Top 10 University Websites
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Websites, for any business or institution, need to be many things; great marketing tools, good resources and easy to navigate.
University websites are no different. When existing and prospective students review a school’s site, they should be able to get the information they need quickly and, let’s face it; they need to look pretty darn cool too.
And so, taking into account all the factors that make websites great and a few others just because I can, here are the top ten university websites.
10. Denver Seminary
A very informative site, heavily laden with easy to find info. If the gospel, helping your fellow man bringing changes to the world is your educational cup of tea you’ll love scouring this website. There’s a good use of video too, showing students helping others (I’ve heard of that) all over the world.
9. Washtenaw Community College
Smooth as a baby’s bottom, that’s how I’d describe this one. That certainly makes including it on our list of best University websites easy, but what really puts it over the top is this is a Community College. My first thought is wow, oozing this much academia from a website speaks volumes about the school. Not bad going up against the big boys.
8. Mississippi State
The Forest and Wildlife program in particular gets the nod on this list. A bit busier, text-wise than ideal, but you don’t need to read a word to know what this school is all about. It only takes one glance, and that bodes well for a university website in my book. Plus they have a Carnivore Ecology Laboratory; any school with a Carnivore Ecology Laboratory is cool, period.
7. University of Denver
The message is clear, attending University of Denver provides students the opportunity to attend school in…Denver. The point being the website design folks made the decision to feature that as the lure, or hook, and they did a great job of it. The entire site, regardless of the area you’re in, includes all things Denver. To me, it’s clear a lot of thought went into the look and feel, before the pixel was added; just as it should.
6. Ohio State
Stone laboratory is a summer program OSU offers to undergraduates interested in the sciences; particularly biology and geology. The site is extremely cool and they were somehow able to make it extremely visual without slowing the navigation down; not always easy. And nothing’s worse than waiting precious seconds for a page to load, who has the time for that?
A little on the cartoonish side perhaps. But the folks at Biola University are able to get so much information in such an easy to understand and navigate site, it more than makes up for the ‘toon feel. The use of graphics and pictures as links to other areas of the site means very little text is needed. The result is a nice, clean looking website; nothing worse than reams of verbiage, ugh!
4. William and Mary
Not only a great school, a great website. William and Mary knows what separates them from other schools, and it is prominently displayed throughout their website. They have buildings on campus over 300 years old and, based on their website, the atmosphere you’d expect in that type of surroundings. The fact they are able to capture it so well puts ‘em high on the list of top University websites.
3. Virginia Commonwealth
Other university websites have these, but VCU’s is rockin’. Check out their campus virtual tour; by the time you’re done you won’t have a question about the school, what makes it different and most importantly where the cafeteria is. The little, torn looking lined yellow piece in the upper left hand corner will get you everywhere you need to go. Piece of cake.
2. University of Chicago
A nice use of graphics in lieu of text make this website top-drawer. Not only is the home page clean as whistle, the entire site retains this quality. That’s one aspect of University websites often overlooked; putting time, energy and work into the entire site, not just the home or “splash” page. The attention to detail and easy-to-find wealth of information puts this University of Chicago within a hair of the top spot.
1. Johns Hopkins
A tough call, no doubt, but the top of our University websites list goes to JHU. The line of reasoning is this; obviously Johns Hopkins is a school with a reputation like few others. Maybe one of those med schools in the Caribbean, but that’s about it. What makes this site great is they opted to not design with a “aren’t I cool” feel. Rather, the collage of images and the sense a user gets navigating the site is it’s all about the people. The students, faculty and emphasis on community are what resonate. Not bad for an institution that could get make it “all about me” if they had a mind to.