Website Building Child's Play
Kids do so much more online these days than research for homework or tests at school. They're heading to chat rooms, visiting the sites of their favorite television networks and shows, and using social media sites.
Some more ambitious children will become interested in their own website building. If this is your child, I'm sure you're concerned. Is this a good idea in terms of safety? Since children's interests change with the wind, is there a good, free hosting option? It would be unwise to lock yourself into a cheap hosting contract and then have them lose interest! At the same time, you don't want a free hosting provider that advertises adult sites in the sidebar, as is the case with some of them.
Here are some great free hosting options for kids, where they can learn hands-on website design and share their passions safely (and for free!)
Website Building: Family Crossings
This cheap hosting provider offers a place to host a website all about your family, and is perfect for the very young designer. Give your child the task of building the site and keeping it up-to-date, even if they're only 9 years old. That site is always completely private. It's like your family's own personal social networking site!
You are given a username and password to hand out to loved ones, and only those with that information can view the site. Your child's site will never appear in the search engine. Not even tech support can access your site without the username and password!
With all that this site offers, your child will be busy for some time. Upload photos of your last family vacation, and post a family newsletter keeping everyone informed about what everyone in your household is up to (recitals, sports, reunions, etc.) There's an area to post your favorite recipes for the whole family to enjoy, as well as unconventional remedies that might be known only to your family. Keep track of wish lists, addresses and phone numbers, and conduct chats with other family members, too.
While they do offer paid memberships, there is a free plan available so you aren't committed to something that doesn't work for your family.
Website Building: PLANET KODU
Budding game designer in your family? Check out Planet Kodu. Designed by ideasLAB, it relies on Kodu Game Lab for PC which is a programming language just for kids, created by Microsoft.
Ease your way into the process of developing a game through programming with tutorials and challenges, and check out the sample games. It helps kids realize the problem solving that is required when programming, which leads to the added benefit of boosting grades in school!
The Planet Kodu site hosts many challenges and competitions aimed at getting kids excited about creating games, and with the excitement that generates, it could lead to web design or other forms of programming down the road.
Website Building: WIX
Is your child not quite ready to write code, but old enough you trust them to publish their own website? Turn to Wix to provide free hosting for your child's blog in minutes, no coding required. They offer many templates to choose from which are customizable, allowing your child's personality to display itself online.
Hosting is totally secure, and website creation is as simple as dragging and dropping. With many apps available to integrate and mobile compatibility, your child will have a killer site no matter what device a user views it on.
Website Building: Cheap Hosting Providers
Have you tried any of these free hosting companies? Tell us about your experience!