10 Ideas for an effective school website home page

Your home page is the most important page of your school website. If people only ever see one page of your website, it is likely to be your home page. It should be immediately obvious from the home page what is unique and special about your school. And your home page needs to serve a diverse variety of audiences from current parents, prospective parents, staff, prospective staff, pupils, Ofsted to anyone with an interest.

What’s the best way to achieve this? Here’s 10 things to consider designing into your home page.

1. Add the School name & logo

It seems obvious but make sure your school name is displayed prominently on the home page. Often your school name is displayed alongsideĀ the school logo.

St Whites Primary School

But you can be more creative.

Unity City Academy

 

2. Position your school with a description or strap line

If it’s not obvious from your school name what type of school you are, or your phase, qualify your name prominently.

St Cedd's School

Perhaps you have a specialism that needs highlighting?

Westwood Girls' College

Or a strong ethos?

Cedars Upper School

 

3. Use photography

Happy children doing interesting things. There’s no more powerful way to portray your school. Professional photography definitely helps and also allows you the opportunity to let the pictures do some of the talking with a large gallery header. A gallery in the header also adds interest to every page of your website.

Heywood Preparatory School

Or an alternate could be a static header with a feature gallery nearer the centre of the home page.

Chipping Sodbury Specialist Technology School

If your photography is not quite as good, you might not notice if the images are smaller – a montage can help make a feature.

4. Welcome

A strong welcome from the head will really help introduce the school and its’ strengths – and a photo adds a personal touch. If you wish to be easier to find in google, don’t forget to include some keywords here.

Aldborough E-ACT Free School

5. News & Events

News & events are most commonly aimed at current parents, but it’s worth remembering that prospective parents and other visitors can get a good flavour of the sorts of interesting things which happen day to day in your school, not to mention your successes. So don’t include too many news items about parking! Open days and other events for prospective parents can also be included here.

And if you have the resources, why not add interest to your news items with a little photo?

6. Channel your target audience

If you’re particularly looking to capture the interest of prospective parents, then why not use some of the home page to allow them to easily find what they need. Or what you’d particularly like them to see. This might take the form of some nicely designed prospectus or admissions buttons.

Hatherop Castle School

7. Make navigation easy

The worst thing you can do is frustrate your visitors with quirky navigation or hiding content in non intuitive places. A well thought out and logical structure will help, along with adherence to standard navigation conventions. You can always help your visitors though by placing quick links on the home page. These can be targeted at a mix of current & prospective parents or staff.

St Andrews Primary School

Or you might consider a ‘super nav’ for current parents & staff which shows at the top of every page.

8. Video

If you have one, a video clip can really introduce the school. You could embed it onto the home page so visitors can play it on the home page.

9. Social media

A Twitter feed is not just a great way to keep interested ‘followers’ updated about the school. It’s also an easy way to update the school home page from your phone. A Facebook page could also be linked to, or perhaps a Facebook like button added.

10. Other Ideas

A nicely designed ‘noticeboard’ is useful for highlighting news or making importantĀ announcements stand out.

You could a feature panel to highlight something you’re particularly proud of.

How about highlighting a quote form Ofsted?

 

In fact, there’s no end of ways to ensure your home page is engaging and informing.

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