Mobile-First Design: Adapting Your School Website on the Mobile

Published: December 7, 2023

The Keys To Engagement And Connection

When you want your students, their parents, and your alumni to be engaged and connected to your school, there is one key step you need to take. You have to prepare your school’s website to be a mobile-friendly school website design.

More and more people are switching from laptops and PCs and going to their mobile phones for internet searches. Mobile phones are convenient and easy to use and almost everyone has one.

This upgraded mobile-friendly design should also help you with SEO rankings. It is vital when you want great communication with parents, students, and alumni.

What Is Mobile-First Design For A School Website?

When website developers design for PCs first, it is called backward design thinking. This type of design effort does not encourage the designer to focus or create innovations that would work on mobile phones.

To do a mobile-first design for a school website, the web designer first designs the website for mobile phones and then moves on to the bigger electronic devices like notebooks, laptops, and PCs.

This technique is designed to help designers to focus more on what they are doing and be more creative with their innovations. With a large number of the population using mobile phones, schools that want to upgrade older websites or build new ones should consider this newer technique.

Why Is Mobile-First Design Important For Schools?

There are a lot of benefits a school will receive from doing their website in the mobile-first order. Here are just a few of the most important benefits:

1. There Is An Improved User Experience

When you design for mobile phones first, you are providing the mobile phone internet user with better optimization as well as a well-thought-out experience.

This helps capture the attention of those using their mobile phones to peruse your website. The improved and easier-to-use experience keeps them onsite longer.

2. Accessibility

With a mobile-friendly school website design parents and students can access the school’s website from just about anywhere they happen to be. Plus, you are broadening the target audience as you include disabled and other mobile phone users who may not have access to a PC.

Also, the features like voice commands help drivers and other busy people to turn unproductive time into productive time using voice commands.

3. A Better Website Performance

The better you design your website for mobile phone use, the better the experience for the mobile phone user. Navigation buttons will be easier to use and the website’s loading speed will be more attractive to mobile phone users.

A mobile-first design does help your SEO ranking.

4. Scalability

When you do a mobile-first design, you will find that it is easier to make adjustments for larger screens like PC monitors. Also, it is just easier to add website elements to a PC than it is to remove them to fit a mobile screen.

How To Adapt Your School Website For Mobile Devices

1. Optimize Your Website For Loading Speed

It has been proven that if the web page loading speed is improved by even as little as 0.01%, conversion rates go up by almost 10%. While that applies to retail applications, the improved speed will help your school’s website visitors be in a better frame of mind when they communicate with you.

Loading speed improves the user experience and helps them get to the information they are looking for faster. You want to make sure your website loads up as quickly as possible to keep your students and parents happier.

2. Use A Responsive Design

If you are not sure what a responsive design is, this is a design that automatically detects the device the visitor is using and adapts the page to fit their smaller screen.

You want a responsive design as search engines like Google give higher rankings to websites with this type of design. If you want to be seen, this is one way that helps you get noticed.

Plus, the responsive design integrates with other features on your website quite well. This adds to a seamless user experience that benefits everyone.

3. Keep Your Navigation Simple And Intuitive

Ease of use and a good user experience depends on your navigational design. If buttons cannot be found or touched, then the user will not have a great experience with your website.

To create a great mobile user experience, you have to make sure the navigation is easy to find, easy to use, and very simple to understand. Keep it simple applies to this issue and it will help with your mobile website design.

4. Use Large Fonts And Buttons

A very important topic as smaller fonts and small buttons make it extremely difficult to read your website as well as do any navigation throughout it. It is a nightmare to try to read very tiny print so when you design your website to be mobile friendly, use as large a font that works.

The same goes for your navigational buttons. You do not want them so small that the user cannot use their fingers to push. Nor should they be so small that your website visitor pushes two at the same time. Have your designer select the right sizes for both items.

5. Make Your Content Easy To Read And Scan

When it comes to school websites, you are not trying to impress parents, etc., with your technological know-how. You want them to get the information they are looking for fast, simple and have it easy to scan. Making the site easy to read achieves those goals

Some Additional Words

When you have decided to create or upgrade your school’s website to make it a mobile-friendly school website design, contact us. We have years of experience in experience in web design and can easily do the mobile-first website design for your school. Call us today to see how we can improve your school’s website.

