How do Google’s New Rules Affect your School Website?

You’ve most likely seen in the news that Google, as of April 21st has updated the way it’s search results work to act more favourably towards mobile-friendly websites. Some schools have even received marketing emails about this and contacted us in a panic. So what does this mean? If you’ve got a website that is mobile friendly and works well on mobiles and tablets - you have nothing to worry about. If you’re reading this and are getting an Edusite website; all our websites are now responsive as standard; so you know you are covered.

If your website isn’t mobile and tablet friendly, the latest Google updates could have an impact on where your school website is positioned in the Google search results; ensuring you have a mobile-friendly website could help to avoid this.

What is a Mobile-friendly Website?

A mobile friendly website will adapt depending on the screen size it is being viewed on. On a mobile for example, the content will reflow into a single column. It improves usability and accessibility as you don’t have to pinch and zoom in to see the website like you would on a standard website viewed on a mobile.

You can see some examples of our responsive websites in our portfolio here.

Is your School Website Mobile-friendly?

Finding out if your school website is mobile-friendly couldn’t be simpler, all you need to do is view it on a mobile or resize your web browser and see if your website responds to this. Alternatively Google have provided this useful tool for checking if your site is mobile-friendly; simply follow the link and pop in your school website address. Failing that, if you're not sure, drop us a line via the Edusite contact form and we’ll check for you.

How can a non Mobile-friendly Website Impact your School?

You need to keep in-mind that a high majority of users accessing your school website, are doing so from a mobile or tablet. We all know how important your website is for Ofsted and they could be checking your site out on a tablet before they arrive for their inspection - you don’t want to risk them not being able to view the statutory information. Are parents finding it difficult to see the things they need and ringing the school office instead of using the website?

What are your Options?

If you make the sensible decision to have a mobile-friendly website; there are two main options available to you:

Mobile Version of your School Website

You could choose to have a separate mobile site built, specifically for use on mobiles. Although quite simple to build - they require much more maintenance as the normal website and mobile site need updating separately, doubling the time taken to keep your school website up-to-date. They’re also not guaranteed to work on the wide range of mobiles available today.

Responsive School Website

With a responsive website, the version of your website viewed on your mobile is the same as the desktop version, but with features as described above to make it easy to use on mobiles and tablets. Although more time-consuming to build, they are the more future-proof solution and will work on all devices - regardless of screen size.

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What can Edusite do for you?

Edusite, as standard, will design and build you a responsive school website that looks good and works well, no matter what screen size or device it is being viewed on. Not only can this have a positive effect on your Google search position, but it will ensure parents, Ofsted, staff and pupils can all find the information they need and will find using your school website a positive experience.

If you don’t already have a responsive website, now could be an excellent time to think about refreshing your school website. We’re full to the brim with exciting website ideas and can incorporate video and interactive school prospectuses to engage parents looking at your website.

To talk to an Edusite school website designer about a responsive website and what this means for your school, contact us using our contact form here.