On average, people form an opinion of your website in 50 milliseconds. As a result, a school website with an outdated design, poor color scheme, or lack of engaging content will likely lose potential students to competitor schools.
Conversely, creative school website design keeps potential students engaged while increasing their interest in your school. By using proper design techniques, paying attention to detail, and prioritizing ease of use, you will have a school website that people will return to.
Remember, when people come to your website and stay on it, your search engine results improve.
1. Identify Your Goals
Before considering creative design ideas for school websites, it’s important to identify goals. Knowing what the goals of your website are and how to measure them makes thinking of design ideas easier.
In addition to being a critical component of your school marketing plan, there are a variety of objectives that an elegant school website design can help achieve. The first is to uphold the brand image and values of the school. Consider what potential and current students think of when they visit your school’s site.
Does your school website design align with the school’s core values, tradition, and strategic goals? For example, does your school pride itself on academic integrity, rigor, a strong sense of community, or something else? Once you have formed your outline, ensure your school website design aligns with the vision.
Second, current and potential students should easily find the information they’re looking for on your website. If a current or potential student has a question, they need to receive the answer from your website quickly and accurately.
Finally, your website should represent the culture of your school, which differs slightly from the image and values. Culture is the feeling that a student can expect to have while on your campus.
2. The Landing Page
The landing page of your school website is a student’s first impression of your school. The school home page needs to employ the best website design qualities while prioritizing the purposes mentioned above – values, information, and culture.
To both attract and keep visitors on the school website, choose a creative, intuitive, and elegant school website design. Two ways to attract potential students include video and infographics. Accordingly, Infographics can be used to show important statistics about your school. Meanwhile, videos can be used as a storytelling tool to highlight current students, teachers, and administrators.
Your landing page should also consist of various categories that site visitors are likely to need. Create headings for academics, campus life, financial information, and anything else that requires fast answers.
While planning your school website design, be sure to include information about admissions as potential families are likely to ask questions regarding application protocols and financial aid. Ultimately, neither parents nor students are likely to dig for such information; make it accessible to them from the beginning of their visit to ensure they don’t leave your school website for one of your competitor sites.
3. Interactive Media
One of the best ways to attract students is by making them feel as if they’re already at your school. Think of the Google Maps Street level option, which allows someone to virtually “drive” through a city or town. Consider using the same app when trying to attract students.
Create a walk-through virtual tour of the buildings in your school to give potential students a personalized tour of the campus. Students can then virtually walk through the library, dining areas, and popular areas around campus. Moreover, provide potential students with virtual recruitment get-togethers where they can talk to current students, teachers, and administrators.
Potential students like hearing from fellow students to discover what they can expect from your school. Accordingly, interview current and past students and post them on your website and social media channels as part of a video marketing campaign.
4. News and Events Page
To further encapsulate the school experience, consider dedicating a category on your site menu to news and events to improve your school’s website design. News and events are one of the best ways to showcase your school’s personality.
For example, school news may highlight current students’ achievements outside of school so parents and students know that your school promotes student passions both inside and outside of the normal school experience. Furthermore, share news about former students and alumni to show how far an education at your school takes students. Highlight the skills and knowledge that they received at your institution.
Events provide the chance to show everyone what your school offers outside of the classroom. Use this space to advertise academic contests, sporting events, fundraisers, dances, and clubs. Demonstrating a life outside of classes is important to the image and culture of your school.
You can also include a calendar of events on this page to make the information digestible.
5. Student, Parent, And Teacher Pages
Some school websites include pages dedicated to students, parents, and teachers. Such pages encourage an intuitive school website design that make it simple for the various groups to access the information they’re looking for quickly,
For example, students are particularly interested in events, extracurricular activities, and a grade portal. They want to know how to involve themselves in activities while improving their performance in class. Include information on these pages as well as links to receive tutoring, view grades, and sign up for extracurricular activities.
Parents are also interested in grades, but they also need easy access to financial information, schedules, and event calendars. Customize this page to meet the needs that parents are likely to have. Consider including a link for parents to easily communicate with teachers.
Teachers have entirely different needs from students and parents when it comes to the school website. While students and parents are usually looking for information, teachers are likely to be the people providing it.
The page for teachers can include the option to upload grades, create new clubs and activities, and request private meetings with students and parents.
6. Donations Page
Considering donations are what keep many schools in operation, be sure not to overlook an easily accessible page for people to make direct donations or learn more about opportunities to support the school.
Whether people attend your website to donate or not, an excellent school website design along with an easy donation process may inspire them to do so.
Include a link to your donations page on your landing page for easy access, and then create a simple process for visitors. Include suggested donation amounts, a recurring donation option, information about the benefits a donation will have towards your school, and easy payment options.
Moreover, include future goals for your school on this page to excite donors about what is to come!
7. Color Schemes
One of the obvious but often overlooked aspects of web design is the color scheme. The colors chosen for your school website should not only be trendy and attractive, but they should send a message too.
Of course, the obvious place to begin when it comes to school website color schemes is with your school colors, but you shouldn’t stop there if the current color palette doesn’t inspire or engage visitors.
School colors are often dated and limited to one or two colors (sometimes three). Update the shades that your school uses slightly for your school website design. If the shade of yellow you’ve used for years looks gaudy by today’s standards, change it! Moreover, find shade and neutrals to bring into your scheme for variety instead of sticking to two or three colors.
Easy Color Scheme Tactics
Here’s an easy way to create a color scheme:
First, begin with your primary color. This first color will likely be one of your school colors, but also consider what the color represents. Is it a bright, exciting color or moody and serious? Use color theory to help discern the answers to those questions.
Next, choose complementary colors. Often the best complimentary colors are the ones directly opposite on the color wheel. Green goes with red, orange with blue, etc.
Then add a couple of shades that are directly next to your colors. If your site includes a vibrant orange, choose a mild, slightly orange/yellow for an accent.
Finally, choose your neutrals. Find grays, whites, and blacks that work well with your primary and secondary colors. Creating a dynamic color scheme will make your website stand out!
8. Bold Typography
Before considering your image choices, consider the impact compelling typography could have on your website. Your choice of font, size, and color can help define your school’s brand.
Stay up to date on typography trends so that your website looks modern and ensure that your typography choice matches the tone of your message. Then, ensure that the size of your message matches its level of importance.
School Website Design Made Simple
School website design should be on topic, on message, inspiring, and easy to navigate. Your current and potential students should have a positive experience from the first time they enter your web domain.
Are you ready to design the best website for your school? Let our experts help and contact us about our web design services today.