a website they can access with ease. That means if they use a mobile phone or tablet to visit your site, you should present them with clear content, visuals and menus that have all been optimised.
A website build with responsive design is usually the best option, so speak to your designer about this.
The content on your site should be useful, detailed and constantly updated. You may want to include a blog with news and information that you update on a regular basis, as well as pages focusing on different aspects of school life including lessons, exams and extra-curricular activities.
And don’t just stick to written content: add images, videos, infographics and more.
Virtual learning environments (VLEs)are becoming really important for schools, so make sure you include one and make it easy to find. Hire a designer with experience of VLEs, and look at other ones on the websites they have previously designed to get a better idea of how effective they are.
Some are much better than others, and you don’t want to ruin your site by integrating a slow and clunky VLE.
Ease of use
Overall, your site should be easy to use. That means the pages should load quickly, the links should all work, and the navigation should be clear. A good designer will make sure all of these are taken care of.
Make your school site the best
Make your school site as good as it can be by ensuring it has all the above elements. Most importantly, choose a designer with the skills and experience to make it reality. Ask to see some previous websites they have designed, and use these as your guide, then get the website you need.