In today’s tech-driven age, website design plays a huge role in making a solid first impression. It’s one of the most powerful tools available to schools to stand out from the crowd and convert visitors into eager parents and students who want to enroll as soon as possible.
Plus, the right website design can help a school boost engagement, promote its brand, and stay in touch with parents and students. However, not every school website is inspiring, and many of them scream mediocrity, lack of organization, and complacency.
There’s no need to worry about that with your school because we’ve put together some excellent school website design ideas and three examples to help you look your best. First, let’s see why you need the right web design.
The Importance of A Great School Website Design
Competition with other schools for the best talent is fierce, but the right web design can guarantee you victory because it offers the following advantages.
#1 Clear Value Proposition
You want potential parents and students to know how your school can solve their challenges and move them closer to their goals. To do that, you need a clear, strategic design that conveys your message simply and clearly.
#2 Effortless Navigation
All those videos, blog posts, and announcements on your school website are only valuable if visitors can access them quickly. By incorporating elements like simple main navigation and an attractive drop-down menu, you can create a user-friendly website design that makes it easier for visitors to navigate your site and spend more time on all your web pages.
The more time they spend exploring your content, the better they will get to know you, and the better you will understand the needs and goals of your target audience.
#3 Top Ranks on Google
If you bring in the right team of experts to optimize your school website design, Google will inevitably give you higher rankings, creating more organic traffic and showcasing your school to ideal clients.
#4 Relevant Content
Content is the be-all and end-all of a school website. With the right design, you can ensure your content is optimally tailored to your target audience.
#5 Quick Load Time
People just wait a few seconds for your school website to load. If it doesn’t, they will do a quick back-arrow click and go to the next school website in the search results list.
Load time significantly impacts your brand image, evidence that your school runs like a well-oiled machine and that it may provide the perfect environment for their kids.
#6 Optimal User Experience
Effortless navigation, clutter-free architecture, and engaging content allow visitors to easily and quickly access the information they seriously need. That’s the core definition of an ideal user experience.
#7 Up-to-Date Information
You must constantly update your website with new content to give parents and students a reason to keep visiting your site. It is also a clear sign of professionalism and commitment to parents and students.
Creating the Right Look
If you want to design the perfect website for your school, you need to excel in two areas: appearance and functionality.
How many times have you visited a website only to see an ugly homepage that made you want to leave immediately? Probably several times! And that’s why you do not want the same thing to happen to your website. You want your website to look professional to your site visitors from that first homepage visit.
Anyone can access amateurish-looking websites from anywhere with any internet connection, but this is 2024; with internet speeds faster than ever, users will not spend hours on poorly designed websites. That’s why you must pay careful attention to details such as colors, headers, and images when developing a design.
Pick the Right Colors
Choosing the right colors is crucial because they can reveal a lot about your brand identity and image. Most school websites use colors like green and blue, but that’s not a requirement you have to follow.
Consider the demographic profile of the users who will visit the website most often. If you run an elementary school, the perfect website design for your institution is significantly different from that of a high school. The same is true if your student body is more diverse in areas like language.
After you have decided on a dominant color, choose a few other colors to use as well. Use the color wheel to find secondary colors.
If you have a great school logo, you can incorporate those colors into your website design. If not, choose a mix of colors that look great on your school website and logo.
There will be many design elements and images on the website. So, don’t make it too colorful unless you run a kindergarten.
Some people like minimalism; others do not. So the choice is yours. In most cases, it’s best to strike a balance between a minimalist design and using too many colors. The colors and design should complement the content, not the whole show.
For example, if you are designing a website for a college, you should go for minimalism. On the other hand, you should choose something vibrant and eye-catching for elementary school.
When designing a website, you should spend most of your time on the homepage. Any parent or student visiting your website will view the homepage, but they will only see other pages if they like the design of the homepage.
The first step is to make it aesthetically pleasing by choosing the right colors, images, and other elements. Then, it needs to be well-structured. Although the design is crucial to attracting attention, the informative content draws users in.
You need to pay close attention to the architecture. The homepage should be designed in such a way that it is easy to access any page of the website from there, but it shouldn’t be cluttered with subpages.
Using elements like a drop-down menu at the top allows users to easily navigate to any page. Visitors will get irritated and leave the site if the navigation is too complicated.
The “call to action” button is another element that should not be missing from your website. Phrases like “get in touch” or “sign up here” can have an immediate effect.
Great Features on a School Website
Your school’s website should attract potential students and serve current ones. The following features can be a good starting point for this.
Of course, these are just “ideas,” and not all of them will fit perfectly with your school’s goals. So the final decision is up to you.
You can not ignore the user experience; a critical part of the user experience is providing live chat solutions on your website.
Older generations may be unfamiliar with the live chat option, but it’s essential for millennials and Gen Z, who make up a large portion of your target audience.