Top 5 social media tips to focus on your school

Published: November 28, 2022

Social media tips for schools

In the digital age, social media has emerged as a significant player in building your school’s marketing strategy.

Establishing a power packed digital presence becomes imperative for any school that wants to reach out to new parents, highlight what’s best about the school and convey the institution’s key values and ethos.

If you’re merely posting pictures at random without a concrete plan of action, you’re yet to fully utilise the power of social media to your advantage.

When most of your time and effort are dedicated to running your school, managing Instagram and Facebook may seem too time-consuming and burdensome.

Still wondering how to begin and make things better?

We’ve listed down five ways in which your school can ace the social media game.

5 social media tips to focus on your school

Social media can do a lot of work for you if you know how to harness its potential the right way. The latest social media tools along with the right content expands your school’s reach without overwhelming you with too many technicalities.

Let us walk you through a few social media tips that’ll help keep the focus on your school.

1. Give your audience something that they love 

There’s enough negativity floating all around. You certainly don’t want to add to it through social media posts. Your school’s page should be an epitome of fun, positivity and learning and the posts should reflect that spirit.

Help your institution develop a unique voice, one that’ll draw people’s attention with its distinct appeal and subtle marketing. Give your audience something that’ll compel them to click on “like”, “love” and “share”. Step up your creativity quotient and come up with fresh, original and witty posts. 

2. Reflect on your brand 

You’ve worked hard to create a brand value for your school. Now is the time to let that brand’s aura and goodwill shine through. Use social media to showcase your school’s key values and its USPs.

This will go a long way in bringing in an audience for your content and building a relationship of trust with them. It’s not just the quality of your posts that makes a difference. What matters most is how you engage with people on social media.

3. Never take it as the only way to reach the public  

While social media is an effective medium to create a wider outreach, it’s not the only way of reaching out to your target audience. Sure, its popularity has skyrocketed in the post-Covid era.

Not everyone is active on social media. In order to achieve success, explore other avenues such as newsletters, emails, publications and many more. 

4. Use unique visuals to captivate your audience 

Let those unique visuals and eye-catching videos highlight the distinctive character of your school. When a post is accompanied by some interesting visual reference, it drives home your point more effectively. Such posts find huge favour with social media algorithms and the public likes them too!

Try video content to generate better engagement and attract attention much quicker than static posts. Get creative with Instagram reels, stories, YouTube shorts – there’s no dearth of options on social media when it comes to content creation. 

5. Utilise as readers for bigger announcements 

You don’t have to reveal every bit of information on your school’s social media handle. Facilitate interactions that are beyond the digital space. You can use social media for teaser announcements for big events. Such posts are informative in nature, notifying your audience about the date, time, venue and purpose of the event but don’t reveal anything else. This heightens the curiosity and encourages people to join.


Several factors contribute towards carving out a strong social media presence for any school. It may seem like a daunting task but with the right guidance and appropriate tools, there’s nothing much to worry about. After all, social media is inarguably the most potent channel for connecting with your audience and giving your school’s reputation a massive boost.

How to personalise your school brand with a school website

Published: June 28, 2022

Branding refers to the “image” associated with your product or organisation and how this “image” is strategically defined in the eyes of your target audience. Anything that makes your product unique forms a part of its brand. This includes the company’s name, logo, tagline, and website.

Now, how is branding related to schools? Well, irrespective of the industry type, a strong brand is an immensely valuable asset.

It draws attention to the amazing work your school is doing and enables parents to know what to expect from the institute. They can make an informed decision based on authentic information conveyed through smart branding. 

Let’s glance over some of the benefits of school branding.

●  Allows your uniqueness to shine through

●  Instils trust and confidence

●  Creates a sense of belonging

●  Allows students and staff to forge an emotional bond with your school

●  Marketing becomes seamless and organic

●  Attracts the most competent staff

Let us take a look at some of the top elements of a school website brand.

