Last year you launched a wonderful, updated website – congratulations!
Your team worked hard to update content, look at various design options, and discuss the best photos. Your website was great, but it has already aged. You guessed it – it is time to begin considering the redesign process!
Absolutely! In order to keep your website looking fresh and up to date schools should be doing a redesign every two years. While the design elements need the most adjustments, it is also a great time to review and update your site map, photos, and content.
The Web Design Trends Evolve
- In Today – Out Tomorrow: Just like fashion changes with the season, web design is constantly evolving and being elevated to a new level. Having long scrolling home pages might be in today, but tomorrow is a different story. In order to have a modern, cutting-edge design, you will need to update the layout and design elements every two years.
- Make Your Best First Impression: Would you wear an old tshirt to an interview? Of course not, if you want the job! Your website is the first impression many prospective families and donors have of your school, so it needs to look professional and modern. When websites look dated, which happens fast, it reflects poorly on the school identity.
Your School Identity Shifts
- Addition or Elimination of Programs: While the mission statement of your school likely will stay consistent, schools are always adding, adjusting or enhancing classes, curriculum, and programs. Are you adding or updating a one to one technology program – your homepage website design should showcase this! Might you be introducing an updated art docent program with parents – it is time to showcase that! People won’t know what your school offers unless you tell them.
- New Teachers: Employee turnover is inevitable, so use the redesign as a chance to update and rearrange your staff page.
- New Facilities: Make sure your redesigned website showcases any new facility projects as well as ones in the works. Websites can be a great way to drive donations for big upcoming projects. Remember, no one will donate if they don’t know the project is on the horizon!
- Showcase Your Awards and Accolades: Do you have new testimonial quotes from families? Did your school recently finish accreditation? Has the school been the recipient of any grants or awards? We teach kids that it is not polite to brag, but on your website the more you promote the success and recognition of the school the more credibility you gain.
The Mobile Experience Changes
- How People View Websites Changes: Every year the percentage of people accessing your website on a mobile device goes up. Every six months the newest, greatest phone or tablet hits the market – your website needs to be able to hold up the ever-changing technology. Review your website analytics as part of your redesign process to make sure your website works for your primary audience.
Your Photos Age Out
- Students Get Older: You guessed it, those kids keep growing! It is unrealistic to remove students who have graduated every year, but if you have photos of high school students who are now in college or elementary students who are now driving cars – it is time to update your photos to reflect the students who comprise your community today.
- Cameras Get Better: The quality of photos being taken, the editing software supporting those images, and the equipment capturing them are always improving. Low-quality images will make a site feel dated very quickly, no matter how cutting-edge the design structure may be. Invest in a professional photographer with each redesign, the resulting crisp, powerful images of your students are worth it!
- ADA Compliance: ADA compliance is a hot issue today as schools are regularly approached by advocacy groups. The requirements to keep your school accessible to all might change tomorrow. Stay on top of the legal ramifications by consulting all compliance legislature during your redesign.
School’s should be looking to update their websites every two years to ensure that their site has a modern design, is easy to view on the latest mobile devices, and properly reflects the community of the school today. Taking the time to refine and polish your school’s online presence is important to making a lasting first impression on potential donors, future parents and alumni.
Let us help you get started on a redesign today!