Summer is almost over and a new school year is coming just around the corner. A new school year is the perfect time to welcome a new look for your school or PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) website. The good news is creating a great school website is easier and more affordable than ever. School website templates can save your school time and money, while working within the comforts of a proven website builder and providing great school website design.
Simple School Website Design Communicates a Clear Message
Many school website templates include these elements:
- Home page with great images and current events
- About Us/Mission Statement
- Admission (especially for charter and private schools)
- Special Programs, Workshops, After-school programs
- Leadership, Faculty or Teachers, Staff, Committee Members or Board Members pages and contact information
- Donation Page
- Tuition or Fees Acceptance
- Calendar of Events
- Contact Us
With the blueprint being fairly simple and straightforward, it would be a costly expense to have these components designed from scratch. At the same time, many school website templates have already created designs that are visually appealing yet quick to catch the attention of website visitors.
Effective school website software does the following:
- Offers an Eye-Catching Homepage: Too much text on the first impression can overwhelm visitors and make them leave your website too soon. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly true for the first peek at a school website. The home page conveys a feeling rather than too much information.
- Uses Beautiful, Functional Layouts: Design that maximizes the positioning of images, text, and buttons will keep visitors clicking through the site towards the desired call-to-action.
- Directs Towards Desired Call to Action: A call to action is the desired result of visiting your website. You must clearly tell your visitors how they should act or engage. Calls to action for school websites include getting parents involved with the PTO or volunteering in the classroom, signing up new students, accepting online donations, and more.
Our School and PTO Websites offer tried-and-true WordPress nonprofit website templates utilizing the design principles that make for great school website design.
6 Powerful Website Design Features of Our School Websites
Here we outline six features and benefits of using our school website templates.
1. Clear Calls to Action
A call to action is a component of your website that creates a response or an action from the website visitor. The most desired call-to-actions for school website designs are the following:
- To Donate: Donating funds for an event, a fundraiser, a cause or in general to support the school. There may also be required donations for classroom field trips, extracurricular activities and teacher gifts.
- To Volunteer: Schools and PTOs are always looking for parents and other volunteers to engage and help out with extra-curricular activities, as classroom helpers, with fundraising activities and more. A strong school generally has a strong community of parent volunteers.
- To Enroll: Private schools and charter schools can use their school website to recruit students. The recruitment process starts with the first impression, often conveyed through the school website or social media channels. If a student or family is considering your school, you want to offer them a clear path to enrollment.
- To Follow on Social Media or Subscribe to a Newsletter: The next best thing is to keep your website followers engaged with your progress and activities. The more engaged your parents, supporters or other website visitors become with your online presence, the easier it becomes to request their help down the line.
Of course, all of these may sound good. Whatever your desired calls-to-action are, a school website design will optimize these as easy-to-see and easier-to-do for your website visitors. Then make sure your data works for you with a nonprofit CRM integration.
2. Solid Security Means Trustworthy Transactions
When it comes to earning the trust of your school’s supporters, it is in the school’s hands to make sure their personal information is protected carefully. That means that if the school website has a page to receive donations, sensitive information, such as personal and credit card information, should be protected with high regard.
Our school website templates come with all of the necessary security features to assure that your supporters have nothing to worry about when donating or providing payments to your school. Our services are cloud-based and PCI compliant. Websites are secured with SSL Certificates to encrypt sensitive information and other security features that keep your transactions safe and secure.
3. Easy to Make Edits
Having a custom school website often means working with a webmaster to update the website. Our school website templates offer autonomy so that school administrators and teachers can make as many (or as few) updates as they need, whenever they want. The benefits include saving time and money by having a website that you can manage on your own. Keeping the website updated with the following can add up in cost:
- New Calendar Events
- Event Summary and Updates
- Fundraiser Status
- Recruiting for Event Volunteers and Chaperons
- Blog Entries
- Updates from Teachers
- New Photos
- Sports Team Scores
By having an easy way to manage the school website on your own, you can avoid being billed by the hour at every request needed to keep your website relevant and up-to-date. Of course, we can always offer professional design services when you need them.
4. Customization in All the Right Ways
While the idea of using school website templates might make you fear that you’ll look like every other school in your area, that’s not at all the case. As we have discussed, layouts are key to what compels a website visitor to learn more about your mission, as well as drawing them towards a call to action. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t get to brand and customize the website to match your school’s identity. The following are customizable with our school website software:
- Photos: Using high-quality and high-resolution photos of your school and students in action can make for a visually stunning and impressive website. We recommend hiring a professional photographer to come to your school and after-school activities to get the right shots.
- Color Scheme: Every school has its colors, and our school website builder allows you to choose your color scheme. Once the color scheme is chosen, the website builder customizes the rest of the website pages to conform to the chosen color scheme. Easy peasy!
- Copywriting: Your school or PTO mission, the biographies about your staff and leadership board, and the programs offered at your school are what set your school apart. It’s tempting to present as much information as possible. However, master the art of presenting enough information in a concise manner, without saying so much that your text overwhelms or bores your website visitors.
5. Included Tools for Increasing Traffic & Engagement
Your school website is only effective when it can be easily found online. If you have a common school name or live in a large city, this can be more difficult than it sounds.
Our school website templates include tools that can help you continue building your website traffic and encourage engagement with your visitors. These tools include the following:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO allows your school or PTO website to be strategically positioned in website search engine results based on certain keywords, keyword placement within your website, and other factors. You can build your school’s digital presence with the help of many free or low-cost SEO tools like Yoast and Google Analytics.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics helps organizations learn who visits their website. This includes statistics about the demographics of your website visitors, how many website visits you receive, how many are unique (new) visitors vs. repeat visitors, how long visitors stay on each page, and much more. With such helpful statistics, you can further refine your school’s website. Whether it’s improving the text or images on a page that has the least engagement (but should have longer engagement), or seeing how many people visit a fundraising event page and then re-strategizing your event promotion.
WordPress Blog: Blogs are a great way to educate and engage with supporters about with your school’s activities and updates. While websites are not normally updated as frequently, blogs can be the tool for frequent communication, such as daily or weekly. Using blogs to keep up with trends or discuss new school updates are also a great way to engage with your audience and to get feedback from your supporters.
6. Powerful Plug-ins are Available
While all the features above appear to be about your school website template itself, the other perks to keep in mind about a school website builder are the plug-ins and tools to enhance your website’s performance. Many other tools can integrate easily into your school website template to increase your website’s possibilities.
These tools are essential for schools seeking to build their reputation, grow their fundraising goals and gain more engagement from parents, supporters and the community. With these elements in mind, it should be easier to understand how our school website builder can be a simple solution to making the best impression for your school this year.