As parents we can’t ignore the fact that as soon as our children reach a certain age, not only are they exploring all the internet has to offer, many will want to create their own website for the world to see. I’m not an expert in advising when your child should be building a website. I can however say that I’ve helped my daughter create a website at the tender age of 10 years old.
It’s a website that we are doing together so if there are any contact messages, they would be moderated by me, as she is way too young to answer questions. In fact we have discussion turned off so there is no need for dialogue just yet.
Let me firstly explain my 6 step procedure for creating a website with your children.
1.Find A Niche Topic
Find a niche topic to create your website around. This should be fairly easy as all you need to do is ask you child. Remember, this is for your child, not you. I’m sure your child has enough interests to choose a great topic to base a website around.
2. Obtain a Domain & Hosting
A domain name will cost you approximately $10 per year. For those unsure, a domain name is the name of the website you type in at the top of the web browser. Eg: www.yourwebsite.com. There are plenty of places to purchase a domain such as GoDaddy or namecheap. Hosting will cost about $100 per year. This is the place that where all your website data will be stored. There are also heaps of sites where you can get hosting such as Bluehost or Fatcow. Many of the big hosting providers now offer a free domain name if you sign up with them. From time to time they also have great deals so look out for these. It’s also possible to get a free domain name individually but you will not get a .com suffix. Free hosting is also available but I’d steer clear of these. The host will still own your site and therefore they place adverts on it, this is how they get revenue. My advice would be that if you are wanting to go the free option, why not join up to Wealthy Affiliate. They actually teach affiliate marketing but you don’t need to do this yet. Maybe this is something you could get into later and teach your child. WA offer 2 free domains, websites and free hosting with their free account. It’s all extremely well monitored, secure and easy to set-up.
3. Building & Designing Your Website
If you know coding you may have an advantage but even if you don’t, a website can be designed fairly quickly. One of the first things you need to do is decide which theme you’d like for your design. A theme is a designed skin. A tip when looking for a theme is to get a responsive one. This is so that it can be viewed on mobile devices along with PC’s. There are many free responsive themes that you can choose from. Here’s where you can find some of the best – FreshDesignWeb. Your going to want to add images to your website to make it more visual. You can either take your own photo’s or use other peoples. Be careful to only use ‘Creative Common’ images. These are free to use when you give credit to the owner. I find the best place to get these images is PhotoPin. They will provide you with the correct piece of code to add for the photo credit. Clip art is another option to add to your newly created website. To add any sort of photos or images, this is done in the media section of your WordPress dashboard.
4. Creating Content
All good websites need content, even if it only for fun. One of the best ideas I know for helping your child build a website, is to keep in touch with family. You may have immigrated to another country, or other family members may have. A website full of your weekly or monthly activities will be well received from extended family. So don’t just add photo’s (although this is important). Actually explain what’s happening or where you’ve been. If you are building a website with your children with the intention of making some money, content is even more important. Valuable, informative content ranks highly in Google. This will be imperative to succeed as nobody looks at posts of websites on page 5-20 of the search rankings.
5. Adding Widgets
Widgets are great little additions to the sidebar of your website. These can be adverts, functions, maps or any other alternative fun extensions. For more information about widgets, go to this article titled What is A WordPress Widget.
6. Keep Safe
You want to keep your children safe, especially in the online world. Websites and web pages can be kept private from the public and only those with password access can enter. Here’s a tutorial on how to protect you website via htaccesstools.com. Give your password out to family and friends, but do emphasise the fact that it’s not for public use. If you’d just like pages password protected individually, this is an easy setting on the page or post editor. You can check out how to do this here. Child safety is extremely important when online as cyber bullying has caused not only depression in children, but also suicides. Keep an eye on what your children are posting, monitor their images that get uploaded and get them to agree to these 10 questions.
Kids are going to to learn computers and get involved with all sorts of online activities whether you like it or not. It’s the way of the world. They are going to want a Facebook account as soon as they can, which is age 13 by the way. Helping them build a website is only going to benefit them going forward, you are giving them an education that could well come in handy when they start looking for work. It will certainly help for when they are in their older years of schooling, project through websites will become more common. I suggested earlier in this article that there are programs that will help build a website for you. I’ve also mentioned them in step 2, they are known as Wealthy Affiliate. To find out more about them, check out my recommendation page titled How To Make Extra Money At Home. The process of building a website is so simple here, I’ve included a video on this page showing just how easy it is. I hope this article has help you in some way and if you have anything to add, please feel free to make a comment below. I’d also appreciate if you could share via your social channels. cover photo credit: Apple bonanza via photopin (license)