Emerson.build has been building a larger following!
If you haven’t heard of it, Emerson.build is a pilot of Reclaim Hosting’s “Domain of One’s Own” program. It allows any Emersonian to register a free web domain, install content management systems (CMS) in it like WordPress or Drupal, and build websites! The major advantages of .build over other Emerson platforms like Word.Emerson are its realism and flexibility. Building a website in your Emerson.build domain is the real deal. You and/or your students can have the authentic experience of building a website from the ground up. For example, if you install WordPress in your domain, there will be no restriction on the themes and plugins you can use on your site (unlike Word.Emerson, which is a “multi-site network” with themes and plugins curated by ITG). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even work with your site’s code and file structure, though no knowledge of coding is necessary to use .build.
Think of Word.Emerson as the shallow end of a pool—totally safe but relatively tame—while Emerson.build is the deep end—daunting at first glance, but with much more potential.
Usage of Emerson.build has nearly doubled since Fall 2017. At that time, there were 184 registered domains. Now, there are 396. What, you may ask, are all these domains being used for? Anything and everything! Take a look at this chart for an idea:
Emersonians have utilized .build to showcase their art, video, photography, reporting, and creative writing. Some have ventured even farther out, building websites to host interactive Twine stories, games, podcasts, and even delicious recipe collections. Despite all of this shiny finished content, one of the platform’s most prevalent uses is to provide a space where students can practice coding (from scratch using HTML) or web-building (with the help of a CMS). Over 40% of all Emerson.build domain-owners use the platform to hone their web-design chops! This is an invaluable experience to give to your students, who can take their skills and maybe even their first professional websites with them into their careers.
The next chart demonstrates that Emerson.build is predominantly used by students; however, faculty have created some impressive projects of their own. Some faculty use their domain to build a course website or to collect their students’ individual websites.
Emerson.build is a wide-open frontier waiting to be developed…so get building! Want to showcase your magnificent website on our blog? Show it to us by sending a link to ITG@emerson.edu!