Website redesigns are a daunting process, which is why they don't happen annually. A matter of fact, most schools redesign their website about every 3-5 years, with three years being proactive, and five years on the tail end. Due to the massive undertaking, when a school decides to redesign, it's usually for one of the following reasons:
- Their website is outdated, and they feel it is a bad reflection of their brand
- They're unhappy with their current provider, and need a switch
- They have a particular goal in mind, and need the website as a tool to reach that goal
- There's a new trend they need to adapt to — back in 2013 it was responsive design, and now, at least for districts, it is ADA compliance.
For Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, TN, it was a mix. They wanted more dynamic content to keep their website looking fresh, something to give their digital brand a boost, and they wanted to find new vendor that would allow more opportunity for design flexibility, and overall functionality.
Danielle Taylor, Creative Director at Grace Christian Academy, recently shared their vision for a new site earlier this year. "Our vision was to take the Grace Christian Academy message and overall web design to the next level," said Danielle.
These goals included:
- Providing ease of navigation for consumers
- Creating a visually attractive layout
- Being purposeful with the content we share with our prospective parents and current families
- Telling the GCA Story
Now, let's take a deeper dive into how Grace Christian Academy was able to accomplish those goals with a brand new website!
1. A New, Modern Web Design
The school's homepage is vibrant with the school's brand colors, images of students, and an easy to follow feed of news and calendar of events. "Our constituents love how dynamic everything is. The large circular buttons giving them quick access/shortcuts to important information. They like seeing the news highlights on the front page. And, with three calendars at the bottom of the homepage, they can find what they need quickly," said Danielle.
Grace Christian Academy didn't just put thought and effort into improving the homepage experience, but they have quite the attention to detail on their landing pages and interior pages.
For example, their admissions page feature interactive call to action buttons, an infographic, and a student testimonial:
Is it time for a redesign? Use our free eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook, to get started!
2. An Easy-to-Use CMS
Coming from a vendor that made it difficult to use dynamic content that best told the school's story through its website, Danielle saw this as a huge advantage. "The website is very aesthetically pleasing, with bold and beautiful graphics, a clear layout of content, and ease of navigation," said Danielle.
"From a designer standpoint, I have enjoyed working in Composer and find it easy to make quick and effective updates as needed, with the help of the style guide, infographics, and cloning options that Finalsite has provided."
3. An Improved Navigation Experience
Crafting the perfect navigation experience for your school site is important if you want to keep visitors on your website and make it simple for them to find the information they want. Since launching the newly redesigned website, Danielle has noted there has been a flood of positive comments from their constituents about website navigation.
"The separation of our Academic, Athletic, and Fine Arts calendars has been a huge highlight for our website visitors," she said.
4. Support for a Small Shop
As the one person overseeing the redesign process, Danielle was extremely appreciative of the support from Finalsite along the way. "They made this transition so easy for me. It was overwhelming at first being the only person loading content and building it to flow the way we needed it to, and they were so quick to answer any questions I had along the way," said Danielle.
According to Danielle, these goals have been easy to meet since choosing to redesign their website with Finalsite. "We have already met the goals we set out to achieve and we know we can take it even further as we continue to build it, said Danielle. "We are so grateful we chose Finalsite!"
The website is still a work in progress, with new faculty directories and password-protected portals on the way. But, Grace Christian Academy's new site is off to a running start, and they're bound to accomplish all their goals in no time.
How do your marketing strategies compare? Want to be on our Featured Friday blogs? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your success with social media, the Finalsite platform, admissions, crowdfunding, or content marketing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie brings a fresh new marketing perspective with her background in social media, communications, and radio broadcasting. She is a co-producer for the FinalsiteFM podcast network and is passionate about helping schools stay ahead of their marketing goals by tracking new trends and developments. She is also a practicing singer/songwriter and loves to expand her creativity in DIY projects.