Digital Portfolios | Tools |
Anatomy of a Website
For a website to function and become accessible to viewers, you need three parts: domain, server/hosting, and a web design tool.
- Domains are familiar to us as the address for a website.
- When someone visits a domain, the content of your website is projected from files that are hosted on a server. These files include all the written content, images, PDFs, etc that populate the website as well as HTML and CSS files that provide the structure and design of the site.
- Web design tools, which are described below, allow users to design a website, either directly through HTML and CSS or through builders or content management systems (CMS) that do the coding for you.
These three components can be obtained through the same service or individually. When you create a free website through services like Wix or Weebly, they provide the domain, hosting, and design tools. If you use coding software like WordPress.org or Dreamweaver, you will need to purchase your domain and hosting separately. For domain and hosting services, see Digital Portfolio Resources.
See below for a description of the various tools currently available for web design and digital portfolio development. They run from the extremely user-friendly (Weebly & Wix) to the professional (Dreamweaver), so it shouldn’t be hard to find a tool that’s right for you.
*Generally include domains and hosting
FrogFolio: Supported by TCU with customizable privacy options (best if you don’t want to create a public site), but restricted to a single template and less user-friendly than other builders.
Weebly: Considered one of the most user-friendly website builders, but has fewer styling options compared to other builders and may look less professional.
Wix: Drag-and-drop feature lets you customize your site while drawing on their extensive templates, but you are locked into a template (must completely recreate the website if you want to change templates) and features lots of ads.
WordPress.com: This builder gives you access to hundreds of free and paid themes, but does not have the same drag-and-drop functionality of other builders.
*Do not include domains and hosting
Brackets: Open source text editing software.
Dreamweaver (Adobe Creative Cloud): Gives the user control over the website that they choose to create and requires the ability to code. Adobe CC also includes a possibly prohibitive subscription fee.
WordPress.org: An open source (with options for paid themes) version of WordPress that allows you more editing capabilities.
For more detailed information about how to establish your digital portfolio, visit the Resources page.