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For starters, designing a kids’ site can be easy and fun if you have the right tools at your disposal. The process is the same as making any other website, except that the visual design and content must be tailored towards kids of a certain age. Amongst the different ways of building sites, there are two easy approaches you can use to make your own website for kids in minutes.
What you need:
1. A domain name – Every website needs a domain name that will serve as its web address e.g. make-a-web-site.com. Domain names cost about $10 a year.
2. Web hosting account – A hosting account is where the files of your site will be hosted and made accessible on the internet to the rest of the world. A shared hosting account costs about $40 to $100 a year. Some good news though: many hosting providers give you one free domain with your hosting plan to help you get started.
3. Website building software – Once you purchase hosting, you will gain access to a website builder which will allow you to create and publish your website right there and then. There are several website builders listed in the control panel, most notably Weebly and WordPress.
4. A content plan – Kids have different attention spans from adults. With this in mind, you can draft out a simple plan for the kind of pages you want, how you must communicate to them at a language level that’s easy to understand, and collect some images to spice up the content so as to keep their attention.
Building the website
You have to make a choice between Weebly, a drag-and-drop website builder which allows you to create a website in minutes; and WordPress, a CMS that is more powerful and also easy to use.
Weebly is included as a free site builder in the control panel of many web hosting companies like Bluehost. You can access it on your cPanel by going to the ‘Site Builders’ section. Choose ‘Weebly Website Builder’ and select your domain name to get started.
You will be prompted to pick a template. Here, you can narrow your search to templates for kids and select the design that comes closest to what you envisioned. You can then proceed to easily add pages and page elements using the drag-and-drop feature. If you get stuck along the way, you can always reference some help videos made by the hosting company.
However, the free version of Weebly included with your host has a limit to the number of pages and features you can add – but you may find it sufficient for a kids’ website.
If you don’t like the limited capability of Weebly (despite its ease of use) you should go with WordPress as it is also easy to use, very customizable and with a lot more capabilities. And you can install WordPress through the cPanel, just like other site builders. The installation process is also simple and takes less than a minute.
Once WordPress is installed, you may log in to the admin dashboard using the username and password you chose during registration. Here’s a 3-step process to get your website running in minutes:
1. Install a suitable theme – Go to the themes section by selecting ‘Appearance > Themes> Add New’ and search for a kids’ theme using terms such as “kids” or “children”. You will be directed to the WordPress theme repository where you can select and instantly install a theme from a variety of options.
2. Add a new page of content by going to ‘Pages > Add New’, select a title for your page, add some content and hit ‘Publish’. Repeat the process for new pages.
3. To add a navigation menu bar, go to ‘Appearance > Menus’ and select the pages that you want to be included in your main navigation. Click on ‘Save menu’ to publish the navigation menu.
If you’ve reached this point, you’ve managed to make your own website for kids using WordPress. There are a lot of other things you can do with this CMS; find an instructional video on WordPress and you’ll see how easy it is to use.