A subsite is a section of a site, devoted to one multifaceted purpose, often with sub-components of its own. Some common digital scholarship uses of a subsite are for projects and portfolios. These can be constructed in a number of different styles, but all involve collecting pages, posts, and other content elements in a coherent, organized fashion. Here, find some examples of students who have constructed project subsites and portfolios in a way which effectively communicates their content.
A project subsite can be done in basic and advanced ways; see here for technical guidance. Laurel Garrett’s thesis subsite (also at right) uses a dedicated sidebar menu to organize the section of her capstone research. Her work is divided into several pages, each representing a different section—background, methodology, etc. In addition, her subsite collects all posts which she tags with a thesis tag, allowing the viewer to chart the progression of her project. The subsite for Oregon Carbon Tax: Feasibility and Design accomplishes many of the same goals, but places the secondary menu for the project in the header, accommodating for a full-width theme. Finally, the subsite for Craft Coffee in Portland also employs a full-width layout using a top-of-page menu, but replaces the main menu of scholarly site while in the project subsite. Note how each of these subsites starts with a landing page, sort of a home page for the subsite, then includes more focused pages.
A portfolio is meant to organize and showcase work; in a general sense, your whole DS site represents a portfolio of your work. Here, we refer to a portfolio as a page that organizes and communicates your work in one course, with hyperlinks to other resources on the site (posts, lab writeups, papers, etc.) representing your coursework. Course portfolios can be organized either chronologically (week by week), or via general themes or questions; usually the latter produces a more interesting and high quality result, as it forces you to organize course material in your own way. Portfolios may include running paragraphs and links to different pieces of work; see Bridget Lowry’s ENVS 220 portfolio for an example of this. Or, portfolios can be organized into sections—for an example, see Charlotte Copp’s ENVS 220 portfolio.
Thinking carefully about project subsites and portfolios lies somewhere between thinking about how to do effective posts and effective sites. Subsites organize specific content, such as posts, around common themes, such as a project or a course. If you can do this with your posts and other specific content, your overall site will be easier for visitors to navigate and understand, and your work will appear to visitors as thoughtful and organized! So give subsites the attention they deserve.