The Internet is no longer a place where only adults gather. So if your kids are spending time on the Internet, why not help them build their first website? It can prove to be a fun and safe way for them to have fun online.
Teaching children how to design their own website is a brilliant way to familiarize them with the web and encourage their interests in technology. Luckily, there are many free and low-cost DIY web services that require no previous experience and can become a great place for kids to start their first sites.
Please note that we’re talking about website builders for adults. Though they’re so intuitive that even kids can use them, they’re aren’t exclusively designed for children. But parents can use them to show how easy and fast building a website can be.
At this point, you will wonder whether there are niche site builders for kids. Frankly, we failed to find any decent services. We did find several web services labeled as ‘website builders for kids’, but when we registered we were more than disappointed. We’ve already discussed the subject of website builders for kids in this article.
Instead, we’ll show you some of the easiest website builders that you can use to teach your kids upload images, relink pages and create unique content.
Though Wix has no separate platforms for education, it is still a great place to show kids what it takes to build and publish a website. Wix’s editor is fun and very easy-to-navigate. Similar to Weebly, Wix allows for a visual way of website creation, thanks to its drag-and-drop/WYSIWYG editor. Its colorful control panel is easy-to-navigate – you’ll never get lost there.
Wix has a free version that never expires and also 4 paid plans starting at $4.08/mo.
uKit is a great pick, as it provides a total What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get editing environment. From choosing a site template to specifying meta tags and re-ordering pages in the site menu – all is done in a visual interface that supports inline editing. With uKit, adding images, content blocks and widgets is a matter of drag-and-drop. If your kid knows how to use a computer mouse and type, he or she is more than capable to build a site with this web service. Children don’t need previous experience, and neither does the parent or adult helping them.
The smart wizard of uKit will take you through the steps to fill out the essential details of the site: contact info, portfolio images, and social media accounts among other content blocks. When completed, you just need to replace the placeholder text in the template and your website is ready to go live.
uKit is one of the most cost-effective options: for only $4/mo you will get a fully-functional website with the possibility to attach a custom domain name.
Weebly is a great choice because it is not only very easy to use, but also has a separate version of the builder for education. With its help, teachers can easily create a classroom website and blog and help students create their own accounts. What’s more, teachers can accept home assignments online and manage students’ profiles.
But you don’t necessarily have to sign up for Weebly for education to show your kid how websites are being made. That version is reserved for teachers. Parents can equally benefit from the regular Weebly site builder.
Weebly is based on a drag-and-drop editor, which means you’ll be doing a lot of dragging, dropping and inline editing. Kids will love it. Of course, besides adding drag-and-drop elements to the page there are more complex actions, like adding a custom domain or configuring your blog settings. This is where your assistance is required.
The best thing about Weebly is that you can create a website with it for free and keep your account free as long as you need. Only when you decide to attach a custom domain and get more professional features, you’ll be asked to pay $8-25/mo.
To keep your kid engaged in website creation, build a meaningful website that he/she will have to update. For instance, use the site to show off your kid’s science project from start to finish, sports competition or hobby. Also, the website can serve as an artistic portfolio showcasing your kid’s interests and activities.
Work together to take images of his/her handmade goods or paintings, think up short descriptions for each photo, show how to create galleries, and add new site pages. Teach your kid how to blog. Blogging will give him or her a creative outlet and develop his/her writing skills further with every blog post.
When the site is ready, you may want to add extra goodies, depending on the capabilities of the chosen website builder. You can install a guestbook to allow visitors to say hello and leave feedback on the site, embed weather forecast or Quote of the day widget etc.
The possibilities are enormous! Over time you may notice that your kid is comfortable updating the website and no longer needs your help.
Allowing your kids to create their own website, with appropriate supervision, increases their knowledge of web design, search engine optimization and other areas. Besides, you may learn a thing or two about web development yourself.