Basic School Website Layout
When creating a school website, it is really important to make sure all the information that parents and students are seeking is easy to locate and the site is easy to navigate.
The first thing to consider is what you want your school homepage to focus on. Is your primary goal to recruit prospective students? Or to keep current students and parents updated with news and activities?
Over 90% of first impressions are design related. People tend to decide within seconds how they feel about your business based on the way your homepage looks. So the homepage should be well-designed and easy to navigate.
Key Content for a School Website
What is the purpose of your school website?
Your website should answer the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What makes you unique?
- Where are you?
- How can I learn more?
I can’t emphasize this enough. With the amazing current technology that we have available, I still come across schools that do not contain clearly some of the most important information people are seeking. All of these should be clearly located on the homepage.
- School Location – Address, preferably with a google map embedded to allow the visitor to visually see where the school is located.
- School Contact information – Include phones, emails and address
- School Type – is it a public, charter, private (type of private school), all girls or boys school, higher education, etc.
- Grade Levels – Private and Public schools should have this clearly noted on the homepage. Saying “elementary” or “middle” is not sufficient as the grades may vary for those terms.
- News – Schools typically have more activities and news to share than any other organization. Add a block with news and activities that allows visitors to click through for more details.
- Mission Statement – This is important for school websites to show prospective parents and students the schools mission and values.
- Staff – Make it easy for parents, students and visitors to contact the correct person at the school by listing contact information for each pertinent personnel.
- Calendar – Don’t forget to include the #1 item that parents and students visit their school website for! Include the year’s calendar with start and end dates, days off, activities.
- Extracurriculars – this is one of the main reasons people visit school websites. To find game times, art performances, concerts, etc. Keep this information updated and make it easy for parents and students to be more involved in school activities.
Must Have Schools Website Design Elements
- Homepage that portrays the personality of your school
- Clear and Prominent Calls to Action
- Simple, not overly crowded design
- Easy to navigate
It can be very frustrating for parents who are looking at schools and seeking information on their websites, to come up short. A school website needs to be easy to navigate and have a clear menu with prominent calls to action that leads parents to the information they are seeking. Another often overlooked feature is to showcase your schools personality in the theme and homepage.
Private School Websites & Preschool Websites
Unlike public schools, private and preschools have complete control over their websites. Public schools are bound to the districts policies and websites whereas private schools and preschools can completely customize their website.
Private schools should specifically showcase their personality, their grade levels and their extracurriculars that will draw in the specific targeted students. For example, if a private school focuses on the arts, this should be the first thing people see when visiting the site.
Something that many parents are seeking today are private schools that offer homeschooling options. Emphasize any programs like this on your homepage.
Preschools, similarly to private schools, should be sure that their personality and special programs are directly on the homepage to attract parents who are looking for these particular features.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing
When designing a school website, keep in mind how important the written content is for ranking on search engines like google. When parents are searching in local areas for a private school, they will not find you if you do not have the keywords and local surrounding cities and neighborhoods within the content on the site.
FloridaSmart offers Brand Amplified Marketing for Preschools and Private Schools and Free Business Listings in our Private School Directory and Preschool Directory. Get listed and promote your private school or preschool in the state of Florida.