Educational websites are just like any other website, with only a few differences.
While building any website, the first step is to clarify for yourself what you want to offer to people? So having a clearly defined goal, vision and mission are the first steps.
When you already find the answers to those questions, you should be able to start planning the next steps. For example, if you decide to build an educational website for teenagers, it has to be informative and exciting. Of course, you should not forget about the parents, since parents are somehow included in their children’s educational lives.
So, now let’s learn the most important steps for building a basic educational website.
1. Educational courses
“Quality over quantity!” This should be your motto for delivering any material, whether it be online courses, reading materials, or any other thing.
Sure, it always looks good on a website when they offer many options, such as different courses. However, imagine you offer 10 courses, yet most of them do not have any quality. Instead, you should provide 3 or 4 informative courses, with high quality.
Later on, you can add new classes, but for the beginning, quality is more important than the quantity! Remember, you want to have a good reputation!
You should let your students know that the key to better learning is to do it constantly in the long term. Do not put the whole educational material in one course. Divide it into 2-3 levels, and let your students know that they can start a completely new journey with you.
When the users feel like they are improving, it satisfies them and makes them like your materials and courses even more.
You should try your best to provide the most informative content with the best quality!
Most people who register for online courses are not satisfied with the provided material of the schools and universities. Therefore, they are expecting more, something unique. You should be creative enough to navigate your students’ needs and act accordingly.
Sometimes you might have to work quickly, to attract more students. In those times, you must focus more on the quality and information you are willing to provide than the design of your website or presentations. You can improve the design later. However, if the material lacks quality-wise, you will lose your users.
Video lectures, podcasts, worksheets, online libraries, and similar materials will help you look more professional. You can offer them as part of the education process, or as a bonus.
Try to be different. You can also offer PDF files with unique information for different needs; it will give the sense that you care for your students’ specific problems. Try to provide educational videos. The internet is full of written instructions. However, people tend to understand better if a person is talking.
For example, suppose you are a website teaching chemistry and are introducing a chapter related to explosive materials. In that case, you can show them a video of a person mixing two different substances and experiencing an explosion. It will make the students interested in the topic and will help them understand it even better. Visuals are always more important!
Introduce your teachers beforehand. Try to post their pictures on the advertisements. It will make the students more comfortable. There is a possibility that many people will join the classes only because of the teacher! If you have a well-known instructor, there is a chance that so many people will join because of him/her!
Advertising your teachers might be the best option to attract students. Students will know from whom they are going to learn, and they will be excited.
For example, IELTS PROFI which helps students to pass the IELTS test makes sure to advertise their teachers so that students can know with whom they are going to study.
4. Have an about us page
Explain your uniqueness to your visitors. Tell them about your visions and the reason they should choose your website. Exclusive benefits, courses, and materials are always a plus!
5. Make you available for your students
It is so important for your students to know that you are always there for them. You should add a phone number or an email address for them to contact you whenever they want.
Even if you are unable to be available 24/7, you can put bot chats capable of answering the basic and commonly asked questions.
6. Your business should be well-branded
One of the most important factors while building a website, or any other business, is your logo.
Your logo is the first thing that explains about you and lets your visitors have a quick and overall understanding of what you offer and what kind of “personality” you have. Pay attention to the colors and images you use.
Your homepage should be designed in a way that will be welcoming and encouraging for the new people. Visitors must be encouraged to contact you and start the courses immediately.
Make brochures about the services you are willing to provide. Make sure to do it both online and offline. The information provided on the flyers should be the same that is published on your website. Consistency is the key.
You can use colors such as green, brown, blue, and white. These are the colors that represent the growth, possibilities, and potential.
You want your visitors to feel welcome and have the belief of improvement and success. Your students want to think that they can achieve new levels and trust you with their growth. Color psychology will help you in that matter.
It is always essential to make sure you know everything about a concept before starting it. So here we have some common questions you might want to know the answers of before building your website:
1. How to protect your customers’ information?
It is crucial to have an SSL certificate while building a website. This system helps you create an encrypted communication channel between you and your visitor’s browser. It restricts the outsiders to have access to your user data.
While having an SSL certificate, you can ensure that your customers’ data will always be under secure protection.
2. Is it essential to use SEO tools?
First, let’s clarify what SEO is. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Websites with good SEO rank on google and bring lots of students/customers to their website through organic traffic.
When you start your online school, make sure to set up a blog, and write quality content to educate your students for free. This way, they will see how you can educate them, and you also will get some organic traffic from your blogs through Google.
3. Is it essential to link my social media pages to the site, and how is it possible?
It is not only possible, but it is vital to do it. You should link your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media pages to your website. You can do it via posting your links on your photos which you upload on your social media platforms
Your visitors need to be able to contact you in the fastest and easiest way possible. If you write your contacts in a visible place, your visitors would not have to spend much time searching.
Most of the time, when visitors cannot find the information they want in a short period, they eventually give up and look for another website.
4. Can I customize the educational website?
Yes, you can! Your website can look exactly the way you want it to be. You can add multiple sections, photos, menus, price lists, and videos. You can also change the colors and fonts to whatever you like and feel will go well with your website’s branding
However, one of the most critical factors is to have your website look equally good on a mobile phone and desktop. You have to make sure your website builder has separate templates for mobiles, tablets, and desktops.
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Hazreh Shanazari is a marketing specialist at IELTS PROFI and helps to build IELTS PROFI as an online educational platform.