Strategy

Essential features of the school and university website

You are the owner of a school and want to launch a new website for this. You should know these essential website features of an educational institute in advance.

A university or school website is an essential part of that institute. A website can serve in many aspects. And, it has a significant impact on the institute’s image, students and parents. But, you have to use it right with all the essential features of the school or university website.

A good website of the institute improves interaction among the students, faculty, and management. It also establishes a good relationship with the parents of the students. Furthermore, it represents the status of the institute to future students.

A good educational website also can ease up your managing and administrative job. But, for that good use, your website should have all the essential features and elements.

“A good website has a huge impact on the institute’s image, Parent awareness, and representation of the institute.”

How Does a Perfect School Website Look?

Now, the question is, what does the best website looks like? First, we have to understand what we need. Therefore, we need to know about the features of a good educational website.

Let’s see any renowned university website for inspiration. And, there’s a lot to pick, such as Oxford, St. John’s, Notre Dame and Queensland. At first, we see the aesthetics of the websites, which is very important. A good looking website always provides a good user experience. However, there is a pattern within these websites’ features.

A good looking website always provides a good user experience.”

In this article, let’s try to find out the essential features of the school website. And try to understand what are the best school website features.

Before we dive into the essential features for school or university websites, we have to know the general features and elements of a website. Because without general understanding, we may not be able to build the perfect website for an educational institute. We discussed the standard website features in detail in this article “Essential Website Features Every Site Should Have”. Please check it out.

Essential Features of an Educational Institute‘s Website

Whenever we picture a website, we all have some general ideas—for instance, the institution’s logo, name, menu-bar, and sliding pictures. But, choosing the right elements needs extra thoughts. You have to think through every usability of the elements that you put on the website.

We gathered here some “must-have” elements for you, which may improve your website usability. So, let’s go through the website’s features checklist.

List of ‘must-have’ elements for the school website

  1. Header
  2. About Section
  3. Academic & Admission
  4. Events & Notice
  5. News
  6. Forms
  7. Footers

Headers

Let’s start with the headers. It might be the smallest but most crucial element because it contains contact or social media information in brief. If you do not put this information in the header, students have to scroll to the contact page for a quick call or address query. 

Here, we compared three different headers from three WordPress educational themes. These themes are Eduma, My University, Kingster.

Toolbar or Header Layout of a school or kindergarten webiste 1
Toolbar or Header Layout of a school or kindergarten webiste 2
Toolbar or Header Layout of a school or kindergarten webiste 3

As we see here, these elements also contain some other important quick links. So, it may include the student login, Calendar, Notice, Alumni, and social links. These help the present student to engage more quickly.

About Section

A description of an institute is essential. Because without this section, future students cannot know about the institute. So, a little history, facilities’ brief, and achievements may add in the ‘about’ section. In here, you can add only plain text, images & read more link to the details page. And, you can add video like the MIT website.

About Section layout of a scholl, kindergarten or university website

Admission and academic information

Admission and academic information must be on an educational website. Without these, future students may not know where and how to get admitted.

A school website must showcase the offered courses and study areas. This information must be on the homepage in brief and also in detail on a dedicated page.

On the home page, the courses might showcase like this WordPress theme.

Example of popular course section in a scholl or university website

Admission information or “How to Apply” is one of the most important features. A clear explanation is the key features of a good educational website. If it is confusing to students, then it may impact the admission process. 

Example of area of study section in a university website

A clean interface is always important for this element. Likewise, you can see in this WordPress theme element.

Example of application process section in a university or school website

Events & Notice

Upcoming events or notice is another vital element for a website features checklist. All the institutes should maintain calendar wise events. Sometimes they have to announce any special occasion or changes in schedule. This dedicated section is for those in one place.

So the point is, without this section, students can miss the important events or announcements. As we know, the physical notice boards are usually clustered. And, lots of students miss out on important notices.

Example of an event calendar section in an institute website

The event section can be a calendar wise short description like the above element. Or, it can be listwise like the below element.

List of event in an institute website

News

Every educational institute has an inside magazine. In which, they publish articles about campus life and ongoing events & achievements. The website news section can take this to the digital level.

In general, this element looks like a news article on a news portal. It may contain images or videos alongside a text report.

Latest news section presentation of a school or university website

For better representation, the news section can categorize in several ways. It can be as per departments or as per the events and so on.

Another good example could be the website of Seoul National University. They included three vital points here, such as ongoing activities, media coverage, and social media news. 

Latest news in grid view in a school or university website

Forms

A Form is a simple element in a website. But, if you use it right, it reduces lots of paperwork. Every educational institute uses lots of forms over the years. These include admission form, subject registration form, and club form.

A simple form in an institute website
A simple form in an institute website
Another simple form in an institute website
Another simple form in an educational website

End of the year, it becomes a stack of papers that are hard to manage. But, if we can provide the forms on the website as essential features of the school website. It can save lots of time and managerial efforts.

There are lots of form plugins for WordPress based websites. WPForms, Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms are just a few to mention.

Footers

Quick links are always helpful for a large website. So, footers contain lots of important quick links. Without this section, users have to spend more time to find relevant information.

This block is the bottom part of the website. And, It contains the gist of the website. So, you have to be careful in this section because this is a key feature of any website design.

Let’s observe a comparison of three different kinds of footers. We picked these footers from WordPress themes Buntington, Greenville, and Turitor.

A simple footer section in an educational website

First, this one has a photo gallery showcasing the campus life, full address, and office hours. And, some quick links also.

Another example of footer section in a school or university website

Second, this one has an email subscription box and some quick links. Also, it has a short description of the institute.

Useful links in a footer section of a university or school website

Finally, this one focused on the detailed category-wise quick links. Alongside, contact details and social links.

Footer design will depend on your needs. That is to say, how you want to engage with your present and future students.

Bonus Features of a Good Educational Website

Home page slider

A home slider is the first cover of a website. This section generally contains some GOOD pictures of campus life. Besides, it may include the apply button and short registration form.

So, if you do not give proper thought to this, the first impression of your institute may not be right.

A slider example in a school or university website

Number Counter

A counter shows the program, student, or faculty numbers. In this way, It gives a numeric idea of how big the facility. But this section may be optional for small institutions. 

Number counter to present the important facts in an educational website

Faculty Showcase

Showcasing the team of faculty is another common element used by lots of institutes. It also helps new students to understand the department’s activities and competences.

Showcasing the faculty members in a university website

Integrated SIS

The student information log is the heart of any educational institute. But, the manual work includes lots of paperwork. Integrated software can be a big help. An SIS can simplify the management of that log.

Admin dashboard example of a school or university website

For WordPress based websites, there are lots of plugins for SIS. Akkhor, Smart, Ericsson are just a few to mention.

Search Engine Optimization

This is the last point, but not the least. Even designing the site with all the essential features of the school or university website is not enough. It should reach more people. Otherwise, all that effort will be pointless. That’s to say; a website needs better content optimization.

SEO report by Yoast SEO plugin in a WordPress based educational website

For content optimization, we can use an SEO plugin on WordPress based websites. YOAST and SEMrush is the most popular WordPress plugin for search engine optimization.

Conclusion

A good website is essential for every educational institute. This makes it easier for students to engage with the institute. Moreover, it helps the new students to know more about the institute and the facilities. In conclusion, these essential features of the school website make the institute more digitally functional.

Finally, you may check our list of the best educational WordPress themes. And of course, please don’t forget to share.