In recent years school websites have evolved from being something that schools were required to have, to becoming sophisticated marketing and engagement tools.
They no longer just display contact details and compulsory Ofsted information. They’ve become a way of schools showcasing what makes them unique, engaging more proactively with parents and keeping the community up to date.
If you haven’t updated your school website design in a few years, you might feel that it’s not meeting your current requirements and that you’re not making the most of the latest technological and design advances.
Having built websites for over 7,000 schools, we see most customers will redesign their school website every 3-4 years.
So, if you’re website isn’t meeting your needs, keep reading to learn our top tips for a successful school website redesign project.
What is a school website redesign?
A school website redesign is very similar to a brand-new website project but it should be easier as you’ll already know what does and doesn’t work for your school.
Using your existing website for guidance, you can look to streamline your sitemap, rewrite content, add new elements and so much more.
Discover our advice for what makes an effective school website
You will start by working with a professional website designer who will meet with you to understand your requirements. They will then develop new creative visuals that reflect your specific brief. The designer will then work closely with a website developer to create your new designs into a fully functioning website using the latest coding techniques and technology.
The website will be designed and built on a content management system so it can be updated easily in the future. If you’re staying with your existing website provider, they should be able to help you with transferring content. We recommend updating your sitemap and content before transferring, it to make sure you only have the content and files you need. Transferring the text, images and policies from your old website to the new one should help save you a lot of time.
You may also want to check out our blog post on how to write good quality content for school websites.
Key considerations for your school website redesign
Your specific requirements will be unique but here are a few key things that you should consider for your next school website redesign project:
- What are users searching for?
- What are you most proud of and wish to promote?
- What are your marketing objectives – increasing admissions, raising your profile, engaging your community?
- Who is your main target audience?
- What websites do you like/dislike in terms of design and usability?
- What is your budget for the project?
Depending on your requirements and budget, if you choose a bespoke school website design, you will have more flexibility to explore ideas and solutions.
The possibilities are endless with a bespoke school website so we’ve included a few popular features below that you make like to consider for your next school website redesign project:
Homepage Imagery & Videography
The top section of your homepage is the area that will be seen first when visitors land on your website. There are a range of options you can think about here from full screen multimedia videos to photos with illustrations.
Here are some of our favourites:
Keep your community up to date with your latest news and social media by displaying this on your school’s website. Search engines also love websites that are regularly updated with new contact.
Social Media Wall
If you post regularly on your social media channels, then you can add a social media wall to truly showcase your activity. It can also help to increase your followers.
Share your events and key dates with parents and your wider community with a calendar. By integrating your existing Google or Microsoft calendar with your school website you’ll be able to save time by simply updating your internal calendar – the events will then appear on your website like magic!
More and more schools are adopting a house points system. Sharing house points on your school website is a great way to increase engagement, encourage healthy competition and create pride in your school’s community.
Take a look at these great examples:
Quotes & Testimonials
When prospective parents are selecting a new school for their child they like to read about the experiences of students and parents that have positive stories to tell.
Adding a testimonials area to your school website will help prospective parents to get an insight into what school life is like for pupils. Here are some examples of the different ways in which these can be displayed – from a homepage segment to a full page of stories.
Online forms can be used for your registration applications, job vacancies, sixth form admissions, absence reporting or teaching school course booking sign-ups. Not only can it help to reduce paperwork but it can help you get the information you need quickly and efficiently.
Statistics and Infographics
Animated infographics, number counters and stats have become very popular over the last few years.
They’re a creative way of displaying key details such as pupil numbers, exam results, books in your library, successful university applications and more!
Many schools are steeped in history so a history timeline can be used to share your interesting past with visitors.
There are a number of different options you can consider for this – from scrolling down the page or side to side, with imagery and text, before and after shots and videos. Here are just a couple of our favourites!
To help improve engagement with parents, a dedicated parent area can help them access the information they need when they need it. There are a range of ways this information can be displayed but here are a few examples for inspiration.
Give prospective and current parents the opportunity to see who’s teaching their child and help future employees to see the team they’d be working with and the opportunities for progression.
Here are a few examples of schools and trusts displaying a who’s who on their website to increase engagement with their community.
Take your visitors on a tour of your campus from the comfort of their own home with an interactive map. As well as viewing a full plan of the buildings and grounds, they can also find out more about particular areas and points of interest with pop-ups, images and videos. Here are just a few of our favourites.
Adding a dedicated alumni(ae) section is a great way to keep in touch with former students.
You can display photos of events, create sign-up forms for them to subscribe to a newsletter, add a calendar of upcoming reunions, share their stories to inspire current students and so much more!