Over the summer I took an amazing class, Classroom Management. Part of the class we had to create a classroom management folder including procedures, room arrangement, class schedule, first/second day activities, parent involvement plan, behavior plan, incentives and so much more. I absolutely loved this project. I pretty much started the project as soon as class began. I put so many hours into it and I am super proud of how it turned out. Part of this project, I created a classroom website. I know - I'm a year (2 with my Masters) away from having my own classroom, but I couldn't help it. I must warn you - websites are ADDICTING!! But so much FUN! Here are some tidbits that may help you with yours. I'm using angelfire to host my website. Currently it's free and I get 20 MB of disk space and 1 GB of bandwith. Right now this is plenty for me to build the site and get it set up. I will most likely upgrade when I have my classroom so I can remove the ads. Though the ads really aren't that bad. I highly suggest trying a free website host first and upgrade once you get the hang of it.
Angelfire gives you the option to use one of their templates or write your own HTML. This means that you can purchase those adorable templates and graphics and use them on your website. As I've said before, I use Thistle girl graphics. She just has the cutest stuff and they are very fitting for classroom use. I chose to join her web graphics club, so I still have to write my own HTML (or borrow code) to create my website. But she also offers templates that you just basically plug in your info and all the work is done for you.
So I'm not an HTML buff. Everything I know I've taught myself(with help from tutorials). Once upon a time, I was a computer programmer, so HTML makes sense to me, but I know I have errors in my code. It's ok though, I'm working on it. A site that has really helped is Lissa Explains It All. She is wonderful in her tutorials. The website is geared towards kids, so it makes it easier for us adults to follow along. Another one that I stumbled upon recently was DynamicDrive. They have great codes you can snag.
If your not adventurous enough to use HTML, just use the templates available by the hosting company. Sometimes they have some decent ones. I believe that a plain website is better than NO website! Another option is to use a teacher web hosting company. When I decided to create a website, I ran across several. I didn't really use them, so I can't tell you a whole lot about them. Bloust appeared to be a great site. I didn't really get to much into it, but it offers many resources and tools. Teacher web seems to be really popular. It is already formated for you. You have the option to add your own graphics or use the ones provided. Finally school notes allows you just to post basic notes. It almost appears to be a just a list. Other free website hosting companies (not teacher related) are google page creator, free webs, and geocities.
Whatever route you choose, make your website your own. Websites are a great way to stay connected with parents. Good luck and don't forget to check out my website. (Remember it's a work in progress!)