WordPress.com Website Poster Image

WordPress.com

(i)

 

Slick source for blogging; watch out for adult content.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about producing and publishing their online content and refining their writing by publishing it with WordPress. The site's "inspire me" button gives kids some ideas for posts. Teens can learn to understand the writing process and can continue to revise and edit even after their work is published electronically. They also can learn about effectively using technology to communicate. WordPress is a convenient way for teens to update their blogs and publish writing for an authentic audience. Those with previous blogging experience may be able to create more complex blogs and posts.

 

Positive messages

Self-expression is encouraged through creativity and writing.

Violence

 Teens can find descriptions, images, and videos of both fantasy and real-life violence, which is sometimes bloody.

Sex

Though pornography is prohibited, users may publish objectionable content to their blogs, which may contain text, images, and videos depicting full nudity and sex acts. Users told to self-tag blogs as "Mature" if they contain nudity or sexual content, but blogs still accessible to minors.

Language

While browsing other WordPress blogs, teens could encounter iffy language in blog post titles and within the content of posts, including "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism

The basic site and themes are free, but be advised that add-ons and upgrades cost money.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens can find blog entries with images and videos depicting drug use and drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this popular and free blogging tool’s terms of service stress it’s only for kids 13 and older. Uses will can access a vast library of open-source and user-created themes and plug-ins for elegant website design. The app and website are also a venue for sharing blogs and blog posts, which opens it up to a range of iffy content. Teens can encounter everything from serious editorials about current events to pornographic images and descriptions of drug use. Parents should talk to teens about responsible online publishing and help them explore the privacy options on WordPress.com.

 

User reviews

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What's it about?

WORDPRESS.COM is the current gold standard for DIY blogging, geared primarily toward pretty tech-savvy adult users. But teens can definitely use the basic features to choose a free theme to customize the look of a page; post blog entries with text, photos, or video; approve comments; and manage a blog. Multiple posters can write for the same blog within the app, and they can also use the Reader tab to follow blogs or search for ones on subjects of interest from within the app.

 

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Easy blog setup and account activation lets kids start blogging quickly. Customization options give more tech-savvy students the ability to create more elaborate sites, and a great step-by-step tutorial helps newbies get their first posts online with only a limited set of options. The WordPress app can be an easy way to update and add posts when away from the computer. The updated layout is very user-friendly, giving kids the option of posting in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) format or HTML. Photos and videos are very easy to post using the Quick Post feature with no uploading required. Users also can post by using voice-recognition dictation, which is pretty fun and easy.

Controlling posts and customizing content, however, can be quite complicated. Users may find the dashboard menu options overwhelming. Also, be advised that many of the upgrades for customization cost money. Overall, this is a great choice for blogging and self-expression, if used wisely by mature teens who want something solid with a lot of options for control -- but know they'll have to put in the work to have the site look exactly the way they want it.

 

Families can talk about...

  • Have a talk with your teens about validity and blogging. Whose opinion can you trust? What makes someone an expert?

  • Help your teens come up with a topic for their blog and then brainstorm ideas for post topics. Make a schedule to help them stay focused -- for example, Picture Mondays and Poetry Wednesdays.

  • Spend some time with your teens looking at blogs in your community. Comment on, share about, and get involved in a discussion on someone else's blog. Talk about online conversations and how they're different from real-world ones. Refer to our Social Networking Tips for guidelines.

  • Have a talk with your teens about validity and blogging. Whose opinion can you trust? What makes someone an expert?

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  • Help your teens come up with a topic for their blog and then brainstorm ideas for post topics. Make a schedule to help them stay focused -- for example, Picture Mondays and Poetry Wednesdays. Or spend some time with your teens looking at blogs in your community. Comment on, share about, and get involved in a discussion on someone else's blog. Talk about online conversations and how they're different from real-world ones. Refer to our Social Networking Tips for guidelines.

  •  

Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: writing
Skills:Creativity: producing new content
Communication: conveying messages effectively
Tech Skills: digital creation, social media, using and applying technology
Genre:Blogging
Price:Free-$299/year
Pricing structure:Paid, Free

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