Every school and school district website we’ve completed had its own unique characteristics. But there has been one common denominator to all of these projects: they all started with either too many pages or too much content. Or both.
How did that happen? Over time a website becomes a repository for every new program, every new teacher introduction, and all sorts of additions that go up without considering how that change impacts the rest of the site.
And too often, items intended as a temporary add-on become permanent, because no one remembers to take them down.
Before long, some schools wind up situations where content such as art and music programs is listed on several pages, when they should all be gathered onto one page so they can easily be reviewed by students and parents.
By reorganizing content and eliminating redundant content, we often eliminate dozens, if not hundreds of pages, from the sites we create – without eliminating any essential information.
While going full Marie Kondo on your school site is not specifically expressed in our proposal, it may be a necessary step toward achieving your goals - and that starts with the home page.
“I see the items about the bake sale, the basketball team’s win and the academic excellence award – but where’s your address?”
The home page is where many of your website visitors will land first – and at some schools they’ll see a page so crowded with news and announcements that visitors won’t be able to find the information they need. It’s especially frustrating on a mobile device, where the clutter will look even more rampant.
What really needs to be on your home page? We’ll provide a design that will accommodate all the essentials – contact information, signature programs, enrollment information, upcoming holidays and featured events – while still leaving room for letting visitors know what makes your school special. Superfluous content can at your discretion be relocated or deleted, which will do wonders for your bounce rate (that’s how Google measures visitors who click on your home page, and then click off the site without visiting any other pages).
We’ll start this process by asking you which questions you field most often from parents and students and others in the community – those are the same questions that a website should feature, without making anyone search several pages for the answers. A brief list of “quick links” is one way to solve this problem.
Your interior pages can be streamlined in similar fashion. Content can be organized into sections with clear delineations between topics, and with links that anticipate where a visitor may wish to go next. Tabs and accordions can further cut down on clutter, allowing visitors to skip sections they don’t want and find what they need.
Content is critical to the success of your site. But too much content, especially when not well organized, can be frustrating for your visitors.
If you were to grade your website on content and how it is organized, what would it receive?
Let’s find out – Grade Your Website