Top 7 elements of a school website brand

School websites encapsulate almost everything one needs to know about a school. They’re a storehouse of information, performing multiple tasks and catering to families, prospective staff, as well as meeting Ofsted guidelines.

Here are the top 7 elements for creating an successful brand that can tilt the scale in favour of your school:

1.   Brand Promise: Stand by what you say 

A brand promise states the school’s purpose in no uncertain terms. It serves as a guide for an effective marketing strategy and ensures you’re accountable for delivering a message that is at par with the customer experience.

Ensure your promises are genuine and backed by consistent performance. If there’s a discrepancy between what you promise and what you eventually deliver, your brand’s popularity will take a hit.

2.   Positioning Statement: When words ring true  

Often, it’s the short and simple phrases that linger for a long time. Trust those gripping taglines to sum up your school’s brand promise in the most memorable way!

Crisp and concise at two to six words, these statements resonate with prospective and existing families likewise. Besides “sounding good”, the taglines should be in sync with your school’s ideals and principles.

3.   Visual Identity: Seeing is believing

More recognition equates greater trust. Thus, elevate your brand stature by creating a strong visual identity with appropriate logos and colour palette.

This is one investment you won’t regret. Make your branding style guide easily accessible to staff and faculty through the school’s website. Back it up with a list of do’s and don’ts so that your brand’s image remains untarnished.

4.   Differentiators: What makes you different?

Besides the visual differentiators, try relying on quick facts, statistics, and infographics to put across your points. Visitors would be at ease recalling key facts from a sea of information. Sprinkle these statistics on the oft-visited pages of your website and watch the impact they create.

5.   Personality: Let yourself be heard

What you say and how you say it makes a lot of difference. As your brand is the truest reflection of who you are, be mindful of the tone and tenor of the language used to represent your school in the public domain.

Adhere to grammar rules and ensure there’s consistency in terminology and degree of formality. Different people from different backgrounds may contribute to your website’s content. The overall language should be aligned with the brand’s values and promises.

6.   Brand Communications: Convey and Connect

For communications to be effective and impactful, try adopting a multi-layered approach. Reach out to parents, students and your staff through newsletters, emails, contests, banners, notices on school boards. Keep an eye on details to ensure every time you communicate, it becomes a natural extension of the brand’s core values.

7.   Brand Story: Stories that stay with you

Once you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to put out poignant stories that’ll generate positive buzz and bring in the right families. Here, testimonials come in handy.

A truly heart-felt testimonial has the power to appease anxious parents and affirm their faith in the school. Brand stories encompass newsletters, blogs, social media posts and almost anything you share online and offline.


A focused and consistent approach to school branding displays a degree of professionalism and shows how seriously the school pursues its standards of excellence.

With the right branding strategy, your school can stand out from its competitors and make a lasting impression in the minds of impressionable young kids and their concerned parents. 

Why is Your School Website More Important Than Ever in 2022?

Published: April 28, 2022

For the longest time, websites for schools and educational institutions were more or less a place to put all the basic information about it. They were rarely a functional tool in the school’s arsenal that could help them much. 

With the rise of online teaching in the wake of the pandemic, websites are more important than ever in 2022.

Today, they are flexible, agile platforms that keep everyone from pupils to their parents in the loop and enhance the learning experience of students.

Let’s find out what wonders having a functioning website can do for your school.

Your school website — an essential marketing tool 

In the age of the internet, everything is online — people, businesses, offices — you name it. Your school website is often going to be the first contact people make with your school. Anyone who is interested in it would be going to the website to learn more about your school.

The website is an essential marketing tool to help you create a noteworthy first impression. You can immediately draw potential pupils and their parents by making enrollment easier. They can connect with you as well as learn more about you in detail.

As a website makes it easier to contact you, it directly impacts your admissions. It also helps in running the school and keeps existing students in the loop.

Benefits of having a school website 

Having a website for your school is a necessity now. It offers many, many benefits in the digital age. Here are some of the most prominent ones to consider:

Showcase your school online 

Websites are a virtually endless space to showcase your school’s accomplishments in a permanent way. Whatever your school has achieved — be it trophies or smiling students — it can be front and centre on your website.

