10 Must-Have Features for School Websites in 2024

Published: June 3, 2024

school website design trends

A well-designed website is crucial for schools. It is the central hub for all school-related information, making it easy for parents, students, and staff to stay connected and informed.

An effective school website enhances communication and engagement. It provides quick access to important updates, events, and resources, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

This article will highlight the top 10 must-have features for school websites in 2024, ensuring your school’s online presence is modern, functional, and impactful.

1: Mobile Responsiveness

It is essential to have a website that works seamlessly on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. With more people accessing the internet on their mobile devices, schools need websites that look and function well on smaller screens.

Mobile responsiveness improves user experience by ensuring visitors can easily navigate the site and find the information they need, no matter their device. It also enhances accessibility, making the website usable for everyone, including parents and students who rely on their phones for quick updates and information.

2: User-Friendly Navigation

Intuitive navigation menus are vital for helping users find information quickly and easily. A well-organised website ensures visitors aren’t frustrated searching for important details.

To achieve this:

  1. Organise content logically by grouping related information.
  2. Use clear, descriptive labels for menu items, and keep the menu structure simple.
  3. Ensure key sections like calendars, news updates, and contact information are easily accessible from the main menu.

This approach enhances the user experience and ensures that parents, students, and staff can quickly find what they need.

3: Secure Portals for Students and Staff

Secure login areas are essential for protecting sensitive information and providing personalised access to school resources. Students and staff need a safe space to log in to view and manage private data.

These secure portals can include features like homework assignments, grade tracking, and internal communications. This allows students to keep track of their progress and access their assignments efficiently. It streamlines communication and administrative tasks for staff, ensuring that everything from lesson plans to student reports is organised and accessible. Secure portals help maintain privacy and improve the efficiency of school operations.

4: Comprehensive CMS

A good CMS is crucial for any school website. School staff can quickly update and manage website content without technical expertise. Teachers and administrators can quickly post news updates, add event details, and upload resources, keeping the site current and relevant.

Having a CMS designed specifically for educational institutions offers additional advantages. These systems often include features tailored to schools, such as integration with student information systems, customisable templates for different types of content, and tools for managing class schedules and staff directories.

5: SEO Optimisation

SEO is crucial for increasing the visibility of your school website. When your site ranks higher in search engine results, it’s easier for parents, students, and the community to find important information about your school.

To optimise your content, use relevant keywords that parents and students might search for, such as “school calendar,” “homework help, or “school news. Write clear and informative meta descriptions for each page to give a snapshot of the content’s topic. Additionally, regularly update your site with fresh content, like news articles and event updates, to keep it relevant and engaging for search engines and users alike.

6: Integrated Calendar System

A dynamic calendar feature informs students, parents, and staff about important dates and events. It ensures everyone stays up-to-date with school activities, from holidays and parent-teacher conferences to sports events and school trips.

Integrating features like reminders and event notifications can further enhance this tool. Parents can receive timely alerts about upcoming events, while students can be reminded of assignment deadlines and exam dates. This improves organisation and fosters better communication within the school community, ensuring no one misses out on important information.

7: Social Media Integration

Linking the school’s social media accounts to the website offers numerous benefits. It allows for real-time updates and provides a platform for sharing news, events, and achievements with the broader community. This integration helps parents and students stay connected and engaged with school activities.

Social media integration also keeps content fresh and dynamic. The website remains current without constant manual updates by automatically displaying recent posts and updates from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This not only enhances community engagement but also showcases the vibrant life of the school to prospective families.

8: Multimedia Galleries

Photo and video galleries showcase school events, achievements, and activities. They provide a visual glimpse into the vibrant school life, making it more appealing to current and prospective families. Students’ participation in various events and activities helps build a sense of community and pride.

Regularly updating these galleries is crucial to keep the website vibrant and engaging. Fresh content captures ongoing activities and encourages visitors to return frequently to see the latest updates. This consistent refreshment of visual content maintains interest and highlights the school’s dynamic environment.

9: Multilingual Support

A translation feature on your school website is crucial for catering to non-English speaking parents and community members. It ensures that everyone can access important information, regardless of language proficiency, making the website more inclusive.

This feature significantly improves communication by breaking down language barriers. Parents can easily understand updates, event details, and resources in their preferred language, which helps them stay engaged and involved in their child’s education. Multilingual support demonstrates the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, fostering a more welcoming and supportive community for all families.

10: SSL Certificates and Security

Website security is paramount, especially for school websites that handle sensitive information. Protecting data like student records, personal details, and internal communications is crucial to maintaining trust and confidentiality.

SSL certificates play a vital role in this protection. They encrypt data transmitted between the user’s browser and the website, ensuring that any information shared remains private and secure. An SSL certificate also provides visual assurance to users, often indicated by a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar, signalling safe browsing. Implementing SSL certificates helps safeguard against data breaches and cyber threats, ensuring a secure online environment for all users.

10 Must-Have Features for School Websites in 2024

A modern school website needs to be mobile responsive, user-friendly, and equipped with secure portals for students and staff. It should feature a comprehensive CMS, be optimised for SEO, and have an integrated calendar system. Social media integration, multimedia galleries, multilingual support, and SSL certificates for security are also essential.

Schools should evaluate their current websites and consider incorporating these must-have features. Doing so will ensure their websites remain competitive, effective, and able to meet the needs of their community in 2024 and beyond.

Get in touch to discuss how School Jotter can help you build the perfect website for your school.