Hosting Your Own Web Pages
Once you've built your HTML web content, you need to "get it on the Internet". A web server is needed to serve web files (HTML, images, etc.) to web browsers.
If your school already has access to a web server (maybe at the school or district level), that can be the best answer. When you do not have an existing web server, there are still a number of ways to get your information on to the Web.
Free Web Hosting is a directory list of free web hosting providers, with over 400 of the best free web space hosting sites with reviews, testimonials, and ratings, and is updated daily. Some sites will display ads as part of your site -- look at Free Web Hosting's "Forced Ads" column.
OrgSites.com is a privately-funded, community-oriented Internet company whose goal is to create the nation's best free website service and most comprehensive Internet directory for non-commercial organizations. While sites are limited to just 11 web pages, schools can create and maintain free, easy-to-use websites, news pages and events listings.
Another option for getting your information onto the web is to run your own web server -- personally or at the school or district level. While running your own web server is not for the faint of heart, it provides easy access to and total control of your web content.
This post explains the steps needed to get an Apache web server up and running. Note that you'll need a newer version of the Visual C Redistributable than the one listed in the article. The Apache Lounge download page has the latest information.
More information on using Apache with Microsoft Windows (much of it technical) can be found at the Apache Lounge site.
You can download the latest versions of Apache from this site, ready to install on Windows PC and laptops. Highly recommended by our webmaster.
Apache is free, open source web server software used by the majority of web sites world wide (including K12IRC.org). This manual from Apache.org gives you additional information on how to get the web server software running on your Windows PC (Windows 7 or later).
The nice thing about the Apache web server is that it doesn't require an expensive "Server" version of Microsoft Windows or the latest PC hardware. Your home computer will work nicely.
The software here is a great way to introduce students to how the Internet works – learn by doing. The skills they learn creating and hosting their own web pages will be useful for a long time to come.
TeacherWeb is an example of web sites designed to make getting on-line quick and efficient. Designed for individual teachers, the site includes options for blogs, announcements, a wish list, class calendar, photo & video galleries, homework information, webquests, and more.
No matter what option you choose, the best advice is to "just do it!". Your first try at a web page might look more like a Salvador Dali than a Leonardo da Vinci, but, with a little practice, you will be creating interesting and appealing pages in no time.
If nothing else, make it a class project. You're students will surprise you.
Remember, it's the content that counts!
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