These days, before visiting your campus or even speaking to anyone on the phone, the first impression anyone will ever have with your school is via its website. When researching existing schools, the majority of people will automatically undertake in-depth online research to learn more about their options. Therefore, it is crucial that your website contains enough relevant information that is eye catching and easy to navigate through so as to provide helpful information and not confuse the visitor, causing them to leave the website. After enrollment, the website will serve as a vital link between parents, students and school administration.

Content seems to be key here, yet it is not merely enough, meaning if it is not organized in the right way, it will be difficult to find or there will be too much of it, therefore it will not serve its purpose. This is where design plays its part in providing solutions for content display and organization.

That being said, design is not something you should fear since it does not present a difficult task given the development and advancement in the CMS that enable even those without much designer skills achieve great results. Yet, there are a few steps you should consider and implement if you want to maximize your website’s effectiveness.

Simplify

Too many times we have seen great looking websites ruined by too much unnecessary content, complicated navigation, or both. The logic behind this seems to be — the more you are displaying, the more you have to offer. Instead, you should think like the visitor of your site thinks. Yes, beautiful visuals could grab the attention for a while, but information and content is what they came for, so don’t let the flashy stuff get in the way of information. Here are the most important features of a school’s website that need to be simplified in order to get results.

  • Home page content – While it is completely understandable that you want to impress your visitors into future clients, your home page must not be overcrowded with useless information and too much content of any kind. With the little help from elegant WordPress LMS themes you can have a beautiful and personalized home page and still keep it simple in terms of the content. Your home page should show a concise profile of your school with clear and easy to follow links to the most important pages such as school calendar, timetables, courses description, teachers’ profiles, contact page etc.

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  • Navigation – Your website needs to have a natural flow, which means that users need to be directed to the desired pages quickly and easily so as not to get confused and eventually give up. Again, think like the visitor on your website, and place call to action banners, social media buttons, and menu bars where people expect to find them without having to spend some time looking for them.
  • User integration – Registration process as well as login should be simple easy and fast in order to feel seamless for the user. If you’re offering courses or tuition for purchase on the site, you need an efficient means of handling that, too (payment systems such as PayPal and WooCommerce are integrated into every modern LMS WordPress theme).

Next page: Visuals and multimedia tips for every school

Multimedia

When designing a school or any other website it is important to incorporate visual features as they tend to be an efficient way in your school’s presentation. Make sure to add appropriate pictures and videos that convey the right message and tell a story about your school, classes, students and staff. Remember to place it where appropriate so as not to fit the content on the page, and also, do not put too many multimedia files as they can slow down the loading of your website.

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 Social media

Integrating social media buttons into the website is one of the most helpful tools to promote any shareable section of your website, such as events page, blog posts, etc. helping you inform and interact with your followers. Moreover, it is most likely that the majority of your potential students will use social media to search for schools nearby, so make sure your profiles are neat, active and regularly updated.

Mobile ready

As the number of people who mostly use smartphones to browse the internet is growing by the year, you want to make sure that your website has a responsive design for desktop computers, and smartphones alike in order to provide each visitor to your website with the best experience.

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See also: It’s time to update your school website for mobile

Personalize

Additionally, assuming you want to establish a recognizable image for your school, make sure you add personal feel to it. This means choosing LMS solutions with many custom options so that you can choose your colors, fonts; customize banners, student badges and certificates, and other features that can help you to provide a unique experience to your visitors and students.

About the Author:

Jovana Čenejac is an English teacher, translator, and copywriter . She is interested in the ways available online resources are changing practices of teaching and learning English.