It creates an immediate impact on the visitor. More importantly, It creates transparency about what a day in the life of your school looks like. You can connect with your community and show them what your school excels at.

Implement a long-term marketing shift

Many traditional schools are understandably intimidated by the idea of creating an online presence. Your website can be the first step in that direction. Social media, blogs, and newsletters can come after you get the hang of running the website.

In fact, your website is what every social media post and blog post would link back to. It helps in creating a seamless marketing shift to the online space.

Attract new students or prospective parents

Often being the first point of contact for potential students, websites play a huge role in attracting them to your school. They can see and understand what your school is like and if it is something they would like to be a part of. 

They can also research extensively and clear their doubts before they apply for enrollment, something that may not be that effective in physical settings. 

Allows open communication 

Users can find exactly what they are looking for on your website. You can initiate open, honest communication with them on topics of their interest. You may dedicate a page for forums where your community can interact in a transparent way with each other. 

Hire the right staff

Websites don’t just help you attract prospective students, they also help you hire better. People wanting to apply for various positions in your institution will get to know it through your website. It will give them. A glimpse of what working with you will be like. 

Way forward 

School websites are growing into a more functional role with the rise of online teaching. A practical website can not only be a showcase of what your school stands for, but also help in enhancing the learning experience of students as a whole. 

The way forward is to keep enhancing the websites to be helpful tools for the school, its pupils, and their parents. Focus on providing a comprehensive experience to the users and frequently updating the website to keep everyone in the loop. 

How to Improve the Structure of Your School Website Navigation

Published: March 31, 2022

Your school website is the primary source of information regarding everything for parents, students, and future employees.  As a web design company one of the most common things you are expected to hear when taking up a school website design project is that it should be ‘easy to navigate’. 

But the most common question here is how do we create a site that is ‘easy to navigate’? Let’s explore a few things you need to take care of when designing the navigation structure of your site. 


1. Keep the design simple

As a designer it’s totally fine to come up with unique designs that can pleasantly surprise the users. But it is always safe to play safe with the navigation structure. If the users take too long to figure out what to do next — for example, struggling to locate the search button or figure out the Submit button for the Donation program — chances are they will abandon your site never to return again. 

2. Restrict the number of choices

When users look at your site menu, they should be able to easily skim through all the options available on your site. If users are overwhelmed with too many options and they’re not able to make a choice, their only option would be to leave your site. Hence it is recommended that you stick to eight or fewer menu options when designing your site. In case you have a number of buttons available, restrict yourself to include only three or four buttons. If the other departments force their choice on including every single detail on the header, take a firm stand. 

3. Limit the number of clicks 

When designing the site navigation, make sure to use dropdown menus under the main navigation menu. This will help the users to directly navigate to the page of their choice. The best part is that the users will also be able to navigate to a section that may be nested deep within without clicking on every single page. Another popular way of organizing the navigation structure of your site is by using a hamburger or navicon menu on the desktop that emphasizes the key items on the site. With this design structure, users find it easier to locate the deeply nested pages by simply hovering over the main page menu. 

4. Be consistent 

Your visitors, especially ones with disabilities, expect your site to be predictable. If the navigation is consistent across the site, it makes it easier for everyone to locate specific items within the navigation structure. When designing the navigation structure of your site, make sure you use menus and other navigation mechanisms that are consistent across all the pages. With items that are repeated in the same relative order ensure that you place the menus in the same place on every page. 

5. Ensure mobile accessibility

While designing the site, you need to make sure users are able to access all the pages, including the deeply nested ones, as easily on their mobile phones as their desktops. The most important aspect of working on a mobile-friendly navigation is to work with a company that understands the mobile-first design. This is important as the designer needs to take the different device experiences into consideration while working on the layout and navigation. 

6. Offer guidance to the users 

To make your site navigation successful, make sure you offer enough guidance by including featured links that you would like the users to visit. Including clear call-to-action instructions throughout the site works really well when you want users to take any predefined action, such as submitting a form or clicking a link to explore more.

To sum up 

Understandably, the requirements for each school are different. There are additional considerations that need to be taken care of by the design team while deciding on the navigation structure of the school website. We believe that following the guidelines mentioned above will be a great starting point for you. 

