A school website is often the first introduction prospective students, parents, and community members have to your school. It’s also an essential communications tool for current families and staff. So it’s no wonder that schools put a lot of time, effort, and money into designing and maintaining their websites.
But as technology and design trends change, your school website may start to look dated. When that happens, you may be tempted to give your site a complete makeover. But before re-designing your school website, there are a few eight things you should consider:
#1: User Experience
Your website should be easy for people to use. That means prospective families should be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. Current families should be able to access the portal and other key features with a few clicks. And staff should be able to update content without calling IT for help.
If your website isn’t easy to use, a redesign can help. But it’s important to consider the user experience when designing your new site. You do not want a website that is hard to use.
#2: Mobile Friendliness
More and more people are accessing the internet on their phones and tablets. In fact, mobile devices are now the most common way people access the internet. That means your school website needs to be designed for smaller screens.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, consider a redesign. But keep in mind that designing for mobile devices is different than designing for desktop computers. So you’ll need to make sure your new website is designed specifically for mobile devices.
#3: Search Engine Optimization
Your school website may be the most beautiful site on the internet. But if no one can find it, it might as well not exist. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO is the process of making your website more visible in search engine results pages (SERPs).
You need to make sure your website is optimized for search engines. And that means having the right keywords, metadata, and other elements in place.
Branding is essential to have on your website. Your website should include your school’s logo, colors, and other elements that make it instantly recognizable.
If you’re planning a complete redesign of your website, make sure you keep your branding in mind. Your school’s website needs to reflect your school and what it stands for.
Your school website needs to do more than look good. It also needs to be functional. That means it should have all the features and tools your users need. Some standard features include a portal for parents and students, a calendar, a news feed, and online forms.
Re-designing your school website for functionality can sometimes be necessary. But make sure you add the right features for your users. There’s no point in adding a feature that no one will use.
Your school website should be integrated with your other systems. That way, information can flow seamlessly between them. For example, if you have a student information system (SIS), you should be able to display student data on your website.
Your website needs to be integrated with all other aspects of your school. But it’s important to consider which systems you need to integrate with before starting the redesign process.
Scalability is important to consider before a redesign. That means it should be easy to add new features and content and expand to accommodate more users. A redesign may be needed if your current website cannot grow with you. But, make sure you keep scalability in mind when you’re designing your new site.
Last but not least, you need to consider the cost of redesigning your school website. A complete redesign can be expensive, especially if you hire a professional design company. And if you don’t have the budget for a complete redesign, you may need to consider a less expensive option, such as a template-based design.
No matter what option you choose, make sure you consider the cost before you start the redesign process. Otherwise, you may end up spending more than you can afford.
These are just a few things to consider before re-designing your school website. But if you keep them in mind, you can be sure you’ll end up with a site that’s effective and efficient. Redesigning websites can be fun, but keep the downsides in mind as well.
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information system, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management, and more. Schedule a demo with us today.