Web Design & Development

The 13 Best Private School Websites (November 2019)

In the world of academia, there’s a lot a school wants to be able to convey through its website. Not only should the best private school websites deliver all of the necessary information to prospective and current students, but these websites also need to be compelling, giving students and their families a big reason why when it comes to enrolling. In order for a private school website to be effective, it needs to be both professional and friendly, intelligent and community-oriented, official and welcoming.

And while there are plenty of private school websites that could be used as an example of what not to do when it comes to design, we’ve chosen to focus on the best, giving you fifteen stellar examples of websites that really do get it right. From overall layout and design, to personality and branding, the following list includes the best of the best private school websites as of November 2019.

Not only are these websites enjoyable to use, but they deliver all of the information prospective parents would want, as well as being functional for current students, families, and staff.

Enjoy our list of the 13 Best Private School Website Designs

  1. Santa Fe Waldorf School

    From the very first impression it makes, parents and students understand what the Santa Fe Waldorf School is all about. Its main headline (“Think outside the box. Think outside.”) delivers its mission in a compelling way, while the moving background filled with video clips from classrooms and the campus gives you a taste of what going to the school is really like. Bold action buttons (“Apply” and “Start Your Application”) give visitors a jumping off point if they want to get started right away. But one of the most compelling parts about this website is its focus on the community, which is made apparent through large integrated social media feeds and the social calendar on the homepage. As you explore more of the website, you notice how consistent the branding and color scheme is from page to page, and how soothing the white space around the content is for the eyes.

  2. Ravenscroft School

    Committed to upholding tradition, the Ravenscroft School in North Carolina focuses on its history while also looking forward. Under the logo on the website, the school touts its 19th century heritage. However, just below, visitors will find the school’s current mission: Changing the world through creative leadership. Multiple videos embedded across the site give visitors a chance to really experience the school, while creative organization of content (for example, an interconnected circle of core focuses) delivers on the promise of innovative and forward-thinking education. One of our favorite parts of the website is the featured students section called “Meet the Ravens”, where students are interviewed and photographed. These interviews are just another way for the website to feel even more personal to visitors, allowing them to get to know classmates and students before they ever even step foot on the campus.

  3. McGehee School

    An all-girl private school in New Orleans, the McGehee School website is anything but overwhelming or complex. Focusing on helping visitors get from one page to the next, the overall experience is like taking a guided tour through the school – one you can, of course, do whenever you want. From its inspirational headlines (“Find Your Freedom”, “Find Your Superpower”, “Find Your Joy”) to its Featured News section, the website makes visitors feel like they belong, something that is paramount to private school communities. Like all great private school websites, the McGehee School prominently features its students, including portraits, names, and the year they graduated (or will graduate). The McGehee School goes one step further by showcasing past students who are succeeding, giving each a short bio followed by a link to the school’s popular mentorship program. The social media links at the bottom of each website page are just another reason why it’s so effective.

  4. Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School

    The website for the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in New York gets down to business right away. However, it doesn’t come off as harsh or cold. Thanks to the friendly face of a student above, the quickly delivered mission statement feels welcoming, letting visitors know that, yes, they’ve found the right school. Divided into sections based on the grades at school, the website makes navigation simple. And, thanks to the numbers and statistics delivered on the homepage, visitors feel educated and informed, a good sign for a private school promising a fantastic education for its students. In addition to bold, easy-to-find action buttons and an intelligent tiered menu at the top of the page, the website leverages testimonials to further engage visitors, giving them a strong desire to continue learning about this prestigious school.

  5. Watkinson School

    A private school in Connecticut, the website for the Watkinson School also uses engaging video clips and powerful headlines to convey its unique message. But, one of the reasons why the Watkinson School website is one of the best is because of its clean, people-focused layout. Rather than making the website too busy, or too focused on the school itself, the Watkinson School turns the attention to its students, with a variety of videos and quotes creating a compelling argument for why the school really is one of the best in New England. With plenty of blank space on margins of the website and in between content (a great thing in terms of design), visitors are able to relax, discovering what’s next thanks to the easy to navigate menu located at the top and bottom of the homepage.

  6. Blake School

    One of the unique things about the Blake School in Minnesota is that it has three campuses, making delivering a concise, community-based message on its website even more of a challenge. The Blake School, however, rises to the occasion by creating a website that is enjoyable to use, meaning that it’s helpful, informative, engaging, unique, and fun. From fantastic in-classroom pictures to an informative “At-A-Glance” section that features numerical facts about the school, every inch of the website is well-used and well-designed. We especially love the condensed menu and recent news section located on the left-hand side of the homepage. And, unlike some private schools, Blake School isn’t just active on social media, but it’s also proud of its activity, feeding its post directly onto the homepage of the website.

