Take out your phone, open the browser, and visit your school website. Is it mobile-friendly? Do you have trouble navigating or doing important actions like downloading a schedule, inquiring about admissions, or making a donation? Think of yourself as a parent and review the following:
How does the site look on the small screen?
Do you have difficulty reading any text?
Is the website optimized for mobile, i.e. does the layout change dynamically to suit your mobile screen?
If you have a poor experience navigating your website, then you need to take matters into your own hands. A large chunk of your target users view your school website on the phone. A flawed user interface will set a bad impression and they will switch to a different website.
So, how can you ensure your school website provides a mobile-friendly experience? By opting for a responsive design.
What Is a Responsive Design?
A responsive web design refers to creating websites that offer a high-quality experience across multiple devices.
Today, the world has moved towards 24/7 connectivity – everyone uses mobiles to browse the web, unlike before when desktop PCs were the primary device for web browsing. During the 2010s, the number of searches performed on mobile phones outpaced the ones on desktop PCs. This means that your school website must perform well when a visitor opens it on a phone or tablet.
Responsive web design emphasizes running a single website and incorporates elements that respond differently to meet the device’s requirements.
A standard website is made to fit bigger monitors. However, it can’t accommodate mobile users. For instance, if a school webpage shows a table containing blocks of data, it must be adapted to suit the smaller screen on the phone to avoid a messy layout. Users who attempt to scroll throughout the webpage to read the table data could become annoyed and switch to a different website.
Responsive web design makes sure websites offer a user-friendly experience to visitors. It is necessary to create an accessible gateway for parents, so they can discover everything they need to know about your school with minimal disruption. In this way, they are unlikely to leave your website.
Benefits of a Mobile-Friendly Website
Here is why you need a mobile-friendly website for your school.
1. Increased Traffic
Earlier, schools used to make two websites. One was reserved for desktop users and the other for mobile users. This practice is still common today. However, as the number of mobile users increases, webmasters have realized that maintaining two versions of a school website is time-consuming and costly. With a single responsive school website, you can make sure it is accessible over all devices. This way, you can retain your mobile audience.
2. Lower Cost
Another advantage of a responsive website is that it provides a lower maintenance cost when compared to running two versions at the same time. However, it might be costlier in the beginning. That said, the reduced cost of maintaining two separates websites will ultimately save resources.
In addition, a responsive website takes less time to setup. Maintaining two different websites is harder than maintaining one responsive website. It provides more time for you to focus on other areas of your school’s IT infrastructure.
3. Provides a Seamless User Experience
This is one of the biggest advantages of a responsive website. Unresponsive sites mess up the elements and text on tablets and mobiles. Although desktop viewers will have no issue accessing or navigating the website, the mobile users would be unpleased.
Images don’t align, texts are jumped, and users have to scroll through countless webpages to collect the relevant information. This makes it a frustrating experience for users, forcing them to visit other websites.
To avoid creating these issues, look into evaluating the quality of your website design. The advantages you enjoy in the long run will outweigh whatever you are spending for the upgrade.
4. Adapts to Any Screen Size
A responsive school website can adapt to any screen size. With this approach, you stand out from your competition. Many schools are still using outdated web design approaches, which alienates mobile users. Therefore, this is your opportunity to shine and position your website such that it can adapt as per newer devices, especially IoT devices and smartwatches.
5. Improve SEO
Responsive websites are likely to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). When you focus on creating a user-centric website, it could increase your dwell time, meaning users stay around for longer periods. Even Google recommends adopting a responsive web design approach. Once you adopt it, your visibility on the web will increase soon.
So, how to measure your school website’s mobile-friendliness? Other than seeing for yourself, you can search online websites and apps to get a formal perspective on how it fares on mobile platforms.
If you have made up your mind to adopt responsive web design, reach out to us. We have plenty of experience in creating responsive websites for educational institutions.