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The world today is known to be the digital age. Information is easily gathered with the use of the Internet and personal computers. The internet is considered an essential part of everybody’s daily life. You can use this for shopping, research, business promotion, online training, etc.
Technological advancement is also used in terms of education. There are several dedicated school websites that are suitable for the interest of people from all ages with different levels of technical capabilities. However, due to fast-paced technology, you have to know the recent changes in digital marketing. The year 2018 is nearly coming, and you have to start planning for your new goals even if there are still things to be done for the year 2017.
The following are the basic features that educational websites must have:
- Event list
An Event List or calendar shows the past, recent, and upcoming events of the school. This is the section that most of the visitors look at. It will be best to have a well-organized series of activities in the event section of your website. This guides the user on what to expect from your school.
- Digital forms
It is advisable to have digital forms readily available online. This provides convenience for parents and guardians in giving consent for whatever activity their sons or daughters will be involved in. This is very useful especially if they will not be able to make it to the school premises.
- Online task
This is a way of getting updated on class activities and lessons. It also allows the parents and guardians to know the student’s progress even if they are not on the school premises. Online assignments help the students evaluate their performance, explore their skills, and continue their learning experience while at home.
- Online facility reservation
The school must have an online reservation system that will determine the availability of the school facilities and properties fast and easy. This feature minimizes the use of manpower and promotes convenience to those who request for the reservations.
- Club and department pages
This is useful for classes, teachers, and organizations who want to post events about their designated departments. It gives the opportunity to display updates on teacher’s consultation schedules and other club activities.
- Social interaction
The school website must have a strong presence in social media. Creating an entertaining and engaging website will take your school to a different level of advertisement.
- Follows ADA standards
The website should be accessible to people of all ages and capabilities in accordance with Americans with Disability Act or ADA. This is to avoid any problems in the future that might put your school in a difficult situation.
Digital literacy is starting to outdo the academic learning inside the classrooms. It will be the best for your school websites to take a step ahead in following the future of education. These are the forecasted changes in trends for the best school websites in the coming years. Try to redesign your school websites and be on top of the list.
- Designed for mobile phones
Everybody uses a mobile phone for almost everything including payments, online registrations, communication, job applications, etc. Smartphones nowadays have all the features that a personal desktop has. They are handier and portable compared to laptops and tablets. This is the reason why a lot of schools recognize and respond to their users’ need to access the websites using mobile phones.
The responsiveness of school websites should be a topmost priority. Thus, it is advisable to redesign your website to be accessible on mobile phones so that the users can access the website anytime and anywhere. It affects your search engine ranks and greatly affects your audience perception, especially the parents. Having a very responsive web design will bring more traffic to your site.
- Easy navigation
Use a layout that leads users to intuitive navigation. This allows the user to easily find the answers to what they are looking for such as updating schedules, checking grades, and even confirming school activities. Create navigation menus that are easy to understand and not too complex to use.
- Designs available to everyone
The website should be accessible to people with disability. The American with Disability Act or ADA has released the guidelines for school website designs. This should be a top consideration in redesigning your websites. Some schools have received an audit from the Civil Rights Department concerning their websites.
Make sure to check your school website’s status if there are some errors to avoid hassle in the future. Provide a feedback section to know the areas of your website that need improvement. It has been discussed that by January 18, 2018, there will be an AA compliance in which schools who do not comply will receive fines and citations.
- Simple designs
Complex designs are now outpaced by simple and clean designs. These designs are also called flat designs. It started in 2016 and had continuously developed over the years. A successful school website does not overcrowd the homepage with too much design. It should be clean, simple, and present only relevant information. This design should aim for a friendly-user experience.
In addition to making it simple, you can remove the sound of your autoplay videos. There are people who do not want to have audio playing while browsing the Internet. It causes disturbance to their experience. It might also cause issues on American with Disability Act or ADA compliance in the future. It will be best to have an option to turn the sound on or off if the user wants to.
- Parallax scrolling technique
This technique adds depth, color, and dimensions to the websites. This is an effective way of getting your user to engage more on your website. They will have all the control on viewing the features of the website at their own pace.
- Modular design
This is an approach that presents the content of the website in partition or modules. This is effective in optimizing websites to be applicable for all types of device.
- Website speed
Internet users expect your website to load in 3 seconds or less. For example, faster-loading pages appear quickly on newsfeeds of Facebook. Improving your school website speeds will help you gain more data traffic.
Search engine rankings also depend on the page load time of the website. If you improve the website speed, the greater is the possibility of keeping your rank on top. You can boost your website speed by doing the following tips:
- Enhance your website hosting.
- Use images with the right size and dimension.
- Use a tool that optimizes the image but does not alter its quality.
- Use only JPEG files.
- Enhanced typography and full-width imagery
Use large images and fonts for your websites as these will create a huge impact on users. Making it all big but pleasing to the eye will grab the attention of the users. It will reinforce your school branding when used properly.
You can also use gradient imagery for the website. This is a dual tone design that is usually used in backgrounds. This design was off from the trends but is now back to give a more user-friendly experience.
Trends in school websites come and go. You just have to find the best way you can adapt to these changes to have an effective school website.
Do you need to hire a writer for your school website? Would you like to outsource your website design needs? Get the content writing services and website design solutions of iPresence Business Solutions today!
Disclaimer: iPresence Business Solutions is my digital marketing company. We have been helping businesses and digital entrepreneurs with their content writing, search engine optimization, forum marketing, virtual assistance, and website design needs since 2001.