Schoolzine

7 Signs it’s Time to Update your School Website

Picture of Schoolzine built Website on a laptop, desktop and mobile device

Ever get the sense that your school website design needs a bit of a refresh? If you’ve ever stacked it up against other school websites and felt a hint of outdatedness, it’s probably a sign that it’s time for a makeover.

Consider your school’s website as your storefront—a critical first impression for parents and a virtual representation of your brand. In a mere 0.05 seconds, users form opinions about your website, and this judgment can significantly shape their perception of your school.

If you’re considering enhancements, here are seven signs that will affirm your suspicions.

1. Your website isn’t responsive

If your school website isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re placing your school at a considerable disadvantage. Nearly 55% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Without a responsive website, you risk alienating over half of your potential visitors. Responsive sites automatically adjust, ensuring that the design, text, and images fit seamlessly on various devices. You can easily check this by visiting your website on your mobile device and assessing how easily you can navigate.

2. You don’t have a content management system (CMS)

A content management system (CMS) provides you with the ability to access your website’s backend and make content updates without requiring any knowledge of coding languages. If your current practice involves relying on developers for minor adjustments or additions to your website, you’re losing valuable time on a task that can be streamlined. By implementing a CMS, you not only streamline the content update process but also empower your team to make swift and independent changes, ultimately boosting efficiency and productivity.

3. Your website doesn't integrate with your other systems

For smooth operation, schools typically rely on various software systems and utilise multiple online tools for communication, such as eNewsletters and social media.

Integration is the key to enabling your website to seamlessly communicate with these systems, facilitating the exchange of information. When data is collected, for instance, through a website form, a robust integration ensures the transmission of that data to other relevant platforms, like your customer relationship manager (CRM). Moreover, integration guarantees that updates made in one place reflect consistently across all systems.

If your current school website provider struggles to establish integrations between your systems, it’s undoubtedly time for an update. Without this crucial feature, you not only waste valuable time but also expose your school to potential inconsistencies across various systems.

4. Your bounce rate is high

If you’re tracking your website’s analytics, one key metric you should be monitoring is your school website’s bounce rate. If you aren’t familiar with a bounce rate, it’s a statistic that tells you the percentage of people who visit your website and leave immediately. All websites will have a bounce rate, but an exceptionally high bounce rate can be concerning.

As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate higher than 70% usually indicates that there’s something about your website that’s causing visitors to leave. This can include:

  • An overwhelming amount of text
  • Poor navigation
  • Irrelevant content
  • Confusing or outdated design
  • Slow website speed
  • Lack of mobile responsiveness.

You only have a few seconds to grab a user’s attention, so your website must deliver on their expectations. This means your website has relevant, accurate content and a great user experience. If you have a feeling that your website isn’t delivering these things, it’s time to give your site a refresh.

5. Your data collection is proving challenging

Capturing prospective parent information is the key to growing your school’s community and maximising your enrolments. With the correct data, you can nurture leads through every stage of your marketing funnel, from awareness to enrolment.

There are a few key places that you’ll want to be capturing these contact details on your school website, such as your:

  • Contact page
  • ‘Book a tour’ page
  • Enrolments form
  • Event registration forms.

If your website forms aren’t up to scratch, your admissions team is almost certainly missing out on prospective students. This means it’s time for an update.

6. Your school website design looks tired

If your website design appears outdated, it’s an unequivocal sign that an update is overdue. If you find yourself hesitant to share your URL or prefer directing families to your social media instead of your website due to design concerns, you’re likely aware that the current aesthetic does not accurately represent the vibrancy of your school. In such cases, a revitalised design can significantly enhance your online presence, creating a more inviting and appealing digital space for both current and prospective members of your school community.

7. Your hosting isn’t optimal

Do you know how much you’re paying for hosting? Are you able to easily pick up the phone and talk to someone in Australia when you have website issues? Do you know where your data is being stored? If you can’t confidently answer these questions, keep reading!

Think of web hosting as renting a secure, virtual storage space for your website. It’s like having a reliable locker for all your website files, ensuring everything stays secure and your website runs smoothly when people visit it.

If you’ve ever created or managed a website, you know that who hosts your website matters for keeping your data safe and making sure your website does its job. Whether it’s where your hosting happens or how secure your site is, having high standards is a must. Your website hosting choice can shape not just your experience but also that of your visitors.

A reliable website host is the key to getting your website up and running smoothly and, more importantly, keeping it that way. Your web host should keep your site secure, speedy, and always working right. Ideally, your hosting should be in Australia, ensuring that your data is securely stored within the country, providing an additional layer of protection and the availability of prompt support at your fingertips makes the entire web hosting experience considerably less stressful.

If these signs resonate with your current situation, it’s a clear indication that initiating a website redevelopment project is the next step for your school. Recognising the need for an overhaul is the first crucial step toward creating a more effective and engaging online platform.

Contact us today to find out how Schoolzine can help you. Our team can guide you through every aspect of planning your website update, ensuring that you have a comprehensive understanding of the process and its potential impact.

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