Best School Website Designs of 2021

Published: February 14, 2022

School websites have transitioned from being luxury to a necessity. Today all schools need a good, functional website to reach out to more students and parents. At School Jotter, we continue helping schools with amazing website designs among other things.

Today we have collated some of the best school websites, as rated by our team members. We hope the list will help other schools with website ideas and inspirations. Without wasting more time, let’s see which schools have made it to the list.

Copley Junior School

Copley Junior School

Copley Junior School’s website uses a simple yet vibrant design that brings out the essence the school wants to convey. The text and images chosen are bright and bold, which highlights the playful nature of the school. Using the school google across the page is a fresh move that brings out the beauty of the web design.

However, it is important to note that Copley Junior School does not try to pull something daring with its website. It is a simple and functional website that gets the job done. The home screen has links to all resources that parents and students can need.

According to our Delivery Team Leader Charlotte, this is our best school website design of 2021. 

Christ Church C of E Primary School

Christ Church C of E Primary School

Christ Church C of E Primary School has done a great job with their school website with the use of bright and bold colours. It is more of a minimalistic website with few images and more text. However, the text is big and bold which makes the webpage look vibrant. 

The events section is very legible and understandable, making it one of the best sections of the webpage. It is a clean and simple school website that gets the job done.

Sam, our Education Manager, thinks that this is our best school website design in 2021. 

Holy Trinity Primary School

Holy Trinity Primary School

The school website of Holy Trinity Primary School is one of the cleanest and most legible school websites we have seen in 2021. The most notable component of the website design is colour coordination. The pictures complement the background and foreground colours very well. It has a clean and organised menu that answers all possible queries parents and students can have. The events and news sections on the main page make the website even better.

Our Delivery Support Technician Liam M feels that this is our best school website design of 2021. 

Bishop’s Waltham Junior School

Bishop’s Waltham Junior School

If you want to see a great example of a neat and tidy school website, check out the  Bishop’s Waltham Junior School’s website. It does not go crazy with colours or designs and keeps things nice and neat. 

A notable feature of this website is the use of interactive YouTube links. By bringing these small factors into their websites, schools create a much better experience for visitors who want to know more about the school. On top of that, the bulletin space enhances the appearance of the entire main page.

Liam J, our Account Manager, nominates this website as our best school website in 2021. 

Cullingworth Village Primary School

Cullingworth Village Primary School

Using the Lynx theme has been a gamechanger for the school website of Cullingworth Village Primary School. The website uses a red colour scheme which looks very attractive. Apart from that, the choice of fonts makes it ideal for kids and their parents. There are a bunch of photos of kids which add to the charm of the website.

Our Head of Service Delivery and Support Arthur also has his kids’ pictures on the school website. He feels that this is our best school website he has seen in 2021. 

Upper Batley High School

Upper Batley High School

If anything defines a modern and sleek website, Upper Batley High School’s website does. It uses a neat colour scheme focusing on blue and white. While the design is minimalist, it does not leave out any important information. The menu is easy to use, and there are many pictures that highlight what life in the school is like. All accomplishments of the school are visible neatly at the bottom of the main page. It is undoubtedly one of the most attractive school websites of 2021.

Our Account Manager Lawrence feels that this is our best school website in 2021.


School websites are very important for any educational institution that wants to be more accessible to parents and students. However, some school websites fail to live up to mark. Either they clutter it with too much information or miss out on crucial resources.

From an educational perspective, school websites have a distinct purpose. All the schools we mentioned tick the boxes that our experts look for.

3 Reasons to Consider Professional Photography for Your School Website

Published: October 19, 2021

Since the pandemic, visits to schools for prospective families have been minimized.  These might continue again in the future, but there may still be many people who are wary of visiting lots of schools in their local area.

Rather than visiting schools, families are now deciding on the potential school for their child: predominantly online. It’s no surprise that your website has to do the heavy lifting when it comes to communicating the value of your school.

Photographs and videography are the first impressions a school can make on its potential suitability for families and students.  

