As a tutor, getting online can be achieved by taking part in social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. However, a Facebook page alone does not a serious tutoring business make.
Having your own website allows you to incorporate features that Facebook was simply not designed to accommodate: your own blog, comprehensive descriptions of your services, prices per hour, etc. Moreover, your website can also be used to accept payment for your services through easy-to-use, reliable payment systems like Paypal.
The purpose of this blog post is to point you toward some services that make setting up your own website a piece of cake, to get you online quickly.
What kind of website are you looking for?
In the past, it took quite a level of expertise to get a website up and running. You had to be familiar with html to set up and make even small changes to the content of a website. You also had to be savvy in graphic design. Once the website was designed, content supplied and a domain name selected, one then had to contract web-hosting/server services.
These days, there are lots of straightforward solutions. The one you choose will depend upon the kind of website do you need. Do you want something that just informs potential clients about you and your services? Or do you want a website which allows you to sell your services online and take payments?
Nowadays, services such as WordPress and 1and1 provide an all in one service where all relevant services are provided by just one company. 1and1, for instance, offers domains, flexible hosting, templates, e-mail solutions and even the chance to open your online store. The company even offers SEO (search engine optimisation) features, more of which later.
Take a closer look at WordPress
We think that WordPress is a great place to start. It’s an extremely popular choice for those who are after a free blogging service and content management system with a difference. It offers an array of templates and plug-ins, the service not only allows you to share your views; it invites you to do so in an visually appealing manner.
WordPress’ structure is SEO-friendly, allowing you to assign multiple categories to one article/blog post and also has an effective permalink structure. So what you may ask, well SEO covers the ways in which your website tells the Google / Bing search engines on what your website is about. The better the SEO, the better your rankings in search engines.
WordPress also allows for a multi-user/multi-blog experience, so you can use your blog in a more dynamic manner, inviting students to provide content to your site and allowing tutors and their students to work on specific themes or projects together.
One of its most interesting features is its rich plugin architecture; the site boasts a database with over 25,000 plugins, which allow for ultimate customisation of your website. The WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, for instance, allows you to use important keywords when writing your post to increase your Google search rankings.
Also worth a look is NextGEN Gallery, which is another popular plugin, with over 7.5 million downloads to date. It helps you manage image galleries, allowing you to upload batches of pictures, sort images, group images into albums, etc. As a tutor, you will probably find NextGen particularly useful for projects with a strong visual element. Additionally, should you decide to sell teaching materials, useful study guides and the like, you may find WooCommerce useful; it will help you sell products (like study materials and guides) in a simple, quick and highly practical manner.
So how long will setting up a simple WordPress website take? In our experience it could be as little as five minutes for a basic website. It’s almost too good to be true isn’t it? In which case, why not get started today?
We have been blogging advice for tutors for a while now – our ‘Tips for Tutors’ series. Just in case you missed any, you can find them at:
How to ensure that the first lesson goes really well
Structuring your lessons
8 ways to become a better tutor
12 teaching strategies for more effective tutoring
Developing critical thinking in your students
The importance of teaching values
How to market yourself
Your tax as a self employed tutor
The best way to tutor University students
Helping a reluctant student
Using learning maps
The importance of teaching values