10 ideas for an effective school website home page
Your school website home page
Your home page is the most important page of your school website. We know from our analytics that the home page on a school website is the most viewed page. It’s possible that some people only ever see that one page, so you should really spend a lot of time and effort thinking about how to best make use of your website home page. For prospective parents, it should be immediately obvious from the home page what is unique and special about your school. Your school website 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 in the school.
We’ve created this guide to help you achieve this, with ten ideas to consider in the design of your school website home page:
- Add the school name and logo
- Position your school with a description or strap line
- Use great photography
- Add a strong welcome
- Add latest news and events
- Guide your audience
- Make navigation easy
- Add video
- Integrate social media feeds
- Other quick ideas for your home page
1. Add the School Name and Logo
It seems obvious but make sure your school name is displayed prominently on the school website home page. Often your school name is displayed alongside the school logo.
But you can be more creative.
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 on your school website home page.
Perhaps you have a specialism that needs highlighting?
Or a strong ethos?
3. Use great photography
Happy children doing interesting things. There’s no more powerful way to portray your school. Professional photography definitely helps, and allows you the opportunity to let the pictures do some of the talking. Full background photos look fantastic on a school website home page.
Or an alternate could be a large header gallery
If your photography is not quite as good, you might not notice if the images are smaller
4. Add a strong Welcome
A strong welcome from the head on the school website home page 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.
5. Latest News and 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 on your school website home page! Open days and other events for prospective parents can also be included on here.
And if you have the resources, why not add interest to your news items with a little photo?
6. Guide your school website audience
If you’re particularly looking to capture the interest of prospective parents, then why not use some of the school websites home page to allow them to easily find what they need. Or the superb facilities or results which you’d particularly like them to take note of. This might take the form of some nicely designed buttons or feature panels.
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 the use of quick links on your school website home page. These can be targeted at a mix of current & prospective parents or staff.
Or you might consider a ‘super nav’ for current parents & staff which shows at the top of every page.
If you have one, a video clip can really introduce the school. You could embed it onto the school website home page so visitors can play it on their first visit.
9. Integrate social media feeds
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 website home page from your phone. Facebook and Instagram feeds could also be used.
10. Other Ideas
A nicely designed ‘noticeboard’ is useful for highlighting news or making important announcements stand out on the school website home page.
You could use feature panel to highlight something you’re particularly proud of.
How about highlighting a quote from Ofsted?
In fact, there’s no end of ways to ensure your school website home page is engaging and informative. For more inspiration please visit our huge, searchable portfolio of school website designs.