Visuals are hard-wired into our brains as humans. People are 55% more likely to remember information when it is paired with the related image. Research shows we process images 60,000 times faster than text. What do you think of first when I say “Tesla”, not its features but the car itself (or in the same cases, I made you remember Elon Musk!)

If you want to make a strong first impression and create a deeper emotional impact; hiring a professional photographer is a necessity. 

You have to accept the fact that your school is a brand which attracts the right families. Photography and videography can assist in getting your message out to them!

We spend a lot of money creating quality education for students, meet-ups, and professional training for teachers and mentors. Why do we overlook to showcase the value we contribute to the lives of our students?

Here are three important reasons to quit wasting your time and opt for professional photography and videography right away!


  1. Photography showcases authenticity

We know the Friday drawing classes are for creativity and fun. And, students love each bit of it. A trained photographer, like a trained teacher, will do their best to get that message across. They will help you capture the natural spirit of the school and facilities. Moreover, a photographer who is used to working with kids, has the right skills to make them feel comfortable and at ease.

It’s a great way to show prospective families how much students and teachers love their time together. Instead of telling them in three long paragraphs about the quality of life you provide for your students, it would be more effective if they could see it in a one-minute video!


  1. It easily demonstrate your values

Photographs and videos not only “showcase” the activities students and teachers are doing, but they will also demonstrate how happy students “feel” while doing those activities.

It will help you capture their excitement, as well as the bond they have with their teachers or classmates. This simple image will demonstrate the ambience of your school!

Pro-tip: Most photographers avoid shooting on special occasions. Doing a shoot on teacher’s day, for example, would not be the best choice. Since it will not help them capture students their true selves.


  1. Photographs will help you tell the story of your school

When you think about your own school, What is the first thing you remember? The classroom, the building right? Because places hold history.

Every school and campus is different and has a unique story to tell. Whether your school has that one wall painted in blue or its culture is centered around history or modern art. What makes it stand out?

Photography and videography will evoke the personality of the school. This a low key method of demonstrating how the faculty and students are part of this unique environment. It will always remain part of their personal history. 

Pro-Tip (part 2): Photographs are not only a vital aspect of your website, but they also play a role in your branding. Documents, newsletters, invitations, and school events should all have the same brand consistency.


We’ve learned the value of professional photography. Now, the next step is to find the right photographer for the job.

And, let’s be honest, this could be quite a bit of a task. Finding a talented photographer that can accurately capture the soul of your institution, meet your deadlines, and stay inside your budget is no easy task! 

You can go through 1000 portfolios and spend your valuable time figuring out the right photographer. Or you can ask our experts at School Jotter!

Being an educational organization and having designed and delivered over 6,500 school websites to our customers, we are committed to find the best fit for your school.

Reach out to us today for your school’s brighter future tomorrow!

10 Design Mistakes to Avoid on Your School’s Website

Published: October 1, 2021

Did you know it takes about 0.05 seconds for a user to determine whether they choose to stay on, or leave your website? You heard it right! 

Though it’s a common saying, “do not judge a book by its cover”, when it comes to your website design, it is almost always subjected to an extreme level of snap judgment that may influence any perceptions of credibility.

If you are new to website design or are unsure about what will make an impact and help to increase parental engagement for your school’s website, here are some basic design mistakes that you should avoid.


1. Using stock photos

Photography is one of the most critical elements of good school website design. Using stock photos or bad quality images can dramatically impact the value associated with your school website. If you intend to use stock photos at all, then make sure they are of high quality and realistically express the emotions you have in mind.

2. Too many menu items

Researchers have concluded that when too many menus or options are given to users, the human mind tends to get confused and is not able to take the required action. Not something you want to happen with your school website.

For example, if your website has too many menus on multiple parts of your web page or multiple dropdowns under each heading, it is less likely that your user, in this case, the students or parents, will find the information they need. In such cases, the user will quickly skim through the menus or sections and will immediately leave the page if they cannot locate the appropriate information.

Related to menu items, there is another design mistake that often needs the designer’s attention — invisible navigation menus. If the visual cues are missing from the breadcrumbs, your user may struggle to find where exactly they are on the website or where they want to go next.  


