Your website provides a vital link between staff and parents, school and home – or at least it should. There are so many templates schools can use to build a website quickly and easily but many of these could be outdated. They can often look old-fashioned and may be hard for parents to find their way around. So if you’re considering a new website for your school, how can you make sure to build a site that you can be proud of? Here are five key factors to consider.
Why do people come to your website? Website statistics tell you how many visitors you’ve had, which pages they visited, how long they’ve spent on each page and much more. Once you know what people are looking for, you can make sure key information is easy to access. But you can only do that when you know the stats – so make sure your website design company offers access to them and presents them in an easy-to-understand way (Webanywhere does this! [https://www.schooljotter.com/school-websites]). Use this data to identify the information that is viewed the most and structure your website in relation to the traffic – reducing click rate.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a website with poor navigation, especially when you’re using your smartphone or tablet. If we can’t find what we want straight away, we generally give up and go elsewhere. This is the same for parents, if they can’t find something in 3 clicks or less, they are likely to get frustrated and call the school office for information. Make sure you have a simple navigation structure that makes it easy to find key information. Again, choose a web design company like Webanywhere who provide simple, straightforward navigation tools.
Imagine a newspaper, folded in half. Where does the editor put the biggest, most important headline? On the top half of the front page, above the fold … And that’s the most important area of your website too. Think about what you want visitors to do when they land on your site – subscribe to a newsletter, request a prospectus, download a form? Put that CTA – call to action – on the top half of your homepage, and it’s the first thing people see – and the first thing they are likely to do.
There’s nothing worse than being out of date, yet so many schools’ websites look like they’ve not been updated for years. A fresh, modern design using your school colours and badge gives visitors a great first impression. It’s not all about looks though – make sure your key information, like contact details, staff directories and term dates, are up to date too. It’s also vital to keep updated with ofsted requirements, such as keeping evidence of current and previous curriculum – a website is the perfect tool for this.
Finally, encourage people to visit the website by adding new content on a regular basis. Newsletters, field trip reports, photo galleries, a calendar and a blog all help you connect with parents and keep people coming back.