If you’ve been working as almost any kind of creative, you probably know that a piece of paper with fancy stamps do not always guarantees work. And you also know that having a beautiful and clear portfolio that represents you is essential. Recently we published an inspirational article regarding successful designer portfolios. But I’m not a designer and I can’t create that kind of website on my own, you’d probably say. What to do then? Pay someone a big amount of money for your website? I hold that the content stands over the packaging and it doesn’t make a big difference if your portfolio cost you thousands of dollars or couple of sandwiches. It’s much better to focus on your work and leave its presentation on safe hands. That’s why for this roundup we’ve prepared a list of 10 tools that will help you build a portfolio easily and professionally. What are the advantages of these services? When to use them and when maybe go for your own solution?
Advantages of building a portfolio from scratch
- Unique and genuine design – although website building services provide you with lots of customizable templates sometimes it isn’t really what you’re looking for. Going for your own portfolio means that you can create almost anything you want. Of course, someone will have to design it.
- Your own CMS – you’re not limited with a given management system which often might not provide you with the tools you need. Building a portfolio from scratch means you choose any CMS you want – WordPress, maybe a Tumblr blog or your own custom solution.
- You’ve got a project – this one’s tiny but if you’re a designer or developer building your own portfolio, it means you’re working on a fresh project which you can later showcase. Maybe you’ll even get some web award.
Advantages of using website builders
- Cost – this, of course, doesn’t concern those who are doing the work themselves but those who are willing to pay someone. Having a website built from scratch can be quite expensive and website building tools can provide you with excellent service for a really low cost.
- Free of trouble – portfolio building services provide you with hosting and support. They’re secure and you don’t have to worry about things like backups. Most of the work is already done for you.
- Connect – some of the services in this list [Behance, Krop] are not only for building websites but also for bulding communities. It’s a great way to connect with other artists and find new contacts. Also companies tend to use these services to find new talents for their projects.
I hope these points will make your choice easier, and now on to the list.
WIX is the most popular website builder on the web. You can build a fantastic website in a matter of minutes. And whether you’re an artist, a small business owner or a touring musician, there’s a fully customizable Wix template for you. You can check out the showcase of portfolios built here.
- 100+ customizable templates
- Get found on Google and other search engines
- Fully compatible with mobile devices
- Blog support
- Free hosting
- WIX ads
- Limited bandwidth
- Pretty good support for both free and paid versions.
- No WIX branding
- Custom domain
- 2.5GB of storage
- Premium support
Carbonmade is one of the oldest and most popular portfolio services out there. With over half a million portfolios it’s the top choice for all kind of creatives. You can check out the showcase of portfolios built here.
- Show off your work – You are given a professional, clean canvas so you can focus on content
- Personalize your portfolio – Change the overall look, the logo, and the domain to suit your style
- Quality everything – No photos spoiled, no videos sullied. The whole lot stays large and lovely
- Worry-free – It’s stable, reliable, and secure, like a boulder chained to a mountain
- Limited to 5 projects and 35 images
- Up to 500 projects, 500 images and 10 videos
- Tech support
Krop states themselves as the new industry standard for building professional creative portfolios and is searched by the best companies. It offers simple, carefree yet fully customizable portfolio building experience already chosen by creatives from various niches. You can check out the showcase of portfolios built here.
- Perfect portfolio – With simple tools, you’ll quickly organize your work in.to a beautiful template, along with an optional resume
- Beautiful styles – Select a look from the constantly growing style gallery, each designed for creatives with impossibly high standards and to the specifications of recruiters that use Krop to find talent
- Creative database – Many of the world’s most respected brands use Krop’s Database to search for creative talent
- Limited to 10 images
- Classic light style only
- Unlimited images
- Style gallery access
- Custom domain
4. Behance Prosite
Behance allows you to showcase your work from drafts and work-in-progress to beautiful completed projects. Gain exposure and track visitors and when you get lucky, many companies use Behance to find their next designer, photographer etc. You can check out the showcase of portfolios built here.
- Build your site for free – only pay when you’re ready to publish
- Drag & drop – ProSite’s revolutionary drag & drop editor allows for infinite design possibilities, without touching a line of code
- Automatically sync with Behance, LinkedIn and other top galleries across the web
- Full resolution images, Typekit fonts, Google analytics and more
- Once you are ready to publish your content it’s $11/month or $99/year
With deviantART Portfolio within a matter of minutes you can fully configure your very own Portfolio and start submitting your creative works for review by potential employers, art schools, or clients.