Live chat is available to answer questions and clear up any potential confusion. Of course, it costs a lot to offer 24/7 live chat, especially outside of business hours. But that’s not a problem because you can use another alternative: Chatbots.
The chatbot is available to everyone and filters messages so that live support knows what to focus on.
Prospective students want to see the campus and classrooms to get a sense of the school’s atmosphere.
You can offer a virtual tour by providing pictures and videos in a specific website area. It is not essential to provide a state-of-the-art 3D tour on the website. High-quality images and videos of the school can have the same effect.
The school website should include a whole new section for those with a profile. There they can access course materials, view lecture and exam schedules, find out which building each classroom is in, etc.
For security and privacy reasons, this information should not be publicly disclosed. Each student is given a username and password with which to log in.
The design of the login area of the website is generally ignored. While sections available to all users are more critical than those reserved for already enrolled users, these areas should not look like something from the 2000s. That’s amateur play.
Pay close attention to the architecture of this area, but don’t neglect the significance of design either. For example, use the same color schemes.
Nowadays, the mobile version must be at least as good as the desktop version. The mobile version is perhaps even more critical.
With more people using cell phones than PCs, mobile traffic accounts for more than half of all web traffic.
Therefore, you need to create a mobile-optimized version that students, faculty, or others can use to access all areas. The “log in” part should also work smoothly on smartphones.
If the school website is not optimized for smartphones and takes too long to load, traffic will be miserable.
A mobile version is required whether it is a university, middle school, or language class website. This is not a suggestion. It is a must.
A blog is helpful for several reasons: it shows that you are present, that you care about maintaining your website, that you know the latest trends and issues, and that you have something insightful to offer.
Plus, a blog is an excellent SEO boost to help your website rank higher. There are no downsides to keeping a blog. So if you have the time, you should give it a try.
It’s best to hire people with content writing experience and expertise unless it’s a class blog where you can use students.
As a school website, you must not post false or unverified information on your blog. This will have a disastrous effect on your credibility.
It is better not to start a blog unless you have trustworthy people committed to managing it. A bad blog will do more harm than not having one at all.
Parents and students are the most credible sources when discussing the quality of your school’s services. That’s what testimonials can do.
They prove to users that you care about the people who use your school website and motivate them to give you a chance. What could be more credible than an honest review next to a happy face?
People will always check Google reviews because they believe they are more reliable than testimonials, which could be fake.
However, you can have great success if they see that you have a good Google review and testimonials from former students who stand behind your service with their name and image.
No one wants to waste their time with a school with no brand or reputation. Testimonials give you that reputation.
About Us section
The “about us” page is critical, as visitors will want to know both the mission of the school and the people leading this effort. When it comes to a specific hierarchy, it is best to talk separately about teachers, owners, staff, and even prominent figures in the student body.
Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash
Most parents usually visit the school website to find important dates for their schedule. Therefore, make it as easy as possible for them to get this information.
Your receptionists will appreciate this, as they will receive fewer calls and emails about appointments and schedules.
Of course, the entire calendar needs to be mobile-friendly, and everyone must be able to access it easily.
Many people visit the school website to check something out; they don’t want to waste time searching for it.
Perhaps the person in question has also visited the school website before but can’t find the information they found earlier. That’s why there needs to be a user-friendly search bar.
Top School Website Examples
Here are three school website design examples you can use as a source of inspiration:
The August Martin High School website offers a compelling visual narrative about their amazing school. For example, every main page header on the site features images of August Martin’s campus, classroom environment, and students.
One of the most compelling features of the overall design is the running theme of yellow and blue across the entire website. The color pattern aligns with the school colors and school logo, presenting a consistent brand identity.
In addition, the school website is easy to use and provides ample space for relevant information. These elements make it easy for parents and students to use the contact form and reach out to the school with questions or concerns.
Platteview uses the school’s color scheme and logo to design a branded school website that reflects the school’s vibe.
It also cleverly provides intriguing information to parents and potential students to entice them to learn more about the institution. The school website features important facts regarding students, teachers, and staff.
Visitors can also quickly explore the school’s academic and athletic achievement sections.
Mary A. Otondo is an example of an intuitive, welcoming, and friendly school website that appeals to both potential and current students. A website slider on the first page efficiently highlights the school’s aesthetics on a single page for potential students.
The school website also offers a virtual tour for individuals seeking a multi-dimensional experience.
It’s nice to see school websites getting the attention they deserve. They are transforming from boring, clunky web pages into highly engaging, dynamic sites.
As a school that wants to attract and retain the best, you must follow standard website design principles. Of course, this is easier said than done because the school operation may already tie up your time and budget. Plus, you may not have people with website design experience and expertise to take on the task.
No need to worry. All you need is a team of experienced website service providers like School Webmasters to assist you every step of the way to make your website an inspiration. We are just a phone call away.