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Does your school website need a redesign?

16 June 2021 Katie Sixsmith

Your school website (or trust or teaching school hub website for that matter) is your window to the world. It’s your opportunity to showcase your offering, teaching style, academic success, facilities and so much more.

It’s also a brilliant tool for parental engagement, boosting search engine optimisation and for keeping your community up to date.

But if you’ve not changed your website design in a few years, you might be feeling like it isn’t really working as hard as it could be or that you aren’t benefiting from the latest technological and design advances.

The good news is that you’re not alone! Our research shows that, on average, our customers usually redesign their school website every 3.4 years.

So, if you’re feeling underwhelmed and wishing your school website could be doing more for you, why not consider a school website redesign?

What is a school website redesign?

A school website redesign is very similar to a brand-new website project but with the added value that you already know what does and doesn’t work for your school.

You will be able to use this knowledge to plan the design elements you require, streamline your sitemap, rewrite content and so much more.

As part of a redesign project, you will work with a professional designer who will come up with new creative visuals that reflect your specific needs and requirements. Once you are fully happy with these, an expert developer will build your new designs into a fully functioning new website using the latest coding techniques.

The website will usually be situated on a content management system to allow for easy updating and flexible editing, and if you are staying with your existing website provider, you can often receive assistance with transferring content as well. Moving the text, images and policies from the old website to the new one will help save you a lot of time.

What are the key considerations for a new school website design?

Every school or trust is different but there are a couple of key things that you will need to consider when thinking about a school website redesign:

  • What do your users most commonly search for (or struggle to search for?) on your existing website?
  • What features of your school or trust are you most proud of and that you wish to promote?

Planning out your sitemap and content (the text / imagery) you wish to use will play a big part of this but when it comes to design, it’s also about what will look good and appeal visually to your audience.

Choosing a bespoke website design means that you have the flexibility to explore ideas and solutions that meet your specification and budget, creating a unique online presence that is tailored specifically for your school.

The possibilities are endless, but here are a few popular features our customers have had in their bespoke website designs over the past year:

Hero Imagery & Videography

Whether you love impactful full screen multimedia or prefer imagery and text side by side as soon as you land on a website, there are so many options available for the hero section of your school website.

Combining expert design with professional photography and videography can really add the ‘wow’ factor to that crucial first impression!

Take a look:

News and Social Media Feed(s)

Great for keeping your website up to date with authentic, purposeful content, the popularity of mixed news and social feeds has flourished as of late. If you’re a multi-academy trust working on a trust-wide project, then you could also choose to pull in a mixed feed of school website news too!

Plus, search engines love regularly updated content, so this can also help with SEO.

Social Media Wall

If you’d prefer to make a real feature of your social media posts, especially if you have profiles on multiple channels, then a social media wall is the ideal opportunity to showcase your creativity!

Interspersing your snappy tweets with your vibrant Instagram posts can really help tell a story of your school and encourage users to follow you from their accounts too!

Calendar Feed & Sync

One of the most practical functions of a school website is the ability for you to share relevant information with your community and parents. Having an up-to-date calendar is the best solution for easy access to upcoming events, open days, trips, clubs and holidays.

And, if you choose to integrate your website with your internal Google or Microsoft calendar - you only need to add events once and they’ll appear on your school website like magic!

House Points

With many schools across all sectors now using a house system, sharing your house points on your school website is a brilliant way to increase engagement, encourage healthy competition and create a sense of pride within your community.

Entry Points & Landing Pages

If your school has multiple entry points, either a secondary with a sixth form or an all-through independent, then it’s important that you cater your website to support all the different stakeholders you may encounter.

Split Landing Page

A split landing page is a popular option for schools that wish to give equal weight to areas which may have different audiences. In these examples, the user can decide whether to visit the main school website or the sixth form homepage:

 

Multiple Entry Points

If there are multiple entry points, or you’d prefer for your visitors to get a flavour of your whole website before segmenting them, then having dedicated entry points on the homepage is the perfect solution:
 
These entry points can then link through to dedicated bespoke landing pages showing content that is relevant to those specific individuals.

