You are a creative person with oodles of portfolio pieces to show off. But what about setting up a website? How do you show off all that wonderful work if the terms like “FTP”, “hosting”, or “domain” send you running for a web dictionary? You could hire someone to make it for you, but if you’re working with a budget (as most of us are), these online portfolio solutions may be the perfect fit. There are plenty of online portfolio solutions to choose from, and each comes with it’s pros and cons. While none will be as professional as a website made just for you, it can be a great stepping stone as your fame starts to grow. Here we list the free solutions that we consider to be the best out there.
The Best Online Portfolio Solutions
These are the two best online portfolio solutions that we would suggest. They are clean, and allow your content to make the big impression without impediment. Like other online portfolio solutions, the SEO isn’t very good on the site itself. But these two have some effective countermeasures.
Krops creative database provides thirteen templates with alteration options on most. this may not seem like a lot when compared to the multiplicity of other options available on other online portfolio solutions. So why is this the best? Number one, it puts you in the Krop database. More visibility is a huge plus, especially if you’re just getting started. Then, as an added bonus, you can list your resume on here as well. Perfect for anyone looking for a job. Of course, if you prefer not to show your resume there is the option to go without.
This is the perfect social media conglomerate. You can also roll in that blog you’ve been writing for the last year, and your YouTube channel. Oh, and pretty much every social media site known to man. Flavors.me lets you style your portfolio site and choose what you want. If you really hate the flavors.me domain, it costs a few dollars a month to put your own domain/url on it instead. The SEO benefit is in the links. All the social media you probably already have, and other external sites where you’ve built a following. These will drive traffic to your site. This is one of the online portfolio solutions that is best for those who love to use social media.
Other Online Portfolio Solutions:
Neither one of these online portfolio solutions quite what you’re looking for? There are a few more options. We don’t think they make it to the top two. But still, great options. Check them out and see which one is best for you.
Super simple setup, but limited space. A free account will let you upload 5 projects (total of 35 images (though that does include flash). The paid version increases that significantly for $12 a month. 50 projects, 500 images and 10 videos. Pretty awesome, but this might be restrictive for some people who have a lot in their archive. While for others this could be a useful limitation. Forcing them to display only select works. As online portfolio solutions go, this is a straightforward one. If you aren’t worried about limited space, and enjoy their friendly branding, go for it. There are specialized categories for the different artist varieties to make sure they properly address your uniqueness.
But isn’t WordPress a blog? Yes, and it’s also a darn good portfolio site. But because it’s a blog at heart, this one is recommended for those of you who want to write. Starting on a WordPress.com site might not be quite as sleek as some of the other options for online portfolio website solutions (though they do provide some lovely free templates). But the CMS is solid, and it allows you to grow and upgrade as your business/personal fame, expands. WordPress.com is free, but very limited. However this can be part of it’s charm. You don’t need to worry about hosting, or plugins, not until you grow and want to move up to a WordPress.org account, and by then you can probably pay someone to do it for you. Everyone needs to start somewhere. If you know you want to blog about your art, this is one of the best online portfolio solutions for you.
We couldn’t have an online portfolios party and not invite Behance. They have been around for a long time (ages in internet years) and a lot of designers use them as their online portfolio solution of choice. The big news from July 2010 that sets Behance apart from most other online portfolio solutions, is that they partnered with Linkedin to have portfolios visible on Linkedin profiles. (Though I believe this is only for their pro site version). Behance is widely used, and has a very simple set up. You choose a layout. Put your stuff into it with a simple drag and drop to organize. Tweak the images sizes, margin spaces (designer presentation stuff). Then play around with colors and typography. Then go! The downside is that the free version does display adds on your page. Pro site is only 11$ a month, but still, it’s not an investment everyone wants to make. Even if pro site has more cool features and lets you import a blog…
Perhaps the one thing that sets Coroflot apart from the other online portfolio solutions is the community. They foster artistic community with groups and growing your own network of industry peers. And on the other side, they connect artists with jobs, (what freelancer wouldn’t appreciate that?). But the features don’t stop there. Using a drag and drop interface to customize your portfolio content you have unlimited uploads. So share all you want. If you don’t want to be found on search engines, but share privately instead, toggle the settings from public to private. If you want to know what the traffic is like on your site, they also offer traffic reports. So whats the catch? Well, the Coroflot logo will always be at the top of your free portfolio website, and there will be advertisements (how did you think they paid for all these nifty features?). All in all not a bad option, though it may not appeal to everyone.
The Portfolio List Goes On
That completes our list of online portfolio website solutions. But what are your favorites? There are many we didn’t mention. As well as quite a few paid options that are well worth the fee. Let us know what solutions you’ve used in the comments below.