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Course & Subject Guides

Web Development for Scholarly Projects and Portfolios @ Pitt

A guide for getting started with web development projects, including listings of tools for creating websites, recommendations for hosting services, and helpful resources.

Getting Started

Developing a website for your digital project or portfolio is a great way to share your work or content with anyone who has Internet access. Websites are made up of web pages with a variety of multimedia content (e.g.,  text, images, and videos), hyperlinks that connect your website to others, interactive functionality, and more.

This guide will help you to get started with your web development project, from initial considerations to making your website live.

Why create a digital project/portfolio site?

A website can be useful for a slew of reasons, including:

  • Making digital projects accessible
  • Enabling others to create similar projects
  • Gathering and preserving your own work
  • Documenting and demonstrating what you can do and already have done
  • Showing a broad and coherent view of your work, activities, and philosophy
  • Having a public voice online
  • Demonstrating competency in web publishing
  • Controlling your identity
  • Being findable online
  • Self-marketing and networking
  • Reflecting on, identifying gaps in and future directions for your work

Things to Consider

Guiding Questions

  • What is your purpose/goal? How can you most effectively execute and clearly communicate it?
  • What values will be driving your project?
  • Who are you trying to reach? How will you reach them?
  • Who are potential stakeholders?
  • How long do you want the site to be available?
  • What are your design principles?


Requirements for building a website

There are several aspects to creating your own personal website. Each website entails a domain, web hosting, web content management, and a content management system (CMS).

  • Domain name: a web address like
  • Web hosting: a service that connects your site to the internet
  • Web content management: processes and technologies used for collection, delivery, retrieval, governance and overall management of digital content on the web
  • Content Management System: software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing digital content online through a user interface

You'll see the terms throughout the rest of this guide.