The home page of your school website is going to be the most important page of your entire website. It’s the one shot you have to introduce your school on a digital landscape, and it’s going to determine whether any visitors to your website are interested enough to keep clicking through and learn more about your school.
Your school website home page should be the one place people can glance at what your school stands for, and know what’s unique from the get-go. Not only do you have to serve the parents of potential and current students, but you also have to appeal to staff, prospective staff and even Ofsted. There are several ways that you can achieve a school website home page that packs a punch, and below, we’ve got some fantastic tips to help you get there. Your school website design counts, let’s take a look:
Your Name, Your Logo
It sounds like something obvious that your school website should display, but you should ensure that the first thing that people see when they click on your site is your name and your logo. This is going to tell people immediately who this website belongs to, and your logo should be a part of the design.
Your School Motto
Most schools have a strapline or a phrase that qualifies what you do as a school and defines your aims. If you don’t have a strapline just yet, then it may be time to think about yours!
Every school website needs to display happy children as a part of the school website design. This can come in the form of a moving gallery, or it can be static images as part of the background website design. Either way, you need to think about bringing in a professional photographer to take images of the children, happy in different settings around the school.
A Warm Welcome
The welcome from the headteacher will give your school website introduction some oomph. Firstly, it’s an excellent way to introduce your school properly from the person who leads it to success. Secondly, you need to add a photo of the head for that personal touch. Also, optimising the content in the welcome can really help your website be visible in Google searches.
News & Calendar
Mostly, the schools’ news and its calendar of events are aimed at current and prospective parents. However, visitors to your school website can get a taste of school life and how you plan the year with events and pupil-focused activities. The news should be relevant about the school successes, balanced with attendance figures and pupil news, too. Open days and parent consultations should also be displayed here.
Your website should be optimised for parents, staff, and visitors, and so you should ensure that you make it easy for people to find what they need. Buttons that take people to policies on attendance, or school uniform information and even the school prospectus should be visible and obvious.
There’s nothing worse than a website that doesn’t have easy navigation. A search bar is a must – if people can’t find what they need from your school website, they’re likely to look elsewhere at other schools. A logical structure will help your website guests to find what they need instantly without getting frustrated.
Videography is a big deal for school websites, and if you can take some video interviews from staff and pupils about their experience in the school, you can introduce the school in a way that photographs just cannot convey. You can embed the videos on the school website homepage so that they are visible from the very first click.
Your school needs to step into today, and the best way to do that is to utilise social media. Using social media, you can keep your followers updated about the school, and you can embed feeds from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram into the home page along with a call to action for people to follow you.
Lastly, your school needs to have contact information visible on the homepage. This way, any visitors can come to your page and immediately get to your contact details.