Start with the basics: The site’s purpose and domain name.
Every school has a different commitment to education. Show off what motivates your institution with a school website built and designed by you.
Before you start building your school website, you need to ensure you know why you're creating one. Are you looking to let your community know about everything your school is doing? Or are you more interested in targeting potential students? Perhaps it’s a combination of both. Take some time to think about what you want your website to do for your school. Doing so will help you build a comprehensive, specific site your audience will love.
With your purpose in mind, it’s time to pick a domain name for your school website. You’ll want to choose a domain that includes the name of your school to make it easier for people to find it through an Internet search. However, including your school’s mascot or motto can also make it stand out in your audience’s mind. Whatever you choose, be sure that it’s simple, easy to remember, and catchy.
Select a website builder.
No matter what the purpose of your school website is, you’ll want to pick a website builder that allows you to upload and update content without hassle. Some website platforms include a simple, easy-to-use functionality with customizable templates and a variety of plugins. If you’re looking for extra features (such as the ability to add an eCommerce store), be sure your website builder comes equipped with them. You'll also want to look at other school websites to figure out what website platform and design elements work best for school sites. This technique will help you create a school website that stands out from the crowd.
Inform your audience.
A great school website will keep parents, students, and community abreast of the school and its activities. Below are some suggestions of what you can write about to keep your audience informed and connected.
Share your purpose.
You’ve got a reason behind why you do what you do at your school, so share that with your audience. Include a section or page on your school website that outlines the purpose, mission and goals of your school and how your school is accomplishing them. Including some videos or photos of your school participating in activities or your teachers teaching a class is a great way to show your readers just how dedicated you are to your purpose.
A glimpse at the curriculum.
Give your readers a peek into the educational material that your school uses. Dedicate a page of your school website to your academic programs and what students can expect to learn in each one. Take it a step further and provide a closer look at every subject. Maybe your eighth graders are reading The Grapes of Wrath in their English classes, or high school seniors can now take AP calculus. Whether you choose a high-level approach or a more granular one, your viewers will love getting a closer look at the school’s academics.
If you’re creating a school website for a college or university, provide your potential students with an overview of the programs and majors your institution offers. Include a list of all the classes offered for each major and the objectives of each. Potential students will appreciate the extra information as they determine if your school is the right fit for them.
Attract new students.
There are a lot of perks in attending your school, so why not use your school website to persuade potential students? Consider creating a page on your site that’s specifically for potential students or parents.
For higher education institutions, provide a glimpse into your school’s campus life and housing. Perhaps you want to feature your affordable tuition rates. Whatever sets your school apart, make sure it’s visible upon first glance. Readers will love getting a first-hand look at what kind of education and lifestyle they can expect at your school.
If you’re a primary or secondary school, highlight your college prep classes or advanced programs. Show how dedicated your school is to giving students the best education out there, no matter the grade level.
Showcase your educators.
A lot of what happens at your school wouldn't be possible without your fantastic faculty. Give them the recognition they deserve with a faculty section on your school website. This page could include an entire list of your faculty, yearbook photos, the subjects they teach and their contact information. Your faculty will love the recognition, and potential students or parents will enjoy getting to know your faculty before classes begin.
Highlight extracurricular activities.
Whether it’s artistic expression or athletic competition, your students want to see how they can get involved in your school outside the classroom. Provide your readers with a list of all the student clubs, after-school programs and athletic options available at your school. Include a description of club activities and how students can join. Include links to sign-up forms or the contact information of the people in charge of the different programs. Current and future students will appreciate seeing how they can get involved outside of class.
Getting involved outside the classroom isn’t just for students. There are plenty of ways for parents to get involved—especially in primary schools. Your school website should also include ways parents can help out at school, either through the Parent Teacher Association or other committees.
There’s always something going on at your school. Make sure people know about it by including a calendar that lists all of the upcoming school activities. Give students and parents an easy way to see important dates in a single place with a simple calendar that includes sports events, club activities, assemblies, graduation dates and more.
Events aren’t the only newsworthy thing happening at your school: Annual awards, campus expansions, new programs and classes—the list goes on and on. Alert readers to these exciting events by featuring them on your school website.
Add a blog.
Creating a blog on your site allows faculty and staff to share informal updates on the latest developments in their department, new teaching techniques or how to help students succeed. Your blog can also be a fantastic place for your students to get involved. Create a collaborative environment and ask students to write about the activities happening at school or about student successes.
Advertise career opportunities.
As your school grows, so will your need for talented, dedicated teachers. What better way to find these individuals than by advertising employment opportunities on your school website? Include open positions and instructions on how to apply to help attract talented teachers who can provide students with a high-quality education.
Guide students through the admission process.
When people realize how great your school is, they may want to start the enrollment process. To help them get started, include information about your enrollment or admission process. Including step-by-step guides or checklists will help students and parents know what they need to do to get into your school. Plus, they’ll love the extra guidance and support.
Connect through social media.
Give your audience a way to connect with you online. Allow readers to follow you on social media by including links to your school's social media profiles. Allowing easy access ensures your readers to stay up-to-date on everything happening at your school as they scroll through Facebook or Twitter.
On each social media profile, make sure to include your school’s primary phone number or email address so readers can contact you directly if they have questions about your school.
Get your school website off the ground.
The below resource pages can give you more ideas for growing your school website and effectively reaching out to your target audience.