This is often something that gets overlooked when getting a new school website. The initial reaction is “it’s for the kids” but actually, think about it in the bigger picture, is it really for the kids?
Of course, the website wants to look child-friendly, especially if it is a primary school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the children already at the school have to be the main focus.
When talking to Head Teachers about their existing school websites, it is often the case that they have out-of-date sites with overly bright colours in the background, cluttered pages and very out of date information with picture galleries such as “Sports Day 2010” (Some of the children in that particular sports day at Primary School are about to take their GCSEs!).
Why is this combination of garish colours and out of date information bad? Well for starters, they look bad. It’s only our opinion, but given that the audience looking at your website aside from the pupils are parents, governors, prospective parents and occasionally Ofsted, it makes sense to tailor your website to these groups and create the best impression you can.
Loud colours and child-like features probably do appeal to the children, but it isn’t them you need to convince to look at the website and promote the school in a positive light. The parents and governors are the majority of your website’s visitors, and they want to use the website to look for information. They will fully engage with a site bursting with up to date information, events and lovely pictures, but if the content they are looking for is surrounded by all manner of shapes and colours and general clutter, the information that they’re looking for isn’t going to be easy to find.
So what can we do to make the site engaging, clear and easy to navigate but without being incredibly boring?
At Edusite we design school websites that are content rich, including image galleries, videos, prospectus flipbooks and online newsletters that keep parents and governors engaged. We always ensure that the functionality and usability is taken care of as a priority so that visitors to the website can easily access the content on it. You can even take advantage of our Web Content Management Service to ensure your website content is kept up to date and added quickly.
We choose colours that match your school branding, use well thought out and planned navigation structures, keep your buttons simple and let the content drive the school website. We keep backgrounds simple and choose text colours carefully so that when you add content to the page the images and content are easy to see and read
Another important consideration relating to your target audience is the devices that you expect them to be using. Stats now show that more internet browsing is done on mobile phones and tablets than laptop and desktop computers. As we all know, the majority of adults now have modern mobile phones or tablets and with this in mind, it’s key that your school website is user-friendly on these devices. Here at Edusite, all of the websites we build are now responsive as standard.
Whatever budget you have, the school website should be easy to use, full of useful relevant information and work on all manner of devices. To discuss your school website design with us, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org today.