If you’re considering redesigning your school's website, knowledge is power, and the latest preferences about design and user experience can be a valuable source of inspiration.
Yes, trends and tech are constantly changing, but statistics support creative decisions and ensure that each element of your website aligns with the needs of your school community.
To create a visually appealing and engaging website — but one that's highly functional and user-friendly — blend data-driven insights with creativity. Let’s explore some surprising (and sometimes staggering) stats to help fuel your school's website inspiration this year.
Website Design Statistics
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with nearly half of visitors basing their decisions on design, statistics show an attractive, fast-loading website is more crucial than ever.
Mount Paran Christian School knows prospective families form opinions incredibly quickly, and its beautiful site makes a stunning impact. If you don’t think a functional, intuitive, and visually appealing design is key to making a strong first impression, just check out some of these stats:
- It only takes 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion of a website. This means school websites must make a great first impression quickly, and a clean, professional design can help.
- 47% of visitors abandon websites that take more than 2 seconds to load. Fast-loading pages are crucial for keeping parents and students engaged on your school's site.
- Since 38% of us don’t engage with unattractive layouts, an appealing layout can make your school's website more inviting, encouraging visitors to explore more.
- Good design can make your school seem more trustworthy and professional, as web design is the top credibility factor for nearly half of visitors.
- Make sure your school's contact information is easy to find to keep your community connected because over 40% leave sites without contact details.
- 85% of adults expect mobile sites to be as good (if not better) than desktop versions.
- Your school's website should work well on phones and tablets, not just desktop computers. Sources
- 94% of first impressions are design-related — a well-designed website can make or break how people see your school. Source
User Experience Statistics
Your school's website's user experience (UX) is vital for retaining visitors and supporting engagement. Still, poor performance and bad user experiences can drive away a huge portion of your audience.
Thaden School’s site shows that investing in UX isn’t just about making your site look good; it's also about creating a positive and seamless experience for your users, which can have a high return on investment.
90% of users stop using apps due to poor performance, so ensure your school's website and apps run smoothly to keep your community engaged.
- 88% won’t return to a website after a bad user experience. A user-friendly website is key to encouraging parents and students to return.
- Videos increase web page time on page by 88% — so include engaging videos on your school's website to keep visitors interested for longer.
- 70% of users prefer relatable humor. It’s OK to be funny! Using humor (as appropriate) can make your school more relatable and engaging.
- A visually appealing website can enhance your school's reputation —75% of users judge a site’s credibility based on aesthetics.
- Nearly 40% of users disengage if images load slowly, so reduce your images’ file sizes for quick loading and help keep visitors on your site.
- 67% prefer buying from mobile-friendly sites, so remember that a mobile-friendly website can support sales at your online school store and other activities.
- Just a 1-second delay in page response reduces conversions by 7%. Fast response times can help keep your community engaged.
- Investing in a good user experience can be very beneficial for your school. Every $1 spent on UX can yield a return of up to $100. Sources
- Nearly ¾ of users are more likely to return to sites with good mobile UX, meaning a positive mobile experience will encourage families to return.
- Bounce rates increase by 123% if load time exceeds 1 second. While bounce rates are gone in GA4, a similar idea applies to site engagement and time spent on page.
- Users are five times more likely to leave non-mobile-friendly websites. Ensure your school's site is mobile-friendly to cater to a wider audience.
- Clearly state your school's mission and goals on your website because 46% of visitors distrust companies with unclear mission statements.
- 40% of users will abandon a website if it looks messy. It makes sense, considering a clean, organized website is more appealing and easier to navigate. Sources
Mobile Device and Smartphone Usage Statistics
The results are in! Mobile devices are the primary way people access information. With most web traffic and media consumption occurring on smartphones, your school must optimize its websites for mobile users.
Birmingham Public School’s site looks just as beautiful on a mobile device as on a desktop. A mobile-friendly website for your school can significantly increase the likelihood of engaging parents and students who are often busy, distracted, and on the go.
- 63% of organic search traffic comes from mobile phones, so optimize your school's site for mobile to reach more people.
- 85% of adults expect mobile website quality to match its desktop experience. Your school's mobile site should be as good as the desktop version. Source
- Most parents and students will likely access your school's website from their phones, considering nearly 82% of Americans own a smartphone. Source.
- The average American spends over 5 hours daily on mobile devices! Be where your audience is, and a mobile-optimized school website can engage this audience effectively.
- About 60% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. Prioritize mobile optimization to cater to the majority of your website visitors.
- The trend toward mobile use is growing, so schools need to keep up. Mobile internet usage increased from 51.1% to 59.1% over five years.
- Most people spend their online time on phones; smartphones account for 70% of U.S. digital media time.
- 79% of smartphone users have made purchases using their devices. Make sure your school’s online stores, donation pages, and event registration pages look great and function well on mobile! Source.
Impact of Photography and Video
Visual content (especially videos) plays a significant role in digital communication. Their potential to carry a message, capture our attention, and replace long paragraphs of text make them worth their weight in gold.
Canterbury School knows the power that short, impactful videos and high-quality images can have on a school's website. Using powerful visuals and design elements in your website design makes the experience more engaging, relatable, and memorable for users.
- Over 50% of marketers used visuals in more than 91% of their content in recent years.
- 75% of US adults watch short-form video content on mobile devices. Do your visuals have the same impact on a smaller screen?
- An average of 17 hours of video content are watched weekly by people. This highlights the importance of using video content on your school's website to capture the attention of students and parents.
- 91% of consumers want more online videos from brands. Creating more video content can meet this demand and increase engagement.
- Short-form video content offers the highest ROI and engagement. Producing short videos is a cost-effective way to engage and inform your school community.
- Social media and “explainer” videos are the most common types created by marketers, and 96% of consumers watched explainer videos to learn about products. Using how-to videos on your school's website can help clearly communicate complex information, like financial aid, admissions deadlines, or how to navigate the new interface if you’ve launched a new website. Source.
These insights highlight the impact that thoughtful decisions about website design can have on your school's digital presence. Part informational, part inspirational, using data to guide design choices is crucial for creating a compelling, functional, and engaging online presence that meets the needs and expectations of your school community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.