First of all, a big thank you to The WPCrowd for adding me as a contributor. I hope to make them proud with the honour (and yes, I’m another Canadian).
As a web design instructor at Sheridan College and Mohawk College in Canada, where our primary tool is WordPress, I’m always on the lookout for resources, not only for us as Instructors, but mainly for our students. When I started writing this, I knew of only two. So of course, I sent out a call to the Twitterverse to find out what else might be out there:
— Shanta R. Nathwani (@ShantaDotCa) July 11, 2016
I figured the timing is just right, given that we had the inaugural WPCampus coming that weekend. Since I sent out that tweet, I’ve been contacted by a couple of people who are interested. Some are willing to offer something to my students specifically, and at least one has said that they would like to have further discussions on how they can help all students. This last offer is the one that makes the most sense to me!
Disclaimer: I’m based in Canada, so unless otherwise noted, these offers are available to these students. Most of the time, companies only offer to the US, but I’m going to get my search on!
Siteground offers discounted hosting for students. At the time of writing, they offered monthly hosting for students at a rate of $3.95. This includes one domain, email addresses and hosting. They also offer packages for free for educators, which is helpful running classes, especially if you don’t have the resources of a college behind you like I do, or the knowledge of running a whole server environment. Their page says that they require a .edu account, but I know that they will be able to accept others, since here in Canada, we don’t use .edu domains for our colleges and universities. You can find more details here.
Thanks to Jim Luke for giving me this one. According to their website, “Reclaim Hosting provides educators and institutions with an easy way to offer their students domains and web hosting that they own and control. Our goal is to make the process of offering a flexible web space and domain name to your students as easy as possible and giving you the support you need to make it all happen.” – Reclaim Hosting. They offer packages
for both educators and students, and while I haven’t tried this out yet, they seem to know their market well.
The name says it all! Thanks to Rich Robinkoff for pointing me in this direction after I sent out my tweet just before WPCampus. They offer affordable hosting for students around the world starting at $25 for a single domain, another package with 3 domains, and a reseller package which has unlimited. They also offer free hosting and packages to educators and to institutions. While I haven’t tried them out, they appear to meet all my criteria!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Cory Miller and his wife on a few occasions, most recently at WordCamp Ottawa. I first approached them at WordCamp New York in 2014, and when I saw them again, they remembered me right away, because I asked about offers for my students. They still run their Education Program today and I’m happy to say that they are still amazing. For students, they offer their entire developer suite, valued at close to $700, for only $99 per year. For educators, this is free! This package includes all of their plugins, themes, classes and eBooks. I highly recommend this, especially for their Backup Buddy plugin. This is the only non-hosting package for students and educators that I’ve found. Well done iThemes!
At the end of all of this, most of the offers that I found are hosting, with the one exception I’ve noted above. There are plenty of other free services out there, such as sandboxes from Pantheon, but I wanted to specifically target services for the students and educators. I figure if we are teaching our students how to be web designers and developers, giving them a good start with services that they can eventually buy and pass on or sell to their clients can only be a good thing. Don’t you agree?
* Full disclosure: I’m an affiliate.