Education isn’t just about what happens inside the classroom. The digital world plays a huge role too, and a school’s website often becomes the first stop for parents, students, and the community. It’s like a gateway to important info, resources, and keeping everyone connected.

In this blog post, I’m sharing an interesting case study about a school that went through a website makeover. We’ll look at the challenges they faced, the strategies they used, and all the amazing improvements that came from revamping an old website. You’ll hear about how the new design made the site more user-friendly, accessible, and helped the school solve problems they were facing with their old site.

Let’s get started…

Table of Contents

  • Identifying the Flaws: From Broken Menus to Non-Compliance
  • Common Problems in School Websites
  • Solution Through Redesign

Identifying the Flaws: From Broken Menus to Non-Compliance

When a new customer came to us, you could really feel their frustration. Their school’s website was a complete mess—broken menus, missing links, and important content that didn’t meet any legal requirements. To make it worse, their last provider gave them no training or support, leaving the school with a site that didn’t work and wasn’t up to scratch. Clearly, they needed a fresh start.

We suggested building a brand-new website from the ground up and promised to provide all the training they’d need to keep it current and compliant.

Common Problems in School Websites

The problems this school faced aren’t unique. At realsmart, we’ve seen a lot of schools struggle with similar issues when it comes to their websites.

Here’s the common challenges we find schools face with outdated websites:

  • Invisible to Search Engines: An outdated content management system can leave a website practically invisible to search engines, cutting off vital visibility.
  • Significant Drawback for Mobile Users: In an era where mobile devices are everywhere, an old-fashioned, non-responsive website can be a major disadvantage.
  • Violating Inclusivity Principles: Broken images and the lack of alternative text for images can make a website inaccessible to individuals with disabilities.
  • Forgettable Online Presence: A school’s website should mirror its ethos and values, but ineffective branding can result in a site that doesn’t leave a lasting impression.
  • Parent Frustration: Overly complicated navigation can frustrate users who are trying to find information quickly.
  • Hindered Content Discovery: Without a robust search function or meta tags, users will struggle to locate specific content efficiently.
  • Ofsted Non-Compliance: Websites that do not adhere to Ofsted’s standards can have serious repercussions for a school’s reputation and governance.

Solution Through Redesign

When we’ve helped schools overcome these challenges, here are the most common steps we’ve taken to make things better:

  • We implemented a modern CMS, optimised for search engines, to ensure the school’s website is easily discoverable online.
  • The new design is fully responsive, guaranteeing a seamless experience on any device, be it a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.
  • All images were fixed, and proper alt texts were added to promote accessibility and adherence to web standards.
  • We developed a unique brand for the school’s online presence, capturing its unique spirit and message.
  • The navigation was streamlined to create an intuitive user experience, making information easy to find with fewer clicks.
  • A powerful search function was integrated, along with well-crafted meta tags throughout the site, to facilitate quick and accurate content retrieval.
  • Finally, we ensured that the new website was fully Ofsted compliant by following an up-to-date Ofsted checklist, thus safeguarding the school’s regulatory obligations.

With these targeted improvements, the school’s website was transformed into a powerful communication tool that efficiently serves its community and showcases the institution’s commitment to educational excellence.

A website is more than just a digital brochure; it’s an extension of a school’s mission and a vital resource for information and engagement. By identifying and fixing the common issues that outdated school websites face, we can help educational institutions meet the expectations of today’s digital-savvy audiences.

If your school is dealing with similar challenges, it might be time to consider a redesign that not only looks great but also meets essential criteria for accessibility, compliance, and user experience.