Subject Guides

Digital Scholarship

A guide to digital scholarship tools, methods, and best practices across the digital humanities and data-driven fields

Digital Publishing

Choosing a digital platform

It can be difficult to know what platform might be the best one for your digital project. 

Here are things to consider when choosing a publishing platform: 

  • Longevity
    • There are hundreds of platforms on the interent and new ones popping up all the time. Choose tools that have good documentation, proven communities of practice, and helpful supporting documentation and forums. 
  • Collaboration capabilities
    • If you are building a site as part of a project team or with students choose a platform that makes collaborating easy and will be easy to teach and introduce to everyone.
  • Storage Space
    • Planning a project with high quality images, videos, and sound? You'll need the appropriate amount of storage included or you may need to pay for additional space. You may also considering hosting your content somewhere and then linking or embedding it on your project site. 
  • Pre-built community/web traffic
    • If you want your site to be discoverable choosing a tool with an active community already attached to it can make that easier! Also, then you'll have a community to reach out to if you need help. 
  • Accessibility
    • Check out the accessibility page to read more about making your project accessible. Most platforms should have the capabilities you need to create web accessible projects, but you'll need to know where to look to find certain tools 
  • Customization
    • Do you you need to create your own themes and fully personalize your site or are you happy utilizing pre-made templates and changing images/colors/fonts? Some tools let you customize more than others. 
  • Support
    • Generally, the digital scholarship team in the library can help you with many digital project questions, but our expertise is also limited. Sticking to tools we've specifically presented on, or have included in this guide, or otherwise have extensive and helpful documentation will ensure you can troubleshoot quickly and focus on creating your project and not fixing the tool. 

It is also worth asking yourself these questions: 

1. Does it make sense for your project?

Think about the functionality you need and choose a platform that is best suited to it 

2. Are you comfortable learning it, or do you already know it?

Tools have different learning curves so choose a tool that has the function you need, but that you are also comfortable using. Sometimes you can think creatively about using the tools you already know and making them suit your project! 

3. Do you have time to implement it?

If you need to learn a new skill or tool on top of completing your project you'll need to consider if you have time to do so. Also, some platforms, like Omeka, have a significant amount of work you need to complete before building a site. Familiarizing yourself with the general workflows of a new tool/project can help you plan ahead. 


Below is a decision tree that walks through various questions you might ask yourself when starting a digital project and considering which platform to choose to create it. 

decision tree for choosing a digital project