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How to Achieve an Award-Winning School Website

 
October 2017

Getting people to notice your school website takes commitment, especially when you have a lot of competition. However, many school websites outshine their counterparts every year, garnering the attention of the community and many website award giving bodies.


Although it’s easy to imagine what a perfect website looks like, bringing one to life is an entirely different matter. Aside from the site’s layout and design, it’s important to consider the experience it will provide its users. To provide visitors with the best experience, follow these tips from Edlio below.


Website Accessibility

When creating a school website, it’s important to make sure the content of your site is available to all users. This means that visitors with visual and physical disabilities are able to interact with and navigate your school website via assistive technologies like screen readers.

Make sure your school website is ADA-friendly and accessible by taking the following steps:

  • Find a school website provider that uses modern coding standards and creates totally responsive websites. This ensures content is displayed consistently across different browsers and platforms.
  • Meet the recommended contrast ratio for text by using color contrast tools.
  • Add alt text to all media uploaded to your site.
  • Create a site navigation that is accessible by keyboard.
  • Use automatic closed captioning and transcripts for all videos uploaded to your site.
  • Add a website accessibility policy to your site and keep school staff updated on accessibility best practices.
 

Website Loading Speed

Another thing you should take note of is the loading speed of your website. Pages that don’t load or take a long time to load can turn away viewers. To increase the site speed, you can minimize HTTP requests, reduce server response time, and compress any file that can be compressed. Once your website’s speed is running smoothly, users won’t have to wait to see if their lesson plans have been uploaded or if their papers made it before the deadline.

 

Responsive Website Design

In today’s digital age, it’s nearly impossible to see someone without a mobile device. Cellphones and tablets enable people to access the Internet from wherever they are. Your school site should look great even if it is viewed on different devices or browsers. A responsive design allows mobile users to make full use of your website’s features even when they’re on the go.

 

Balancing Beauty, Functionality, and Content Quality

The appearance of your website is important, but you can’t forget about its functionality and content. Make sure that your website’s eye-catching design isn’t masking a lack of unique, highly readable content. Talk to your designer about how your website can best represent your brand and how you can seamlessly incorporate a wealth of content without sacrificing easy navigation.


When thinking of a layout, make sure to place important information on top. Aside from the navigation bar, consider adding a calendar of activities or a virtual announcement board so that they will be the first things your site visitors will see. Your online community, especially the parents of your students, will look forward to seeing these features.


When it comes to choosing videos and pictures, add variety to your galleries. You want shots that showcase your school and the families that make it up, so include teachers, parents, and the school facilities in the pictures. You can also add images taken from your school’s civic activities to highlight your involvement with the community.


When generating content, consider the number of words you’re using. Make an effort to be concise and break up text with images and visual content when you can. Also, choose text colors that don’t clash with the background to make each word readable.


Balancing these elements in your school website design can be easy to achieve with the right website partner. See how Edlio’s robust CMS and beautifully designed websites make the grade.