Providing web design courses with a place to host their (advanced) student sites?

Our college is struggling with the best way to provide web design students (using Dreamweaver and some advanced programming tools and techniques) the ability to have their sites hosted in the most cost efficient manner that allows their sites to be viewable publicly (by prospective employers, for example), and stay available for a year or more. Their is strong resistance to site hosting services because of costs (even though I know many of them a pretty inexpensive). There is concern about doing it internally because of high potential support requirements and possible network performance degradation or security issues. Anyone have any insight on this, or any idea where to learn more about what other schools might be doing?

Tags: hosting, site, student, web

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Weebly might be worth checking out - it offers free site hosting and comes with a WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editor, plus the facility to upload custom html pages for more advanced stuff. You can also download the files as a zip archive (which I'd recommend doing regularly in case things go pear-shaped if you hit the wrong button, as it edits in "real time"!)

hope this helps
Thanks Sue - I'll check Weebly out.
If your designers want their sites published and available for long periods of time I guess they'll have to do what the rest of us do. Either pay (I pay around 7.00 a month 2, been with them about 10 years and never have a minutes trouble) or set up a server. I don't think they would want free hosting, like tripod or geocities, full of banners and ads which distract from the web design and limited space.
Thanks Nancy. We're trying to keep the costs as low as possible for the students, as we have a number of low income students. Of course, it's great that there are so many low cost options available. You're hitting the nail right on the head re: not wanting banners, ads, etc. I'd like to provide the server space internally, and am working to understand the overhead associate with that. It's a balancing act. Thanks again for the feedback - every bit of insight helps!
Kelly, The guy that hosts my class blog has a server. I know he'd be glad to discuss that option with you. This one I pay for and this one my district hosts. The district actually host 3-4 of my curriculum websites. I pay for the one that has original content on it that I don't want the district to OWN. This could be an issue for your students since anything the college hosts they own????
Hi Nancy. I appreciate what you are saying about banner ads on the likes of Tripod and Geocities, but Weebly is a powerful Web 2.0 hosting platform and a different kind of site altogether. There is the option to have banners and ads if you want them, but it is not compulsory. The basic edition is ad free & comes with a powerful AJAX WSIGIG editor.

I'm a freelancer most of the work I do is with charities that have zero or a very low budget to play with and can't afford to buy web editing software, let alone pay for hosting. I've used Weebly for web design with students and I used it create my own website before switching to paid hosting. The template I'm using on my own website is a modified version of a Creative Commons Weebly template designed by Andreas Viklund.

Of course, there's no guarantee that pages published on a free site will stay up for ever, but then there's no guarantee that pages published on a paid site will stay up for ever, either. Although I can't provide a link to them as I gave my word that I would keep them private, some of the sites my learners created with Weebly over a year ago are still up and running, which makes me think Weebly isn't likely to be just a 'flash in the pan'.
ThanksSue, I plan to use Weebly for individual student projects in the future. I guess the message I had for Kelly is that if his students are ready to get out in the real world they might want to own the sites they use to advertize their 'professional' work. Later, N
Hi Sue and Nancy,

I just started over at weebly and I am a big fan! It isn't perfect (no search function for individual sites, for example) but for my level of expertise it is just right. I can go with the template to start, and mess around with the html and css when I'm able.

I choose weebly over wordpress because I can embed objects, include javascript, pretty much do whatever I want if I can figure out the css and html code. Also, it is free to use your own domain name (you can register a domain with them for $40/ yr, but it is free to transfer a domain from another registrar- they even give you detailed instructions on how to do that, and despite weebly's warnings, it is a very easy process). For $3/month (if you go with the two-year plan), you can host up to ten sites and have unlimited space, though individual uploads, like ning, are limited to 100mb per.

With the paid account, you can password protect your sites, which addresses security restraints that some teachers have. Also, you can remove the weebly footer, removing access to other weebly sites.

Except for the nagging worry about the search function (more of an issue as my site grows), I couldn't be more pleased.

Sue, may I ask why you changed to another paid host? I'm trying to cover all my bases here : )
Hi Kelly,

As a recent graduate from college, and the co-founder of an edtech startup I am appreciative of the efforts you are making to provide space for students to host content created in web design courses. Growing up in a time where everything is digital and more and more content is being moved to the web, it is important for students to gain applicable skills. Regardless of their desired future field of interest, having an understanding of web technologies provides a competitive advantage to these students going forward.

With regard to the most cost effective way, I believe that you can host the content internally. Unless these students are building highly intensive video streaming sites, using encoding and transcoding technologies, the overhead should be fairly low. I would be more than happy to speak with you regarding what your options are, and how you can provide this service to students without facing network degradation or security issues. You can reach me at
Thanks Jeremy - We're leaning towards hosting it internally, and some of our web design instructors have offered to manage it. I will keep you in mind when we closer to launching this effort, and reach out if needed.
I know this post is old, but it is the closest thing I could find that related to my current issue.

I am a high school web design teacher who is looking for affordable (or free) hosting for my advanced web students. We would be uploading xhtml/css files (hand coded & dreamweaver) and Flash files & sites. But, I'd also like to teach my students how to install Joomla & ZenCart and utilize those. So, we'd need 2 MySQL Databases. This is where I'm having difficulty finding hosts. I'd like to keep it under $15 for 5 months, including domain registration (which we can do through GoDaddy).

I thought about possibly getting a reseller account and doing it that way.

Anyone have any good hosting companies that I could look into? Or any information about reseller accounts and good companies for that?




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