Whether you teach high school physics or college level English, your own personal website can not only help your students better understand the material but make your life easier at the same time. Even if your institution provides for you to have your own website, they may not give you enough room to really do with it what you need to. Use this site for basic information and link to your personal website where you will have more freedom to give your students the information they need.
Update homework assignments. Sometimes, inclement weather or emergencies may keep you or your students out of the classroom. Rather than lose whole class periods, you can use your website to update your students on what to expect. Was an important paper due that day? Give an extension or have them email it or upload it to your site. Will the reading for that day be discussed the next time the class meets or should they go ahead and do the next reading? Also, if there is a typo or a question that you are getting about the homework assignment from many students, you can address the concern on your website.
Answer questions one time only. You may have two sections of the same class or students who weren't listening or didn't show up the first 7,000 times the question was asked. To make things simple, you can have a frequently asked questions page for class expectations and rules and a forum for students to ask questions where other students can refer first before asking you again.
Notes and review sheets. Especially for high-schoolers, notes for your class may help them to not only understand the material, but learn how to take good, thorough notes. Also good for those who miss class. Review sheets, too, will help your class hone in on the topics they should focus on for major exams or projects.
Link to research and interactive examples. Often the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the class miss out on the extra attention they need. With a website, you can provide interactive learning activities, extra worksheets to practice with, and further information for those who want to learn more about the background of the subject or explore beyond the limits of the class. These are good for offering extra credit, as well.
No matter what it is that motivates you to build your own website, as a teacher, it will be easier for you reach your students more efficiently and minimize at-home phone calls, excuses, and panicked students. Email, of course, will come with your web site and you can give different classes different email addresses to reach you in order to better organize your desk or assign a certain email address for high priority or turning in assignments.
You can also include pages that are inaccessible to the students for your own personal organization. Grades, attendance, notes to yourself on projects, resources, lecture notes, et cetera can all be kept on your website, accessible to you at any time. As a teacher, a personal website is not just a luxury. Once you build yours, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.