In today’s digital era, an increasing number of schools are embracing the benefits offered by a responsive website design. However, there are still many schools who don’t realise that as well as the rewards, responsive websites are now becoming an essential necessity. Here we look at what responsive website design is and how it can become an asset to your school.
What exactly are responsive web designs?
In a nutshell, responsive website design enables a school website to work effectively across a range of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. A responsive school website design will allow visitors to have the same optimal viewing experience on every device. This means that the website will display and function well, allow easy reading of the text and clear navigation. This is important as it will encourage increased usability and interaction. A well-designed responsive website will provide the best experience for every visitor to a website, no matter what device they are using.
There are now more people accessing the web by smartphone than any other device. It is thought that as much as 70% of internet traffic now comes from smartphones, followed by laptops and tablets. Internet traffic from desktop computers now falls behind all of these. Most people will admit their smartphone is their preferred device for getting online. This is not surprising as most people carry a smartphone with them 24/7, making the internet available to them at the tip of their fingers, at any place or time.
Benefits of using a responsive design for education websites
Having a responsive school website can bring a host of benefits to schools;
- It’s more cost effective for the school
Having a single responsive website that works well across all platforms will save time, work and money. Maintenance for one website that is carried out on a content management system (CMS), is more economical than managing two different sites for desktop and mobile devices. School administrators can input information in one place for it to automatically update on all devices. As well as this, parents who can access the information they need online are less likely to request it in a different format, which saves on precious school resources.
- It’s easier to manage a single website
A single content management system for a school website gives administrators control over content. Administrators will have access to tools they need to update the website in one place, without needing to pay additional costs to external vendors. This makes it easy to maintain and edit the website content across multiple devices. There is no need to update a separate system for mobile devices.
- It will increase online visitors to the website
Parents, pupils and other visitors to a school website will be more likely to keep looking and pay return visits if it works efficiently on the device they are using. This is very important when prospective parents are researching schools for their children because if they find the website difficult to use, they might decide to click the ‘back’ button to search for another school.
- It will create a positive user experience
A responsive school website creates a positive user experience. If a visitor to a school website has a negative experience while on a smartphone because the site is difficult to navigate around, or they can’t see the text clearly, then there’s a high chance that they will leave immediately and go to another website, which might well mean another school. Chances are they won’t return because they found the website frustrating, or they couldn’t find the information they wanted and so their expectations were not met.
- It will present a positive perception of the school
Parents today lead busy lives, leaving minimal time for information gathering about school-related issues. They will most likely feel frustrated trying to access a non-responsive website that makes finding information a difficult task. A responsive website where users can easily find the information they require will improve the parental experience, encouraging return visits to the site, and this helps to present a positive perception of the school.
- It will help to strengthen the school’s reputation
A key part of any school’s reputation is the appearance of their branding, and this includes their online presence. An attractive and responsive school website is an essential part of their success as it helps to create a positive impression of the school. It can help to reflect on their achievements, values and reputation.
- It will enable better website ranking in Google
When it comes to ranking in search results, Google announced that it now gives preference to responsive sites. They are also rewarding websites with mobile optimisation to improve usability. Having a non-responsive website runs the risk of being penalised by Google, leaving other schools a greater opportunity to rank higher in search engines.
- It will improve the school’s working relationships
A responsive school website can be an excellent form of communication, when it’s working well parents and staff can keep in touch with school (and vice versa) at the touch of a button.
Next steps to improving your school website design
My School Website can help make your school’s education website visually attractive, fully responsive and enhanced with functionality specific to the education sector. We use the latest technology to ensure that whatever device your website is being viewed on, it is easily accessible to the user. We understand that school budgets are stretched, and the cost is often an important issue, so we offer a range of packages starting at £349 per year. In our experience, the long-term benefits of going responsive outweigh the investment. Contact us to discuss how we can help you – www.myschoolwebsite.net/contact