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Tips and Tricks for Designing a Class Website

Tips and Tricks for Designing a Class Website

Editor

The internet is the way of the future for technology-savvy educators. Creating a website for your class can be a worthwhile tool to connect and share with members of the class, parents, other teachers and the world! Post news, photos, links and other useful tools.

If you want to create a website for your class but don’t know where to begin? Read Teaching’s reviews on some of the most popular self-creating web site supporters.



Aspects highlighted:

- User-friendliness

- Template options

- Fees (or lack there of)

- Features included with fees

- Additional features

1st Choice: EducatorPages.com

nspired by the success of our sister website Mrs. Nelson’s Class™, EducatorPages.com™ is a free service which allows you to build your own free teacher website without the hassle of complicated programs and with little or no technical knowledge, right on the web! If you’ve ever used a program like Word or WordPerfect, or sent an email, you’ll feel at home using EducatorPages.com™.

2nd Choice: www.Freewebs.com

Of the tested sites, freeweb.com proved to be the best free website creator. It was very user-friendly and offered the most aesthetic options for one’s site. Additionally, it uses the uber-fun “picnik” photo editing application to add more to your photo albums. Music can be played on the site by uploading one’s own track or you can pick from a MIDI library of freewebs’ tunes.

The program is free but must be ad-supported with a banner on your site. You can sign up for three premium services ranging from $4.16/month to $20.83/month. An upgrade allows for your own domain name, ad banner-free, higher bandwidth, more webspace, Google adwords credit, password protection, online support and more.

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3rd Choice: www.Homestead.com

Award-winning Homestead.com is professional, quality resource. It is marketed mainly towards businesses rather than personal use, so many of the features, like connecting PayPal to your site, are pretty useless for teachers. Many aspects, however, are absolutely fabulous!

Unfortunately, after the first 30 days, you have to pay for the advantages. For $4.99/month you can get a basic package while the advanced features are included in packages that range from $29.99 to $99.99 a month with $30 to $50 set-up fees. Additionally, it asks for billing information up front, which could concern a hesitant buyer. The benefits of paying for the service are certainly worth the cost to professionals- beautiful graphics, unique layouts, easy to navigate, guarantee click numbers, etc. The fee also allows for your own domain name, ad banner-free, higher bandwidth, more webspace, Google adwords credit, password protection, online support, multiple pages and more.

4th Choice: www.Zoomshare.com

This site, like freewebs.com, is user-friendly, free with an ad-banner and for an additional fee expands its features. In contrast to #1 and #2, however, it does not offer the same array of interesting templates. Otherwise, the same options of photo albums, blogs, user-generated content, email, etc. are all available.

An upgrade to Zoomshare Plus costs $6.95/month with no commitment required. Standard features come with the payment, including eliminate of the ad-header, higher bandwidth, and more webspace. There was no mention of interface protection but they do monitor site traffic numbers. Interestingly, you can also post photos from anywhere using your cell phone camera.

5th Choice: www.Freewebspace.com

All of the basics are with this one: pretty easy to navigate, free if you put up an ad, blogging, email, etc. but all of these standard features are boring in comparison to the other sites! The templates are dull, and there are no special features like uploading music files or cool photo editing programs. Before making your page, you have to scroll through a few advertisements, which could foreshadow attempts to get into your wallet.

It would be a waste of time to use this site unless one bought an upgrade. A couple are some the cheapest subscriptions out there, ranging from $2.00/month for Banner Free Hosting to $24.95/month for Business Hosting. The basic package (with a $4.95 setup fee) allows you more disk space, higher size for uploading files, higher bandwidth while the more pricey options allow these features with more advanced options like stats and reports and FTP Access.

6th Choice: Geocities.yahoo.com

To assume that a service provider like Yahoo! would offer the best web producing program would be to make the same mistake we did. The Yahoo! web page builder offered only eight templates- all too unusual to be considered standard yet not enough to actually work with. When a more interesting template was attempted to be uploaded it didn’t work. The text boxes are also difficult to pinpoint and type within. There were too many nebulous features and not enough straightforward direction in the homepage menu.

There are three upgrade tiers to the site ranging from $3.71/month to $8.96/month for the first three months and then the price goes up 25% after that. An upgrade allows for your own domain name, ad banner-free, higher bandwidth, more webspace, password protection, toll-free telephone support and more.

Do you have a recommendation to add? Please do so in the comments below!


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