If you’re in charge of creating your school’s website, there are certain things that you’ll want to take into consideration. School websites have unique needs and they serve a specific purpose, so their design must address these needs and purposes.
Prospective students, and their parents, often carefully study school websites to determine if the entire school atmosphere is one that they feel good about. This means, that your website design has the power to sway some someone toward choosing your school or send them away to pick another. Even if your school is a public school and local kids from the area are assigned to you, you’ll best serve them and their families if you can provide valuable information throughout the school year on your website.
The following are some key points to consider when planning for your school’s web design or hiring a web designer.
If you hire a web designer to create your school’s website (and you should unless you know how to design yourself), you need to make sure that your designer has created websites for schools or knows what information is crucial to include in the design.
A good school website has these sections: About Us, School Values, Message from the Principle, and History. In addition, a good website for schools indicates the type of school (elementary, middle, high, public, or private). All of these sections should be clearly viewable on the home page, or they should be located on separate pages with the links to them easily identifiable on the home page.
To best serve students, prospective students, and parents, your school website should cover the areas of study that your school offers. It should give information about any special programs at the school (perhaps a standout music or drama program), and it should show anyone looking at it why your school is better than the others in the area.
Does your school have multiple campuses? If so, indicate their locations and why they are different from the main campus. Many students who are considering a school want to know what the area is like around the campus, so include this information as well. Is your school located in a bustling city? Is it close to an area known for hiring students from schools like yours (like near a fashion district or entertainment hub)? On your website, you’ll want to give students, and their parents, and idea of what they can from the campus in terms of parking, walkability to libraries and coffee shops, and the safety of the surrounding area.
Your website should have a top-level .edu.au domain in Australia. Try to get the domain name to match the name of your school exactly.
Your school’s website design should incorporate a blog. In your blog, you can write about special events at the school, important reminders, exam schedules, and anything else that would be important to students and parents. Printed newsletters with this type of information are long gone, and email newsletters are also dying away. Many people want to read a blog to learn about what’s going on, and they like having the option to receive updates when new articles are posted to the blog.
Other key areas to include on your school website include a calendar with daily events, a bell schedule, social media links, a photo gallery, awards or accomplishments, enrollment and campus size, tuition, and contact information. All of these points are necessary if you want to attract new students to your school and keep current students well informed.