Today, having your own school website is a necessity rather than a possibility. The majority of educational facilities in the US and around the world already recognize this and are investing in creating their own websites. But, what should they focus on? In this article, we will tell you about the top 7 elements that must be inherent in your web design.
Your current students will make up the biggest share of your website’s visitors. Thus, a big part of your platform should be tailored to their needs. Your task is to create a convenient and safe space where your students will be able to receive helpful information. They need to manage their own data and interact with the school’s faculty and staff.
What exactly do your students need? Since the biggest part of their lives is devoted to studying. That’s what you want to focus on in the first place. A separate section should be devoted to their schoolwork. You can provide lists of helpful study tools like WritePaper, handy articles on how to cope with their studies, give links to additional educational materials, etc. Also, they should be able to see and manage their schedules.
High-Quality and Helpful Content
This should go without saying, but another vital element of every school’s web design is high-quality content. The information you provide has to be clear, well-structured, and free of errors. And, of course, it should deliver real value.
What to focus on? Some pages educational facilities should keep at the top of their priority list are:
- About Us
These three pages (or sections) of your website will contain the information for your potential students and their families. Therefore, you should pay special attention to the quality of content you provide here. After all, it will directly affect the number of applications you will receive.
A school website doesn’t necessarily have to be big and consist of a variety of pages and tabs. But, regardless of the size, a primary menu is a must-have element. This element of a web design has a very crucial practical purpose – it makes navigation through the platform easier for users. Simply put, it is one of the keys to user-friendliness.
How to design your primary menu? There are a few options here. Most often, this element of design is located at the top of every page and contains links to different pages available on the platform. Sometimes, developers opt for hidden, drop-down menus. This option also works well, especially for websites that are meant to look good on gadgets with different screen sizes.
Hero Image or Video
In web design, the term “hero” is used to describe a full-size banner image (or video) placed at the top of the home page. This element of design is used for several purposes:
- Add more aesthetics;
- Grab the visitor’s attention;
- Make a positive first impression;
- Showcase something important about your facility.
Simply put, a hero image or video serves as the first glimpse at your school. At this point, some of you may think, why not include a post/news slide instead? Indeed, many websites still do that. However, the trend of slideshows is starting to fade away today.
Experts claim that modern users are no longer willing to interact with such slides. Instead, they simply scroll past them. Thus, if you really want your site’s home page to make the right impression and engage visitors, it is much wiser to opt for a hero image or video instead. This method is much more effective.
Clear and Powerful CTAs (Call to Action)
One of the primary reasons why educational facilities create their own websites is that they want to attract more potential students. Needless to say, attracting them solely with a neat design is impossible. To meet this goal, you need to leverage some CTAs.
A CTA or a call-to-action is an important part of marketing, aimed to encourage people to make a certain action, for example, subscribe, contact you, and so on. By bringing a variety of clear and powerful CTAs to your school website, you can provide a better and more personalized user experience. At the same time, you can ensure more interactions with your site.
How to do this right? You should formulate well-tailored CTAs for different features of your site. For example, in your site’s blog, you will want to encourage users to subscribe and stay updated on the news or helpful information you share. In the application or contact section, you want to encourage potential students to get in touch with your staff. Choose CTAs that resonate with your target audience to ensure your site’s success.
Lastly, one more element must be inherent in every school website’s design. We are talking about branding.
Why is it so important? The biggest reason for that is that careful branding can ensure more recognition of your facility among partners, investors, and, of course, your existing and prospective students. It is basically the face of your facility. Therefore, it is crucial to highlight it.
What exactly do you need to focus on in terms of branding? In fact, this is a very broad topic. In terms of website design, branding can be implemented through a variety of elements and features. But let’s look at the key ones.
First of all, it is a domain name. It has to be clear and easy to recognize – ideally, it should be either a full name or the abbreviation of your school’s name. Secondly, it is your logo. You need a good logo for your school. It should be seen next to the domain name. Also, your logo should be presented in different areas of your home page, typically in its header and footer.
Lastly, there are a few other ways to implement branding. For example, if your facility has its own colors, you can consider keeping them at the core of your design. In addition, you can use such elements as images of your mascot, your school’s motto or anthem, and other things that highlight your school’s brand.
The Bottom Line
So, these were some of the most essential and vital web design elements that every school should keep in mind. Of course, there are also many other elements and features that should be available on a good school website. But, these basics are something you can’t do without. So, hopefully, this guide will give you a good starting point!