Modern local homeschool groups use their website to communicate with current and future members, to maintain relationships with the community and to provide resources to local homeschoolers. Creating a website for a homeschool support groups is often a labor of love, or volunteer position. If there is a budget for web design, it need not be used for fancy programming. There are plenty of free resources for webmasters and homeschool web designers.
Free Templates and WordPress Themes for Homeschool groups
Professional designers and web developers may want to create their own template or theme. Hand-coding HTML is a lost art and a skill that’s worthwhile for debugging code. Modern websites, though, often use PHP and CSS stylesheets to speed up page load time. If hand coding PHP and CSS sounds like fun, then disregard the following paragraphs.
WordPress is a popular blogging platform but it’s so easy to use and manipulate that it’s often used to build websites, like a content management system. Users who wish to experiment with a WordPress website can begin at WordPress.com, by registering for a free blog. Use the category and page features to create a muti-page website. For increased functionality, purchase a domain and install the free WordPress software on almost any web hosting plan. Then, experiment with free education-themed templates for a more professional look.
Blogger.com is also easy to use. One benefit to a blogger website is that the group can purchase their domain name afterward and traffic is redirected, so the URL never changes. Blogger recently released a customizable template feature and added the option of creating multiple pages, so their software functions similarly to WordPress, but with an interface that caters to the visual designer.
Free Widgets for Homeschool Support Groups
Both WordPress and Blogger sites are “widgetized” meaning that small bits of code can be installed (usually in the sidebars) that do various “tricks.” Calling script from another site is common, like widgets that list the “latest homeschool news” or even importing feeds from group members’ blogs. Facebook also offers widgets for webmasters, including “like” buttons, popular article lists and activity feeds.
Many websites allow webmasters to copy and paste the widget code that imports their latest articles in any given section, to serve readers.