3. Long pages

A school website serves many audiences — alumni, teachers, current parents, students, and prospective parents. The competing needs of the different types of audience compel many schools to overload their website with too much information that often extends to several pages and needs to be scrolled to access the complete information. This often leads to the parents missing out on critical information and causing a lot of confusion.

When building pages on your website, you need to use the most relevant and important information that must be conveyed and offer an option to either download a PDF for more information or contact the school to have queries resolved.


4. Keeping old / no longer relevant content

Continuing from the above point, keeping content that could be archived is one critical mistake website admins often make.  Content should be focused primarily on the current requirements of the target audience. Other information, for example, news and updates dating back several years, doesn’t hold relevance for current parents and should be removed and updated from time to time. 


5. Not being mobile responsive

According to Statista, until January 2021, the total number of active mobile internet users in the UK was approximately 65.32 million.

The most common mistake made by many designers is that they design a school website keeping in mind only the desktop version and bringing in the mobile version as an afterthought. Clearly, if you do not design a website keeping the mobile view in mind, you’re definitely ignoring a major portion of the audience and site traffic.

Instead, you should evenly weigh your desktop and mobile view considerations from the start of the project, this will definitely improve the user experience on your school website. Even the new mobile-friendly algorithm from Google provides an additional boost in your website rankings if it is mobile-friendly.


6. An old design

School website design has moved on a lot in the last few years. Ordinary home pages are oh-so-boring and outdated. Some designers also make the mistake of working on the design and the website copy separately. Designing the website first or creating the copy? This is kind of that world’s chicken and egg kind of question — who came first?

When looking for a design, make sure you choose something that stays relevant to the times and choose a theme template that has a modern look and feel. Making the site effective is more important than just focusing on the beauty aspect of the site. Text-heavy pages are a big no-no and over usage of graphics isn’t recommended either.

Another advantage of modern themes is that they also come with user-friendly navigation which helps both the parents and students to easily access information without worrying about what to click next.


7. Image resolutions too high or too low

Photos or images are an integral part of the website design process but if the image resolution is too high or too low, that can have an opposite impact on the user experience. 

When uploading images to your site, you should always look at the pixel dimensions. For a horizontal image, you should use at least 1024 pixels and the standard resolution for web images, also known as screen resolution, should be 72PPI. 


8. Too many images in slideshows

You might have seen many websites that have attractive images as slide shows or carousels, they might look really appealing, but they can detract from the crucial information you want your website users to find.

The Usability Guru, Jakob Nielsen, performed a test on a couple of users where he asked them to spot a particular deal on washing machines which was mentioned in one of the most prominent slides on a site – due to the number of slideshow images, most of the users missed that information. Thereafter, he concluded that image carousels get ignored. Notre Dame also performed a similar test and the result got them 1% action only on the first slide.

Even in the case of school websites, parents or students really do not have sufficient time to scroll through hundreds of images to find one specific piece of information. 


9. Avoid bright or hard to read colors for text

As rightly said by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”

Some of the most common accessibility mistakes that you can make when choosing a website design include background and font colour combinations, not providing a visual focus on certain elements on the website, missing alt text on images, or including link text that does not provide sufficient detail.

When you choose your next website design, pick a company that has incorporated web accessibility in its platform.


10. Overuse of scrolling text and animations

When the question of adding animations to website design comes, contemporary users like you might instantly like the idea of seeing some movement on the website and hence adding animations. Now if the animations are user-triggered then it does a good job in bringing in the desired impact. But using too many animations or movements could negatively impact the functionality of the website by slowing it down, and especially so when you open it on your mobile devices.

Again, additional and unintentional horizontal scrollbars that often pop up in otherwise responsive websites can also ruin the look and feel of the website and can slow it down tremendously.


Final thoughts

While designing a school website, it is critical to always keep your target audience and brand image in mind in every step of the design process. If you can reconcile the two, you will have a beautiful product that will be loved by all.

Designing a school website or any other educational software undoubtedly requires thorough expertise and relevant experience and with School Jotter guiding you every step of the way, you can get your website or app up in no time. Contact us right away to discuss how we can help you bring your vision to life.

