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Going for an EGOT with an Award-Winning School Website
Emily Howeth

Award show season is the best time of year. The glitz of red carpet fashions, the hilarious social media memes that keep us laughing, the buzz and anticipation surrounding who will win… I’m captivated, to say the least, year after year.

But one of my favorite things about award shows is the conversation about who’s close to the illustrious EGOT. In case you don’t know, an EGOT winner is a person who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony —a feat that can take decades to achieve. In 65 years, only 19 people have ever done it, so it has come to symbolize unparalleled talent and versatility across genres and industries.

There’s more in common between the best school website designs and award shows than you might think. Winning an EGOT and managing a school website is about compelling storytelling, meaningful content, captivating visuals, flawless execution, and functionality. 

So, let’s look at how your website can win the coveted quartet of awards:

The Emmy | Engaging Content that Speaks to Everyone

A hallmark of a great TV show is engaging content. Whether it's a comedy, a drama, or a reality show, the writers' rooms are looking for ways to engage each audience member. Your website needs to do the same: speak to parents, students, and your community. It needs easy-to-follow navigation and ways to keep viewers engaged page after page, no matter where they click.

Canterbury School stories screenshot

And the Emmy for Content goes to… Canterbury School!  Its site is full of stories, pictures, and ways for the reader to engage with the school — more than enough to earn a Platinum Award from the Marcom Awards. There are themes of students choosing their own path and creating their journey, and with every click, users gain a deeper understanding of how rich and meaningful the school's offerings and experiences can be. 

The Grammy | Harmonizing the User Experience

Melodies, harmonies, hooks, bridges – the best songs all come together, making it hard to get out of your head. So, when you think of the user experience for your website, think of a well-composed song. 

Whether you’re a Taylor Swift fan or prefer something different, Grammy-winning albums are cohesive, easy to sing along to, and make you want to listen from beginning to end. When looking for the Grammy of website design, you can accomplish those same tenets by maximizing your website’s intuitive design, easy navigation, and accessibility. 

And so, the Grammy goes to…Community Consolidated School District 62! When the district redesigned its user-friendly site with Composer, it united its 11 schools and learning center sites with a cohesive design and user experience. Through its high-quality visual elements, social media, award-winning video series, and podcasts, its storytelling promotes the themes of empowering all students and community collaboration.

Community Consolidated School District 62

Winning Gold at the W3 Awards was just the start —accessibility was also top of mind for the public school, and its new site features built-in translations with Weglot, allowing it to serve every website visitor.

The Ultimate School Website Planner

The Oscar | Visuals That Tell a Story

When you think of Oscar Best Picture winners, it’s always a spellbinding story with incredible visuals and world-class acting. From beginning to end, the movies nominated for Oscars keep you captivated and make you think. 

The visuals on an Oscar-worthy website do the same thing. From photos and layout to branding and content, the best websites combine content with design to give viewers the best experience.

The Oscar goes to… Nanjing International School. The team at NIS set out to create an Oscar-worthy website that wasn’t cookie-cutter, told their long history to prospective families and alumni, and featured original content.

Nanjing homepage mockup

It was a box office smash, too: with its launch, NIS created an award-winning representation of its school, significantly increasing applications, website traffic, and employee interest.

Keep ReadingSchool Website Design Trends

The Tony | The Magic Behind the Curtain

I’ve never been on Broadway, but I think what happens behind the scenes of a show is more important than what happens on stage. The actors, orchestra, lighting, and props combine seamlessly on stage to wow the audience. They don’t have the chance to do a second take or re-shoot a scene, so everything needs to work the first time.

The admissions and enrollment processes are similar. Admissions, marketing, and finance offices come together when a family inquires, applies, and enrolls. From there, the journey has to be flawless for parents and students. Communications need to be consistent and united, and you still need to accomplish your goal of getting a family to enroll. One bad interaction or experience can turn a potential family away, so the stakes are high.

The Tony goes to… Baylor School! This multi-award winning site features Finalsite Enrollment, and by integrating content with inquiries, reporting, and event scheduling, their team can focus on strategy to attract, engage, and retain families year after year. Plus, they have quick and easy access to vital admissions data, reducing the need for manual tracking.

a group of a 3 students smiling

Finalsite Enrollment also simplified the management of school events, from scheduling to sending reminders. All that work behind the scenes got a standing ovation from families who got more personalized experiences from the school. Bravo!

Key Takeaway

The accolades are only one part of an award-winning school website design. When thinking about how to get your EGOT, remember to include things like Red Carpet interviews. Hearing the story from the source is compelling, so feature quotes from students, parents, and staff about their experiences with the website and your school. Be open to criticism: you can’t create a website in a bubble, so always include reviews and feedback on the website's design, content, and usability from experts, families, and your community.

Oh no! They’re playing me off… I need to wrap this up now. Thank you, Mom!

website redesign playbook

Emily Howeth Headshot


Emily joined the Finalsite team in February 2020 after nine years of event marketing. She is now in charge of the email marketing strategy to connect Finalsite with schools around the world, and helps them learn how to communicate with parents, students, and their communities. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, and two 60-pound lap dogs.

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