If you’ve seen the kinds of college websites that are out there, you might be intimidated at the thought of building your own.
But even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge, it is possible to get a functional website up and running in a small amount of time.
As with anything worthwhile, it can take time to gather all relevant information and build content around it. But wouldn’t you prefer a website up and running sooner rather than later?
In this guide, I’ll show you how to make a college website fast.
How To Make A College Website Fast
Your institution deserves the best – that’s why I’m going to show you how to build your website on WordPress.
WordPress is a powerful site building tool. There are plenty of plugins out there that can extend its functionality, so even if you find you need to make some changes or add a few things down the line, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do what you need to do.
Okay, so you’re ready to install WordPress, but not so fast. First, you need a domain name and web hosting plan.
Both can be purchased through a webhost such as Justhost, which is what I recommend.
If you’re running a business or personal site, generally the best idea is to register a .com domain name. But other TLDs might be better suited to a college website. My suggestion would be to get a .edu domain name, or a location-specific domain name (such as a .ca address, if you’re in Canada, for instance).
With your domain name and hosting secured, you can now install WordPress. This is a one-click process.
Once WordPress installed, you’ll have a generic looking blog. It may not look like much yet, but this represents the foundation on which your website will be built. Don’t worry – I’ll show you how to make it look pretty in a bit.
Before we get to that, though, let’s look at what pages you’re going to need on your college site.
The Pages And Info Potential Students Are Looking For When Visiting Your College Site
Earlier, I talked about the fact that it can take a while to build up your website’s content.
Still, it’s better to have all the essentials in place before you worry about blog posts and articles, events, summer school programs, and so on.
What info are your potential students looking for when they come to your website? That’s what we’re going to focus on now.
Here’s a list of pages you’ll want to create:
- Admissions. You can’t have a college without students. To build your student body, you’re going to want to make it easy for visitors coming to your website to apply. You can call your page “admissions”, “apply”, or whatever you want. The point is you’re going to need it.
- Academics. What can students learn at your college? What courses are available? Who’s teaching the courses? Unless your prospective students have heard about you, one of the first pages they’re going to look at is your “academics” page, so have it ready.
- Campus. Cover all the basics here. Where is your campus located? What does it look like? How can people get in touch with you? If you’re gunning for bonus points, talk about campus life and what your students can expect studying and learning onsite.
The above list is but a bare minimum. There are so many other pages that could be – and ultimately should be – created. I would suggest starting with the most critical information first and adding other pages later.
3 Super Professional Looking College Themes (Easy Set Up)
I want to set you up for success, which is why I’m going to point you in the direction of several themes that would be perfect for your college website.
What is a theme?
You know how every website looks a little different, right? It has different design elements, a different look and feel to it. In WordPress, themes make it easy for you to manipulate the look of your website without a lot of technical knowledge.
So, here are three themes worth checking out.
Grand College – WordPress Theme For Education
Grand College has a classic, professional look, and is a great container for the many content elements you’ll be adding ot your website.
This theme comes with built-in course tables, a drop an drop page builder, localization support, six custom post types, unlimited sidebars, and is even SEO optimized. It has all the tools you need to get your site off the ground.
Invent – Education Course College WordPress Theme
Looking for something a little more modern? Then you’ll probably like the sleek look of Invent, perfect for a college that’s on the cutting edge of education.
This theme comes loaded with 30+ page builder widgets, eight custom post types, infinite color schemes, parallax/video sections, WooCommerce integration, 500+ Google Fonts, and much more.
EDU – Educational Courses, College WP Theme
EDU is the meeting place of classic and modern design. It has a familiar look – not uncomfortably cutting-edge, and not noticeably outdated either.
It’s very much a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) kind of theme, but it does integrate with WooCommerce and is multilingual ready. If you’re looking for just the essentials, this might be the theme for you.
What Are Other Top College Websites Doing? Have A Look
There are plenty of great college websites out there, and there’s so much you can learn from them.
If you’re trying to determine what pages to build next, or what functionality to add, you should have a look around and see what other institutions are doing.
Here are several college sites worth a look:
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Let’s face it – there aren’t too many college websites out there one could describe as being “bold and modern”. But that’s exactly what this website represents, and no doubt it helps attract their target audience. Their menu is well-organized without being too cluttered, and their homepage makes it easy to find events, courses, news, and more.
- Bates College: Many college websites are simply overwhelming. There’s too much content sitting there, waiting to be read, scanned, viewed, and so on. But this website’s menu is all neatly tucked away in a dropdown, and when you open it, you can see how well-organized it is. There are only a few things visitors can do above the fold, which is exactly how it should be. Prioritize the important stuff.
- Virginia Commonwealth University: This university has an attractive website to say the least. They’ve kept their menu simple, they have plenty of eye-catching photos, and their use of color is also worth taking notes on. VCU clearly understand the importance of using quality visuals in their marketing.
How To Create A College Website Conclusion
In summary, we’ve looked at how to install WordPress, what pages to prioritize and add to your site, a few themes you can use to spice up the look and feel of your site, and several quality college websites you can take inspiration from.
How easy was that? The only thing to do now is get your college website out into the world, and keep improving upon what you’ve already built.