Why you need a mobile-friendly school website

Published: June 21, 2021

Ensuring your school’s website is mobile-friendly is more important than ever for the new academic year.  But what does that actually mean, why does it matter and how can you get it for your school?

What is a mobile-friendly website?

Making your site-mobile friendly simply means ensuring that your existing website will shrink down when it’s viewed on a mobile-device, e.g. a smartphone or tablet. All important information, contact info, key pages, images and even videos or animations, should be easily readable in this smaller format, and your design should translate well to mobile too.

Why is a mobile-friendly website important for schools?

More searches on mobile:

With searches on mobile devices having overtaken desktop for many years now, you want to make sure that all-important information about your school, whether for existing parents, or potential new families, is all available with ease.

Visibility on search engines:

For the last few years Google’s search algorithms have given great prominence to sites which are mobile-friendly, so a mobile-friendly web design could mean you appear higher in search results. This could be particularly important at this time of year, as parents are potentially looking for schools to send their children to. 

How can I check if my school’s website is mobile-friendly?

Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test is the quickest and easiest way to see if Google considers your web design to be suitable for mobile users. You simply enter your web address, and within a few moments Google will run a test on your site and present you with your results. Your website will be determined to be mobile-friendly (or not) and you will be given additional resources and information to learn more about the subject.

In addition to this it’s also worth taking a look at the website yourself on your own device, and consider, can you see and read all of your important information clearly.

What if my school failed the mobile-friendly test?

At this stage it’s important for you to speak to your website developers. If you haven’t had a new design for several years, then you should seriously consider investing in one to help make it easier for parents to see all the good things your school does.

Depending on the complexity of the design you want, a new website can take anywhere from just a few days, to several months to complete, but moving forwards, you should have a website that is much more accessible for more people.

If you’d like to find out more about a mobile-friendly website for your school

Our team of experts would be happy to help.  Contact us and a member of our team will call you back.

Accessibility Requirements for School Websites and Mobile Apps

Published: May 5, 2021

Since 23rd of September 2020 all schools should have implemented the accessibility requirements for public sector body websites, detailed in the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

If you’re not sure your school’s website and mobile app meets these accessibility requirements it can sound like a daunting task to address. But it really needn’t be, read on to find out more.

What are the requirements for?

Simply put, the requirements are there to make sure that your website is accessible for as many people as possible, including those with impaired vision, motor difficulties, cognitive impairments or learning difficulties, deafness, or impaired hearing.

If you’ve already worked through and met each and every Principle in the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard, then your content will already be considered accessible, but what do you need to ensure you have done if not?

Meeting the requirements

Full guidance on everything you need to put into practice can be found in the Government’s guidance on understanding accessibility requirements for public sector websites and apps, but there are some key highlights:

  • Ensure that there are alternatives for non-text content, for example ‘alt text’ descriptions on images
  • Provide text transcripts for audio and provide captions for video
  • Make sure your content is structured logically and can be navigated by a screen reader
  • Use text colours that can be read clearly against the background colour
  • Ensure your content is easy to read and in ‘plain English’, with short sentences
  • Make sure every feature can be used at increased font sizes up to 200% and ensure that text flows into a single column when it’s increased by 400%
  • Ensure your website design isn’t restricted to a specific display orientation, e.g. landscape – a responsive website should ensure that this isn’t the case


What else do you need to be aware of?

Primary and secondary schools, plus nurseries are partially exempt from the accessibility guidelines, so there are some things you might not need to fix, including:

  • Pre-recorded video recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
  • Live audio and video
  • PDFs or other documents published before September 2020 – unless users need them to use a service, for example a form that lets you request school meal preferences
  • Maps – but you’ll need to provide essential information in an accessible format, such as an address
  • Third party content that’s under someone else’s control if you did not pay for it or develop it yourself

Full guidance on exemptions can be found under the Government’s guidelines.

What about an accessibility statement?

An accessibility statement is an essential for partially exempt organisations and handily there is a sample accessibility statement within the guidance, which you can copy and complete for your school’s website.

If you’re looking for a new school website that can help you to meet the latest accessibility guidelines then please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.