School websites need to do more than tick the boxes with Ofsted.
In fact, your school website can tick all those boxes and still only be doing half a job.
Here are four ways that you can ensure that your school website is going beyond the Ofsted must-have list…
1. Use good quality photography
It’s an age-old saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words.
Often when schools come to us and ask us to comment on their existing school website, we say that it’s far too text-heavy – too many long and complex paragraphs and not enough good photography.
Photography is key to ensuring that your school website is grabbing the attention of its visitors, and making sure that you create a great first impression. And, remember, schools are about people, and not just buildings, so pictures of staff and children should be front and centre.
2. Make sure it’s mobile friendly
The chances are that the majority of parents won’t be using a desktop to look at your website. In fact, the latest global statistics tell us 58% of people are more likely to access the internet on a mobile device than desktop. Because of this, compatibility for a mobile device is a 21st-century must.
This is especially true when it comes to parents using the website to keep up to date on school news and updates. Ask yourself, is a PDF really the best way to be sharing important details?
Think about it this way – a PDF has to be downloaded on to a mobile device and is often difficult to read with small font sizes.
By displaying information, such as a newsletter, directly on your site you’ll be encouraging more parents to engage with it, and helping them have a positive experience on your school website.
3. Keep content up to date
An out-of-date site with consistency issues suggests a school that struggles with day-to-day admin and detail. Of course, every school struggles with these things because of cuts to funding and there being not enough hours in the day, but it is really important that staff make sure that they commit some of their precious time to this.
Our website packages include unlimited support. That means no more admin time updating the website with newsletters, staff updates or exam results. We take care of everything.
4. Structure it as a prospectus
Your site is where prospective parents will go to get information and get a feel for the school. Even if you don’t want them to. Even if you thrust a shiny brochure through their door and spend half an hour talking to them at an open evening.
And they will keep coming back to it, especially if they are uncertain about their choice of school, which is the audience that you really want to have an impact on.
So, your website should make it easy for parents to access the information they need – don’t just scatter it around the site.
And parents should get a good feeling for the school from a site that is up to date and consistent in terms of style.
Make sure that parents can easily get the information they want and you want them to get.
Here is a good example of one of our sites https://theswanschool.org.uk/
How can Comms for Schools help?
We design websites that look brilliant and are easy to use across a variety of devices.
They are built to be updated easily and designed to deliver a positive experience.
We would love a conversation with you about how we can make this work for your school.
Fancy a chat? You can get in touch here.