Today’s question comes from Taylor A., who asks, “I know I need to have an online portfolio, but I don’t know how to build a website! Do I have to hire a designer, or is there an easier way?”
Great question, Taylor, and great news: There is an easier way! We’ve compiled a list of websites that help you built your own online portfolio site, mostly with super-easy drag-and-drop functionality.
Some of these are free and some of them have a small monthly fee, but even with the cost of your own URL (usually about $10/year or so), they’re all pretty sweet deals for creating your very own, completely customized websites. (And definitely much cheaper than hiring a designer!) So, without further ado, here’s our list:
1. IMCreator In the spirit of full disclosure, this is actually the site that I use for my own portfolio (but I’m not getting any kickbacks for adding it to the list.) The templates on this site tend to be a little more modern and edgy and the functionality can take a bit of work to figure out, but the end results are very impressive. (Cost=free, but there’s a small fee if you register the URL through them. I’d recommend it since it just makes everything easier.)
2. Virb This site offers several styles of templates for you to customize. This site gets good notes for both its functionality and its helpful introductory videos—just watching those alone is enough to help you put together your site. (Cost=$10/month, not including domain purchase)
3. Wix This site has hundreds of templates to choose from, which can be a little overwhelming. The quality of the templates, though, is very impressive. (Cost=varies. To have your own domain and remove the Wix branding from the site, the price starts at $8.25/month with a year commitment, but you may need more storage site than that, since you’ll have a lot of pictures on your site.)
I’m including this one because it’s free, [UPDATE: Carbonmade is no longer free. Pity.] basic and pretty easy to get live quickly. However, this site doesn’t allow a lot of design flexibility and it also won’t allow you to have your own URL. That said, though, if you just love the layout and really want to make this your online portfolio, you can always buy a domain and redirect it to your Carbonmade portfolio.
4.b (Bonus!) The Portfolium Similar to Carbonmade, this site is free, easy to use ,and easy to get up and running. Instead of being geared toward creatives, though, the site is actually geared toward students and young professionals in all industries who want to highlight their accomplishments. You can’t set up a dedicated URL, but again, you could always use a redirect. The site also lets you connect with other users. I wouldn’t use this as an alternative to LinkedIn, but it could be especially useful for connecting with designers who are new to the industry, too.
5. Squarespace These guys appear to be spending quite a bit on advertising, since I’ve seen TV commercials, online commercials and banner ads like crazy. They may be living up to their hype, though, since they offer good looking templates that are all mobile-compatible, free custom URLs, drag-and-drop management, the ability to link to your social media accounts and lots of other features. Pricing starts at $8/month, but you might want to look at the $16/month plan for the unlimited storage.
This is just a sampling of sites and more are being added everyday, but that only means that there is no excuse for you not to get your online portfolio up and live right away!
And now it’s your turn: How are you building your online portfolio? Or, have you built it already? How did you do it? Let us know in the comments below!
Need to build your portfolio? Here’s more info to help:
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