For those in education, the start of the new school year is extremely important. With coronavirus still prevalent, our school websites have become more important than ever as a place to access information and learning materials from home.
The following digital tips can help you improve your school website to better communicate with your school community.
Usability is important to any website, and should not be forgotten when it comes to school websites. Make sure your school website has a familiar top navigation, just as a user might expect to see elsewhere on the web. Ensure your school website also has a search bar, to help users find what they are looking for quickly and easily. If your school website is slow to load, improving page load speed is one idea that is likely to reduce bounce rate and could impact your SEO, as Google continues to place more importance on user experience to determine where sites rank on search engine results pages.
A good CMS (content management system) can make it easy to share content and make simple changes to your school website. Building your site with an easy to use CMS platform can enable your school to really make the most of its website. If you are considering a site redesign or changing platforms, your web development team can help you choose the right CMS for your school website, so that once it’s built, you can be involved in managing and creating content.
How does your school website look and function on mobile devices? If your school website is not yet responsive, chances are that it’s difficult to read content and use the site on mobile. Responsive sites change based on the size of the screen the user is viewing the site on. If your site is not yet responsive, this should be a priority.
Try to prioritize and feature only the most important items on your homepage. Many school homepages, with countless departments and classes each with their own information to share, become cluttered. With a good navigational structure, all information should be easily found, without it necessarily featuring on the homepage. Keep your main homepage design clean and simple and use welcoming images that represent your school environment and culture.
Now more than ever, your school website is a great place to share news with your school community. Make sure news and announcements are easy to find. Link to your social media channels from your school website, and share news on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media channels your school makes use of. Social media offers a quick and easy way to share updates, engage with your community, and communicate with students.