Having a website focused solely on your school or educational institution might have sounded a little strange a decade ago, but now, not having a website for your school is out-of-place. And while website trends come and go on a highly regular basis, it is difficult for schools and universities to change their school website design due to the complexity involved. However, some modern school website design ideas are not just passing fad, but trends that are here to stay.
If you are interested in school website design and development for your school website, there are some important homepage design elements you need to consider. These will help to improve your online presence, build your domain authority and will improve the user experience (which is, after all, one of the most important aspects of any website).
Keep reading for our tips on some of the best homepage design elements for school websites.
A Clearly Defined Goal
Many people think of homepages as a “catch-all” for the most important experiences of the website. However, a homepage should rather be seen as a curated or summarised experience, used to achieve goals instead of bombarding your audience with information.
For example, you might feel that the goal of your homepage is to attract prospective students. This means that the homepage on your school website design should highlight your courses, show your values, and explain your mission and vision. News, articles, and links to schedules could be placed at the bottom of the page as this content might not be as important to this audience. Without a clearly defined goal, your homepage could become confusing to users.
Intuitive To Navigate
One of the most important elements for a school or university website is to have intuitive navigation on the homepage. This makes it easier for prospective students and parents to find the information they need, without having to spend time trying to find the right tab, drop-down menu, or link.
The homepage should reflect the behaviour of your audience. For example, if you are targeting new students, then your “About Us” and “Courses” pages should be easy to find. Another important tip to remember is not to use strange phrases or quirky titles for these pages. Keep the layout of your menus and pages simple and easy-to-read. This way, you will avoid any confusion from your audience and your site will rank better in search engines.
Clearly Shown Contact Details
As mentioned earlier, your homepage is a curated experience, which means that all the most pertinent information of your institution needs to be placed on it. This includes clearly written and easy-to-find contact information. Visitors should be able to find your contact information easily on the homepage, either in a footer or in a header, and not hidden on a confusing page.
Your contact details should also be updated whenever changes occur in your business that will affect these details. You should include your mailing address, your physical address, your phone numbers, as well as your email address(es). If you have more than one campus, the homepage should reflect this information for each campus. Make sure that there are links for the email addresses so that visitors can click on these and immediately begin contacting you.
Visually Prominent Calls To Action
Without any calls-to-action, users of your school website will feel confused while using it and will eventually click away to another, more intuitive site. It is important to take into consideration that people today are highly visual when it comes to using websites, which means that all calls-to-action (such as “Apply Here”) need to be prominent and clear.
You could opt to have buttons that stand out to users, using bright colours or shadows to highlight the buttons. Your calls-to-action (CTAs) need to stand out enough for people to find them easily in order to encourage users to perform the intended actions on the page. Using colours that are part of your school or university’s branding will help to clearly show these CTAs, and will improve the cohesive design of your website.
Specialised Landing Pages
Your homepage can be considered as the “face” of your website, but it is not the only content that users want (and need) to read or consume when they are on your website. Other than an easy-to-navigate menu on this page, you should also include specific landing pages to different sections of your website, such as Alumni Relations or a Donor Page.
A landing page is a page which is an entry point for a particular section of a website. It could also be called a portal, as it leads from the main homepage to another, important page. These landing pages help users to find the exact content they are looking for, and will also improve traffic and rankings on search engines. These landing pages should have the same look and feel as your homepage.
Building an education website is no small feat, but it can be simplified if you follow some general tips and tricks. Having a homepage with clearly defined goals, an intuitive navigation system, easy-to-find contact details and CTAs will help to achieve your goals and provide a positive user experience.
If you are interested in an education website for your institution, reach out to Edumedia today to find out how we can help you.