How to Create a Website for Kids
Teach Your Child Website Building in 3 Steps
10:07 21 May 2019
Kids these days are very tech savvy for their age. Once they pass the age of 5, they most likely have access to a smartphone, tablet, computer, or all of them. While that isn’t necessarily good, but with good managing, it can be very beneficial.
For example, you can start teaching them basic web development and build a simple website using a website builder. Creating a website with your child could be an awesome educational game-like activity.
Web builders provide an easy way to get into web development. It’s also very easy to do, even without your help, with clicking and dragging, kids can easily figure it out. There are 3 essential steps to creating a website for kids:
- Choose a Topic
- Buy Web Hosting and Domain
- Build and Design Your Site
- Add a Blog (optional)
Step 1: Choose a Topic
This step is important. Kids won’t do anything they don’t like, so you have to make it interesting for them. Choosing a topic they’re interested in will make this process much easier, and keep them going for much longer.
Maybe there’s a cartoon character that they like? Or a favourite dinosaur species? All of these personal interests could be a potential website topic.
The topic of choice will determine the direction of the design, and more importantly, what kind of content is posted on the website.
Here are a few topics that children might be interested in:
- TV Shows / Cartoons
Even writing about daily life could be interesting to children, though you might need to implement some safety rules before they post anything they shouldn’t.
Step 2: Buy Web Hosting and Domain
In order to create a website, you will first need to purchase hosting and domain. Most users would use WordPress hosting or shared hosting. There are pros and cons to both of them, but WordPress hosting is generally more expensive because it’s specialized for use with WordPress.
Shared hosting, on the other hand, is very cheap. You can find it priced at under $1 per month. Compared to WordPress hosting, it’s lacking in technical support and system-wide optimizations.
Depending on which website builder you want to use, choose the hosting wisely. WordPress hosting is intended for use with WordPress and there is no way to install another platform on it. Shared hosting is what you want to get if your budget is lower, or want to install something other than WordPress.
But since you’re creating a kid website, it will not attract a ton of traffic and won’t require a ton of resources. So, a trustworthy shared hosting pack is ideal in this case.
The domain is basically the address of your website, like the address of your house. It’s used so users can open and see your website. The domain is usually connected to the name/branding of the website, so keep that in mind.
Most of the time, hosting providers also offer domains, so there’s no need to look for a different registrar.
Step 3: Build and Design Your Site
This will most likely be the amusing part of the process. For the fun experience, choose a website builder with a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get") editor. These types of editors are usually drag-and-drop and enjoyable to play around. Since the drag-and-drop editor looks like a Lego blocks simulator, it will be fun for the child to “build” a website himself.
The layout of the website is mostly dependent on the content. For example, if the content is focused on cartoons, the design could be cartoonishly looking. The easy way to achieve a nice looking website is using themes and templates. Depending on what website builder you choose, almost all of them offer pre-made design templates.
While WordPress itself is not a very kid-friendly platform, WordPress does have the possibility of implementing a drag-and-drop builder, through a plugin called Elementor.
For example, a WordPress theme Blogo has that cartoonish design that will fit most kids’ websites. All in all, keep the colors fun, bright, and exciting - this one of those websites where the popular minimalism aesthetic will not favor anyone.
How to create a kid website for free
Since WordPress as a CMS is fully free, it is very easy to make your own website for kids budget-free. To create the website, you could use the free WordPress.com version and pick a free WordPress theme, something like VW Kids.
A free theme does have its restrictions, but with constructive use of some WordPress plugins, it can be made into a fully functioning website. Free themes are mainly for blogs, so any additional functionalities that your a paid theme might have will most likely not be here.
The most important design element - responsive design
More than 50% of the traffic is coming from mobile these days. That is why you need responsive design on your website. Fortunately, this is something that most themes already have today. Just confirm that by opening the preview on mobile or making the window smaller.
Optional Step: Blog
Creating a blog section on the website is optional and is more suited for older kids. But it will provide the child with more involvement with the website. Posting on a blog is a fun way to express oneself, write about hobbies or books.
Blogging could also be an educational process - the more the child writes, the better he will understand the text. This could greatly improve his grammar and reading skills.
All in all, giving a child a nicely designed space to write his thoughts could be very beneficial.
Because everyone on the planet can visit your child’s website, you need to implement some safety rules to keep your child and family safe. These can be some simple things, like reviewing posts before they’re published.
Another potential safety rule is limiting the website visitors to people you approve, such as relatives, friends, your child’s friends, etc. You can do this by password protecting the site, there are WordPress plugins for this, such as Password Protect. Other platforms should have a similar password protection possibility - contact their customer support to find out how you can reinforce it.
If the kid is of proper age, and if you feel safe about it, you might set rules and limitations only verbally, but again, that will not work in every case.
With the easy to use website builders we have today, it’s not very hard to make your own website for kids. In fact, it’s especially easy and even your kid can do it.
Pick a website builder with a drag-and-drop editor, let your kid play around with the design and colors. If your child is old enough, you could also include a blog section for them to write.
Finally, don’t forget about your child’s safety. It always should be the number one priority, so reinforce password protection and monitor your child’s activity on the website. You can also review each and every one of your child’s posts before they’re made publically available.
Remember, it’s never too early to teach children about the Internet and technology in general. Happy website building!