  7. Tara Performing Arts High School

    Located in Boulder, Colorado, the Tara Performing Arts High School has a website with a bold design. And, while the overall effect wouldn’t be appropriate for some private schools, it’s the perfect unapologetic message a performing arts school like Tara wants. Featuring images without any space between, a brightly colored footer, and an out-of-the-way menu so that the experience is uninterrupted, the website for the Tara Performing Arts High School is one of a kind, just like the Waldorf-inspired education they are promising. Although design wise there could be room for improvement, the thing we like most about this website is that it understands its personality and branding – and that it’s consistent about it from one page to the next.

  8. The Bush School

    Although the layout is rather expected, the story presented in the video clip on the homepage isn’t. While most private schools focus on talking about themselves, The Bush School has managed to create a storyline for itself, one that it delivers instantly on its website. Through this video, which unfolds with an almost cinematic appeal, visitors not only get to know the school, but they start to understand why it’s different. The easy-to-read bold blue menu at the top of the page creates a user-friendly navigation experience, compiling tons of content and information into one place. Another nice touch? The Mission, Philosophy, History page on the website features a school timeline, creating a great visual for visitors rather than expecting them to read paragraph after paragraph of information. The website can also be easily translated into any language thanks to an integrated Google feature on the bottom of each page.

  9. Convent & Stuart Hall

    A website that appeals to traditional parents and forward-thinking students, Convent & Stuart Hall has created an online presence that is powerfully effective. Managing to bridge the gap between a variety of different backgrounds and beliefs, the website and its classic design create a welcoming experience for everyone. Using great at-school photographs and compelling videos that give visitors a sneak peek into real life in the classrooms, the website feels personal and warm. With several campuses around the San Francisco area, the school’s website also provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the different campuses, offering interactive maps, beautiful illustrations, and a cool history lesson all at the same time. Because it is so interactive, the website manages to hold its visitors’ attention, ensuring that they don’t leave before they really get to know the Convent & Stuart Hall school. To help cement the relationship, the website makes it easy to follow the school on its many different social media profiles, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Flickr.

  10. University School of Nashville

    While there’s a lot going on on the homepage for the University School of Nashville, it’s not overwhelming simply because the page is so short. Rather than letting visitors scroll (and potentially get lost), the website condenses everything into one short page, providing visitors with an interactive experience that is tailored to individual interests. With a current calendar scrolling along with the images and easy-to-find social links, it’s clear that the University School of Nashville values community involvement. To make finding what you need even easier, a search bar at the top of the homepage allows visitors to find information quickly. Also at the top of the homepage is a login option, making the website even more functional for current students and staff.

  11. Francis Parker School

    Visually speaking, the website for the Francis Parker School in Chicago is wonderfully appealing. Beautiful from top to bottom, everything feels like it has been thoughtfully chosen, from the font to the photos, the content to the menu. Unlike some private school websites, which feature haphazard menus that look like they’ve been thrown together just to put everything in one spot, the menus on the website for the Francis Parker School are helpful and aesthetically pleasing. Using a grey-scale menu above the main menu in blue, the two don’t feel like they are competing with each other. Another great feature about this website is that it is media rich, with plenty of interactive videos for visitors to enjoy. And, instead of a standard FAQ section, the Francis Parker School makes its information more fun with an illustrated “By the Numbers” section, which gives visitors facts about the school – from its six-acre campus to its student body of under 1,000.

  12. Brownell Talbot

    Far from flashy but definitely not boring, the website for the private school Brownell Talbot in Omaha, Nebraska understands how to be simultaneously professional and engaging. With a smart design and a cohesive color scheme, the website is enjoyable to explore. And, even better, everything a visitor needs or wants to know is super easy to find thanks to the bold menu and the visually-appealing “What Makes Us Unique?” section. Using a good mix of images and written content, the overall website experience is pleasant and straightforward, making the school feel like a sensible choice for parents wanting a solid education for their students.

  13. The Hockaday School

    When you land on a school’s homepage and you feel like all of your questions (or at least the big ones) have been answered for you, that’s definitely a win, especially if you’re a busy parent wanting to make a decision about your child’s education. The Hockaday School in Dallas does just that on its website by creating a comprehensive homepage with a consistent layout that’s easy to scroll through from top to bottom. Using patterns, images, and an earthy color scheme, the school manages to present all of its information without any fluff. But, because of the images it uses (mainly smiling students), this straightforward approach is perceived as friendly and inviting, not cold or boring.

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