5 Keys to Improving Your Higher Education Website
The best college websites are the front door to the institution. They make information easy to find, they simplify complex processes and they reflect the brand of your college or university.
And while higher education website design is important to reflecting these characteristics, it must be built on a solid base. Just like a beautiful car is a lemon without a great engine, your higher education website will underperform without a great content management system (CMS).
Most importantly, your CMS should be tailor-made for the unique needs of higher education, delivering website personalization and able to handle the sheer scale and size of a higher education website.
Here are five keys you should consider when it comes to finding the right platform to build your website around:
1. Your Higher Education Website Platform Should Deliver Massive Personalization
Higher ed websites contain hundreds of pages with swaths of critical information… but finding that data can be challenging. Your website should feed website visitors the information they need based on past browsing history, purchasing intent and other critical factors. This is the Netflix experience today’s students expect.
With a student-first web engagement platform—designed for the modern higher education consumer—you can deliver the massively personalized experience modern learners expect.
2. Your Higher Education Website Platform Should Be Purpose-Built for Higher Education
Don’t settle for an off-the-shelf CMS, generically designed to fit the broad needs of any business. The amount of customization and additional investment that it’ll need to suit your specific needs are astronomical.
Instead, prioritize a system with a 100% higher ed focus, which offers robust product capabilities and a complete solution with modules and partnerships specifically designed to serve colleges and universities.
Chances are your website will be a prospective student’s first impression of your institution. And if it’s designed right, your website can deliver the high-quality engagement that keeps learners involved throughout their lifetime—even after they graduate and become alumni. Make sure your website is built to serve your specific audiences at every stage of their engagement with you, with their specific needs at the core.
3. Your Higher Education Website Platform Should Be Easy to Use
Your website should be built on a platform that’s easy-to-use, so that non-technical users can quickly organize, create and manage compelling content without fear of wrecking brand consistency or “breaking the site”.
Your subject matter experts across the institution have a huge number of priorities they’re juggling. Making it easy for them to keep website content accurate and up to date will be one less thing for them to worry about, and will ensure you’re delivering an elite experience to your prospective and current students.
4. Your Higher Education Website Platform Should Be Backed Up by Elite Customer Support
Many CMS providers exist to offer you software and software alone. If you want customer engagement, you’ll have to engage a third party or bring in a specialized firm to implement and service your needs.
Your higher education website platform should be backed by comprehensive customer support, and driven by a customer-focused product roadmap that’s aligned with the aspirations of diverse colleges and universities.
5. Your Higher Education Website Platform Should Be Deeply Interconnected
Colleges and universities often face challenges when it comes to siloed systems, but your website shouldn’t suffer from the same issues.
A modern college website should provide a seamless user experience that allows prospects to access data that’s relevant to them and travel across departments, programs and services to find what they need when they need it. What’s more, those pages should all be built to deliver consistency—in look, in functionality and in navigability.
That seamless experience is essential to ensuring students receive the high-quality digital engagement they’ve come to expect.
Make Sure Your Website Delivers Students the Digital Experience They Expect
Delivering a great digital experience starts with the website, and it’s essential that you have the right tools in place. Your higher education website needs to be built on a platform that delivers the student-centricity that modern colleges and universities promise.
If you’re thinking about finding a new CMS to build your website around, our Buyers’ Guide will give you the knowledge and strategies you need to find the platform that’s right for you!
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Last updated: May 5, 2021