The Finalsite Blog

Best practices, success stories and software updates from the desk of school experts you trust.


Recent Launches: The Best of Best-in-Class & Back-to-School Website Launches
Mia Major

August 1st is the most coveted website launch date every year. Every school wants to put their best foot forward for the new school year, greeting new and returning families with a beautiful new website.

So, it goes without saying that over the last month and a half, more than 50 fresh new sites have gone live since the start of the school year — 16 of them being Best-in-Class.

Recent independent and higher ed website launches

Best-in-Class is a term we use here at Finalsite for school websites that push the needle on web design, while implementing best practices. These are schools that take risks, spend hours crafting content, creating videos, taking photos, and working with our team of designers for hundreds of hours. In other words, schools who launch Best-in-Class sites focus on creating an immersive online experience, not just a website — and they set the standard of what's next in web design.

Featured Best-in-Class Launches

Pingry | Basking Ridge, New Jersey

There's a theory in marketing that if you use your website to guide the user's eye towards something you want them to do, you'll get more clicks and conversions. Pingry's new site capitalizes on this idea, using an interactive guiding arrow, which carries you as you scroll through the homepage to learn about the school's teachers, academics, arts, and athletics.

Pingry Digital Storytelling

What we love most about Pingry's new site is the attention to detail that makes its way through every single page. Each landing page follows numerous best practices, including minimal text, bright photos, and calls-to-action.

Pingry Landing Pages

If you really want to learn something you can apply to your own site, visit their Tuition & Value page, where value propositions, interactive maps and photos accompany the school's price tag.

Pingry Tuition & Value Page

Choate Rosemary Hall | Wallingford, CT

Choate is a school who has always set the standard in web design, constantly pushing the envelope to do something new. Clean and interactive with a timeless design, their new site is no different.

Choate homepage

Click their seemingly simple hamburger menu in the top right-hand corner, and you'll immediately find yourself immersed in a seamless navigation experience where you leave the homepage, and explore school life and culture.

Choate Navigation

Choate's homepage sells the school's campus, community and culture, using infographics, an interactive map, and of course the cool Live @ Choate social media element.

Live @ Choate Mashup

Lower Canada College | Montreal, Canada

If I could describe LCC's new site in one word, it would be "clickable." Seriously, I just want to click everything. Filled with value propositions, videos, testimonials, two infographics, and that first-of-its kind LCC Advantage interactive panel, it's hard to not spend time on this site.

LCC Homepage

There is just so much amazing content to explore, including:

  • These fun "Did You Know" panels

LCC Did You Know Panel

  • These parent testimonials

Parent Testimonials

  • And this fun "Apply" page that isn't just an application — awesome

LCC Apply

Lakeside School | Seattle, WA

Bringing together a combination of the most innovative website enhancements of this back-to-school season, Lakeside School's new site invites you choose your own path as a website visitor.

First, use the interactive dropdown to choose what you want to learn more about.

Lakeside Dropdown 1

Then, immerse yourself in an infinite scrolling experience of photos, calls-to-action and minimal text.

Lakeside infinite scroll

Finally, decide what you'd like to discover next (and there's a lot). Some of our favorite website enhancements include:

Lakeside Student Experience

More Best-in-Class Launches

Lenoir-Rhyne University | Hickory, NC

Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia, PA

University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy | Detroit, MI

The Berkeley Carroll School | Brooklyn, NY

The Hotchkiss School | Lakeville, CT

Episcopal Collegiate School | Little Rock, AR

Convent & Stuart Hall, Schools of the Sacred Heart | San Francisco, CA

University Prep | Seattle, WA

Gulliver | Miami, FL

St. Louis University High School | St. Louis, MO

St. Francis College | Brooklyn Heights, NY

Madison Ridgeland Academy | Madison, MS

The Green Vale School | Old Brookville, NY

Launches by Region

Northeast

French-American School of New York | Mamaroneck, NY

Walnut Hill School for the Arts | Natick, MA

Shady Side Academy | Pittsburgh, PA

Oakland Catholic High School | Pittsburgh, PA

International School of Boston | Boston, MA

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart | Princeton, NJ

Stevens Cooperative School | Hoboken, NJ

King School | Stamford, CT

Friends Select School | Philadelphia, PA

Southeast

Harpeth Hall | Nashville, TN

Oxbridge Academy | West Palm Beach, FL

Aidan Montessori School | Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Seton High School | Bladensburg, MD

Spartanburg Day School | Spartanburg, SC

The Paideia School | Atlanta, GA

Midwest

University of Chicago Lab Schools | Chicago, IL

Conserve School | Land O' Lakes, WI

Ursuline Academy | Cincinnati, OH

La Salle High School | Cincinnati, OH

International School of Denver | Denver, CO

North & South West

Woodland School | Portola Valley, CA

Kennedy Catholic High School | Burien, WA

Giddens School | Seattle, WA

Junipero Serra High School | San Mateo, CA

Eton School | Bellevue, WA

Presentation High School | San Jose, CA

Head-Royce School | Oakland, CA

St. Thomas School | Medina, WA

St. John Bosco High School | Bellflower, CA

Le Jardin Academy | Kailua, HI

Canada & International

COBIS | United Kingdom

AAIE | Florida

American United School of Kuwait | Kuwait

The American School Foundation | Mexico

Collingwood School | West Vancouver, BC

Glenlyon Norfolk School | Victoria, BC

Public Schools & Districts

Ellington Public Schools | Ellington, CT

The Joseph Sears School | Kenilworth, IL

Greenwich Public Schools | Greenwich, CT

Minnetonka Public Schools | Minnetonka, MN

Cicero District 99 | Cicero, IL


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Major

As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specializes in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, and Finalsite's popular eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook.

Become Extraordinary
You must be logged in to post a comment.

TRENDING BLOG POSTS


The latest school marketing strategies and trends, delivered weekly.

Join 3,000+ school professionals who depend on the Finalsite Blog for what's next in school marketing, communications, and design.

Subscribe

Dive Deeper into More Posts