7 Ways to Improve Your District Website

Jessica Olson - 03/10/2018

These days, a school district website is the first introduction a parent or student gets of your school. It is more than just a digital bulletin board with a school calendar and lunch menu. Your district website should act as a virtual tour of your school, highlighting your best attributes. Visitors should leave the site with a solid understanding and positive opinion of the district.

Is your district website trapped in the past or making common web design mistakes? Use these seven best practices to spring your website into the present.

Use a responsive design

Believe it or not, more people access the internet on a smartphone or tablet than a desktop computer. In fact, the switch to the mobile majority happened in 2016 and continues to grow. Web visitors expect a website to work on any device and any screen-size. This is no different for K-12 district websites. Make sure that your district site is mobile-friendly so everyone can easily use your site, no matter their device.

Make resources obvious

Everyone has visited a website that is difficult to navigate. It is incredibly frustrating to click around a site without being able to find what you need. If parents are unable to find links to make school payments, register or other school information, they may exit the website and call your offices.

Make sure the most important resources are accessible and obvious on your homepage. Put more important links (like online payment buttons, registration forms, or calendars), on all relevant pages so it is easy for visitors to find what they need. This may make your district appear more organized to parents and reduce calls to the district.

Keep your design clean and simple

Streamlined design choices and simple use of colors can help your website look organized. Try using a limited color palette, adequate white space and a streamlined menu. The more you break-up the content on your site, the better it will
Improve Your School District Website look. Take a look at these streamlined K12 district websites for design inspiration.

Use photos and videos

Have you seen a district website that is full of content but lacks quality images and videos? Websites like that could have perfect content but, a lack of imagery makes it difficult to take in an impression of the district. Remember, a visit to your website may be the first time a parent interacts with your school. Photos of your campus, students and different events around the district will help give visitors a sense of your district’s personality. Try using videos, whether a video tour or student interviews, to make your website more interactive and engaging.

Include testimonials

Students are the lifeblood of any school. Testimonials from parents and students can help highlight what prospective students may find important. Including a testimonial or story from a student about why they like your school gives that personal touch that will help increase the quality of your site.

Highlight your call to action

What is the main purpose of your district website? Is your site directed toward prospective students with the hopes of encouraging them to enroll? Is your site a resource to answer parent questions? Whatever the purpose, you likely have one specific action to which you would like to drive traffic. Place a link to this action above the fold of your website and in the top right-hand corner of the page. Use active language like click here, sign-up or register now to urge visitors to engage.

Put your contact information in a prominent location

This may seem like a no-brainer, but including your phone number, address and staff directory in an easy-to-find location can make the difference between a user-friendly website and a frustrating site. Add a footer to your website that includes all of your contact information so visitors can find it on every page.

 Are you ready to update your district site? Take a look at these 25 K-12 school websites for inspiration.



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