Website Best Practice for World Class Universities

In 2008/09 we reviewed the websites of all 137 of the universities ranked in the world top 100 by either the THE or ARWU global rankings.
We covered 22 key areas:

  • Ability to find the site
  • Design, graphics and branding
  • Straplines
  • Amplification of research
  • News on the homepage
  • Key links on homepage
  • Editorial emphasis of homepage
  • Visual emphasis of homepage
  • Affiliations on home page
  • Language
  • Technology
  • Universities that project innovation
  • Structure and navigation
  • Easy availability of 'fame factors'
  • Broadcast of world status
  • Sense of place, unique selling points
  • Sense of international outlook
  • Appeal to international faculty
  • Size of international student body
  • Appeal to international students
  • Detail of information provided
  • Overall site satisfaction

Outstanding University websites were analysed and presented, with interesting, unusual, notable, or excellent examples highlighted. The screen shots were grouped by:

  • Good homepage, graphic design/branding
  • A sense of 'international outlook'
  • Appeal to international faculty
  • Amplification of research profile
  • Good use of technology
  • Appeal to international students
  • Media-friendly sites
  • Interesting use of rank/reputation
  • Extensive use of location
  • Exemplary structure and navigation

2008/09 research members received a bespoke report, in addition to the main project report, comparing their sites and brand presence with four agreed world-class competitors. We took an intensive look at the five websites in each case to see how the member stood up against rivals, comparators or benchmarked institutions. The analysis was arranged according to the 22 factors in the main report, but allowed for side by side analysis.

Members: click here to access the project files in the Research Library. Only 2008/09 Research Members have full access to this project, other members can access the summary only. Contact to find out more about purchasing full access to this research.

Non-members: contact for more information about Network membership to gain access to this research