Testimonials & Quotes

When choosing a new school for their child, some parents like to see ‘real world’ examples of where a student has thrived, or a parent has been thrilled with the education received. .

Testimonials and quotes areas are great for sharing ‘social proof’ and giving a flavour of the school from those who attend. These could be from your Head Boy or Girl, from parents, alumni or staff and can be designed in numerous different ways – from a homepage segment to a full page of stories!

History Timelines

If your school has a long and interesting history, or even if you’re more modern but the past few years have been filled with exciting developments, then a history timeline will be right up your street!

There a so many ways of displaying the content to excite and engage your audience – from scrolling down the page or side to side, with imagery and text, before and after shots, videos... the opportunities are endless!

Alumni(ae) Areas

A lot of schools like to keep in touch with their former students once they have left and a dedicated alumni(ae) section is a great way to do this.

You can display photos of events, create sign up forms for them to subscribe to a newsletter, have a calendar of upcoming reunions, share their stories to inspire current students and so much more!

Statistics & Infographics

Animated infographics, number counters and stats have had a massive rise in popularity over the last few years.

They’re a creative and dynamic way of showing details such as the number of pupils in your trust, books in your library, successful university applications, exam results and more!

Staff Profiles

A ‘who’s who’ page is a must for any school website as it shows your leadership structure, teachers and support staff in a user-friendly, easily accessible manner.

Prospective and current parents can see who is teaching their child while future employees can see the team they’d be working with and the opportunities for progression.

Online Forms

Using an online form for your registration applications, job vacancies, sixth form admissions, absence reporting or teaching school course booking sign-ups is a great eco-friendly way to reduce paperwork and obtain the information you require quickly and effectively.

The results can be stored in your database, exported into a spreadsheet or emailed across to the relevant individual.

Donation Pages

Whether you’re collecting funds for scholarships, charitable donations or upcoming projects, a dedicated donation page is a fantastic way to share information about your cause.

As well as telling your story, you can show updates on how previous donations have helped shape your organisation and even collect payments direct on site!

Interactive Maps

An interactive map allows your visitors to take a tour of your campus from the comfort of their own home. They can see a full plan of the buildings and grounds, then click relevant points to access pop-ups sharing information, images and videos about each section.

Vacancies

By sharing your vacancies on your website you can cut administration costs and promote your school at the same time! It also means it’s easy to update from your end and gives you full control over when vacancies are posted, changed and removed.

Parent Areas

A school website is often used as a marketing tool to attract prospective parents, students and employees, which means that often, there are only certain sections of the content that are relevant to your current families and students.

A simple yet effective way of ensuring that parents can access the content they need when they need it is to create a bespoke parents area, with links to all the information they require – term dates, uniform, menus, trips etc.
 

See how these 3 schools have streamlined their parent areas:

The opportunities within bespoke design are endless and these are just a selection of the features we’ve designed and built for schools and trusts.

We’re constantly pushing the boundaries of school website design so if you have an idea in mind that you’ve not seen anywhere else, we’re here to listen!

Are there any other considerations when undertaking a school website redesign project?

Alongside planning effectively for your school website project and choosing your website provider, you may also wish to consider a selection of complementary services that work well alongside your website.  

  • Branding
    Often carried out in conjunction with a website design, it’s a great opportunity to revitalise your brand or refresh your logo. 
    View our TCES case study
  • Professional Photography 
    Ideal for making your school website and prospectus stand out from a crowd. 
    Meet our photographer
  • Professional Videography 
    Whether it’s an interview, overview or day in the life, a video is a truly immersive form of multimedia.  
     
  • 360 Virtual Tours
    Transport prospective parents virtually around your school corridors & classrooms with a 360 tour. 
  • Prospectus Design 
    Inform stakeholders and prospective parents with an engaging prospectus design. For an eco-friendly alternative, add it as a digital page-turner on your website. 
  • Remote Learning 
    Create remote learning lessons and / or CPD content, then share it with your community with ease via your school or trust website. 

Ready to get started? 

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