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10 Site Enhancements You'll Want on Your School's Next Website
Mia Major

Site enhancements are what really wow your website visitors. They're the calls to action that change colors, the pictures that move as you scroll, and the little unexpected surprises that website visitors find as they learn about your school.

Most importantly, site enhancements are what make learning about your school an exciting, engaging experience.

Here is a collection of some pretty sweet site enhancements you'll totally want to steal for your school's next website. I promise, you'll actually catch yourself ooh-ing and ahh-ing at some — at least I did.

Infographics

Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. So while a bulleted lists of fast facts can point out some pretty noteworthy things about your school. People are really only going to read and remember those if they're really interested. But not everyone who visits your site is. So how do you capture their attention? Use infographics. Infographics are an better way to display what sets your school apart because they're visually appealing, diverse, and specific.

Examples:

The American Overseas School of Rome

Simple Infographic

St. Anne's-Belfield School

STAB Infographic

Charlotte Country Day School

CCSD Infographic


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Interactive Elements

Interactive elements are any piece of your website that move or change as a user scrolls or hovers with the intent to surprise and delight.

Examples:

The Episcopal Academy

Episcopal Academy Element

Greenwich Country Day School

GCDS How to Apply

Rye Country Day School

Rye Interactive

College Matriculation Element

People like to see results — especially when they're investing money. So, what better way to prove the quality of your school's education than to show the schools your graduates head to?

Examples:

Asheville School

Asheville School Matriculation

TASIS England

TASIS England University Placement

Modular Layout Panel

Also known as cards or tiles, modular layouts break up panel designs using stacked blocks. They're a great way to showcase media, mission and values, and news. Since they're designed in a grid format, they also look awesome on tablets and smartphones.

Examples:

Trinity Christian School

TCS Fairfax Modular Layout

La Salle College High School

LSCHS Modular Layout

An Interactive Dropdown

Inquiry forms, admissions processes, recent news, upcoming events are some of the most important pieces of your website. So make finding them fun with an interactive dropdown or side bar.

Examples:

The Williams School

Williams School Interactive Panel

Trinity Preparatory School

Trinity Prep Dropdown

A special page to highlight what sets your school apart

Does your school offer a unique program? Do you have opportunities that no one else does? Maybe a cool travel program, an aviation school or a semester at sea? Dedicate an entire page on your site to brag about it.

For example, Trinity Prep's new Travel Programs page makes you feel like you're taking a journey as you explore their page. Different than every other page on their site, this page stands out — just like their program.

Trinity Travel Programs

Other Examples:

St. George's School, Newport

St. George's School

The Episcopal Academy

EA - The Stripes

A social media mash up

During our first School Website Throwdown, we pushed the importance of social media mash-ups. Why? Because the purpose of web design is to provide an experience keep visitors on your website. Let prospective and current families know you're active on social media by using a mash-up page that brings together your most recent posts from all networks into a single, visually appealing page or panel.

Example:

Westtown School: Our 'Town

Our Town Social Media Mash Up

Interactive Campus Maps and Tours

I always hear school marketers say "if I can just get them on the campus, I can get them to apply." But sometimes that isn't easy — especially for boarding schools. So if a beautiful campus one of your school's most appealing attributes, show it off. Prove that your school is worth the trip — and inevitably, the commute or move — using an interactive campus map.

Examples:

Gilman School

Gilman Map

Forman School

Forman Campus Map

A Sticky Navigation

Sticky navigations are one of my favorite website enhancements because they undoubtedly improve the user experience — especially as long pages become more popular. While most websites keep their navigation docked at the top of the page, sticky navigations mean that the navigation moves with the user as they scroll down the page. So, no matter where they are in their website journey, they can make a next step to learn more.

Pro tip: Keep an "Apply Now" or "Inquire Now" button as a piece of your sticky navigation to make that oh-so-important next step readily available.

Example:

The Episcopal School of Dallas

Episcopal School of Dallas Sticky Navigation

An Interactive FAQs Page

Do you spend your day answering emails and phone calls because answers to common questions are hard to find on your school's website? Put an end to it with a fun, interactive FAQs page that shows communications are your top priority.

Answer common questions regarding:

  • Admissions
  • Enrollment and Course Registration
  • Billing and Financial Aid
  • Graduation

Example:

Holton-Arms School

Holton-Arms School FAQ Page


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