What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Weebly is designed to provide users with tools necessary to create websites in a matter of minutes thanks to drag-and-drop functionality. Users can place photos, videos, and text on their pages and quickly perform edits to their sites. Since content can be anything that users create, the amount of questionable content will vary; however, a majority of the sites made through Weebly are fine for kids. Created sites can be tied to specific URLs (which users have purchased separately) or can be hosted on Weebly's servers. Users also can pay for a Pro Service version that provides additional tools and features for users to administer their sites.
What's it about?
WEEBLY is a free website creation tool that's easy enough for young users to figure out. You can provide a URL or house your site on a weebly.com subdomain. The drag-and-drop functionality lets users select themes, place photos, add text and other pages, publish their site -- and promote it on Facebook and Twitter. Some users have utilized the tool to make product promotion sites. However, because user interaction essentially involves user comments on site administrator blog entries, it's a pretty tame atmosphere.
Is it any good?
The free WEEBLY tool walks users through several simple steps to build their own website. They can add their own photos, find free ones on a topic, or purchase professional, high-resolution shots for $5; then they can adjust or alter the images and also add text, a personal blog, or survey. Publishing the site is just as easy.
Weebly isn't necessarily for kids -- many probably won't care about options like tracking site usage -- but there's no reason younger users can't use it to whip up a stellar website. You have to click on the usernames in the Weebly blog comments or on Weebly's Facebook wall to access other users' sites. Since most posts are functionality questions from legit site designers, kids also aren't likely to stumble across much racy content.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how a website can help convey certain types of information. How can you show or explain things on a website, compared to how you could in a book?
Did your child feel that creating a website was a different experience from looking at one someone else made? Ask what items did your child choose to include -- and why?
Designing your own website lets you be as creative as you'd like to be -- but it's important to remember that if you publish it on the web, anyone can see it. Are there pictures or information that you shouldn't include when making a website?