Today’s prospective parents and students are closely tied to their mobile devices and are conducting most of their online searches on their phones and tablets—even when they’re near a computer! (Google reported that 77% of searches from mobile devices took place at home or at work.)
In 2012, Pew Internet found that 75% of young adults (ages 18-29) reported that they mostly go online with a mobile device. Even more interesting: 80% of users aged 25-34 go mostly online with their cell phone or tablet. What does this mean for your school now? And more importantly—what does this mean for your school in 2, 3, 5…or even 10 years?
Schools that are early adopters of mobile technology will find themselves at a distinct advantage over schools that delay implementation. Parents will use mobile search to find schools in their community, and if they cannot access your website easily on a mobile device, they may decide to look elsewhere. Your website is an important reflection of your school’s standard of excellence. Can prospective parents see it on their cell phone or tablet?
Here are some important reminders when designing a mobile version of your school’s website:
- Easy-to-find contact information is a vital component of your mobile-optimized website. This includes your school’s phone number, email address and physical address. Many people will be navigating to your school’s website on their mobile device precisely to find this information. Make it easy to find.
- Load time is an important consideration. One of the key benefits to a mobile-optimized website is decreasing the overall website load time. Make sure your mobile website loads quickly.
- Consider how people navigate on their touch-screen phones and tablets. Larger, finger-friendly buttons and menus make it easy to surf a mobile website.
- Make sure fonts are easy to read. Err on the side of larger text so users don’t have to zoom or turn the mobile device into landscape mode in order to read your content.
- Content is still important. Just like on your regular website, your school needs to emphasize popular content areas like About pages, Admissions, and your Calendar. These are all important content areas that prospective and current families will access via their mobile browser.
Does this sound too overwhelming? Don’t worry. If you’re an existing School Site customer, we can render a mobile-friendly version of your school’s website for just $295. For schools that used a Cherry+Company pre-designed template or custom website design, Cherry will provide a mobile version of your design. Mobile versions of templates are $300, and mobile versions of custom designs are $550. Contact us for more information.