- Create portfolio using easy-to-use wizard
- Personalize layout with premade professional themes
- Import images from your deviantART account
- Use your own domain
- Up to 100 images
- No advertising
- No HTML skills needed
- Unlimited portfolios and images
- Personal domain
- No deviantART branding
Coroflot offers you a fast, easy way to get your creative projects online and in front of the right people. Coroflot has a great and beautiful user interface and it’s easy to build a good looking portfolio. Yet it’s more about community than building your individual portfolio since there aren’t any premium features and you can’t add your own domain. You can check out the showcaseof portfolios built here.
Viewbook is an online platform that helps you present your work perfectly. You can create great responsive websites, beautiful portfolios and galleries in a flash. It’s easily organizable and customizable. You can check out their showcase of portfolios.
- Select and present quickly – Viewbook makes it easy for you to present selections of your work to clients or potential clients
- Download single images – Originals are stored unchanged on our servers for your clients to download within two clicks
- Highly configurable – Viewbook albums are higly configurable and give you many options to customize
- iPhone and iPad version – Special iPhone and iPad galleries with all the touch features for swiping through the images
Each plan offers a 30 day trial period. Gallery Basic ($4/month)
- Unlimited galleries and albums
- iPad portfolio app
- 1000 hi-res images
Portfolio Standard ($9/month or $90/year)
- Single page portfolios
- Remove Viewbook logo
- 2500 hi-res images
Website Pro ($19/month)
- Complete portfolio websites
- Album, text and video pages
- Full customization
- Use your own domain
Cargo is a creative publishing platform where everything, from the ever-changing visual appearance of people’s personal websites to the user interface, is built around the work shared by its members. However in order to maintain the highest possible degree of quality, Cargo is by invite only. However, memberships are frequently awarded to unaffiliated talents who share a sample of their work. Check out their showcase of portolios!
- Design templates that fits each individual’s needs
- Web publishing tools – control how your content is displayed
- Fully configurable image slideshows
- Follow the work of others, create personal networks
- Cloud hosting
- 12 projects, 3 pages
- 100MB storage
- 5 membership invites
Upgraded ($9/month or $66/year)
- Unlimited pages and projects (up to 6GB)
- Advanced code editing
- Custom URL
- Access to all design templates
Berta is a free, open source web app for building websites. Berta is a fast and simple way to build your custom website and not just a portfolio. It can be anything – from a small business or fashion label to a nursing school in India. Set up your site in few minutes, design and edit directly in a browser window.
- Designing and editing is made simple – login and click on an element to edit it.
- Drag and drop almost anything.
- Connect your own domain name existing or new, even for trial websites.
- Use system fonts or any webfont from Google.
- 30 day trial period
berta hosting (€19.99/year)
- Auto install
- Your own domain name
- Daily backups
- 1 GB of storage
berta pro (€49.99/year)
- Up to five email addresses
- FTP access
- 3 GB of storage
Subfolio provides an elegant, practical and customizable web interface to your file system. Super fast to set-up and use, you’ll be up and running in minutes. Flexible and feature-rich, you’ll soon be inventing new ways to use it.
- Installs on your server – Subfolio is not a hosted service, giving you complete control over your environment, your data and even the application itself
- Easy-to-use – Drop files and folders online using FTP or WebDAV. Organize. Reorganize. Whatever you do, Subfolio will follow
- Designed for simplicity – Streamlined interface allows for versatility and focus, including keyboard controls, easy to read URL’s and out-of-the box SEO-friendliness
- Developer-friendly – Lightweight, standards-compliant and extensible, you get full assess to the un-obfuscated code to satisfy the geek in you
Subfolio is in private beta so you’ll have to ask for an invitation.
I hope you found your favorite website builder. If not, here are some tips.
If you know very little about building websites. If you have very little or no experience with websites I suggest going with WIX. With more than 20 million websites created already, it’s proven itself as the best service for beginners. And not only. It has very powerful features in premium plans plus the premium support is a nice extra.
If you want to connect with other creatives. If you’re interested in finding other artists and connecting with them I suggest choosing Behance. It’s acknowledged itself as a platform for really talanted creatives from different fields. You’ll get noticed by competent fellow members and there’s a high chance of finding a job.
If you know what are you doing. If you are already experienced in web design field you might find Subfolio interesting. It is not a hosted service and installs on your own server giving you full control of the application. It’s also lightweight and developer-friendly so it may be the best choice for experienced users. Drawback, of course, is that it’s by invite only.
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