Top 5 Portfolio Builders for Designers
Over the years I’ve interviewed many graduates and young designers and I’m often asked for advice on the best ways to display a portfolio. To my surprise some of the interviewees didn’t even have any actual work to show at all and most had a printed portfolio straight from university.
If you’re applying for a role in a digital media agency, you should at least be displaying a portfolio on a digital platform, even if it’s images on an iPad.
So here’s what I suggest:
- Ideally, you need to select a few of your best pieces of work (not everything – you don’t need loads), maybe between five and ten of your best pieces. I would rather see five good pieces than a portfolio padded out with additional pieces of mediocre work which might be all I remember once you’ve left the interview.
- Get your work online…there are plenty of ways to do this.
Below, I have selected what we think are the 5 best professional platforms you can use without any knowledge of coding, and though we considered many sites including dunked.com, moonfruit.com, wix.com, brushd.com, krop.com, dribbble.com,
carbonmade.com, coroflot.com and several others, the five we’ve selected felt like the most professional, easy to use and comprehensive of the lot.
You get a 30 day trial, then $19/month or $190/year.
Simplicity is the key with Viewbook. Perfect for photographers, it focuses on a variety of different ways to display your images, integrating mini portfolios and projects to feature alongside your main site. Everything is fully responsive, easy to upload and organize your work to a cloud based storage, with customizable designs, fonts and colours. It will also synch with Lightroom and Aperture which will save you time exporting and uploading your work.
You get a 14 day trial, but after that it’s $8/month for a personal package, $16/month for a professional package and $24/month for a Business Package.
Squarespace isn’t just a portfolio builder, it’s a fully responsive website builder… but boy is it a good one! Whether you want to create a blog, eCommerce store, portfolio or website, Squarespace can do it all and is powered by a very clever intuitive platform. Pages can be created from readymade templates and everything is managed via a content management system. No HTML or CSS knowledge is needed unless you want to customise your pages. You also get 24/7 customer service if you need help with anything.
Cargo Collective is free if limited to 12 projects with 3 pages and 100MB storage.You can upgrade for $66/year or $9/month for unlimited usage.
Cargo has been around for time now, but we still feel it’s effective yet simple templates stand up today for a professional portfolio. Everything is setup via a content management system so it’s easy to use, however if you want to customize your portfolio you can do so if you have a little HTML and CSS knowledge. Features include cloud based storage, fully configurable slideshows, built in audio and video players so no need to embed YouTube or Vimeo.
You can sign up free with an Adobe ID
Behance is more than just a portfolio builder, it’s an online community where creatives showcase and share their work and interact with others. It’s owned by Adobe and attracts millions of visitors, helping creatives find work. Behance is synchronized with Prosite which integrates tools such as Typekit, Google Analytics and drag and drop editors – no coding is required.
It’s free for a Beginner package up to 10 pages, $9/month for a Publisher package and $12/month for a Super Publisher package.
This may come as a surprise but Readymag is our top pick. Essentially it’s a magazine publisher, but the more we use it, the more features keep getting added and it’s by far the easiest to use, with a beautiful interface offering drag and drop design integrated tools that give freedom to your layouts.
Images are uploaded to Amazon cloud hosting, and Typekit, Google Fonts and Noun Project icons and symbols are all integrated. It’s SEO friendly, you can track your visitors with Google Analytics, set a custom domain, Retina ready, responsive, and you can either use templates or start with blank pages. You can embed code, SoundCloud audio files, Vimeo and YouTube videos, no coding is required and you can password protect your pages and export PDFs.
(The Wildcard) http://semplicelabs.com
One off payment of $89
Semplice is the first fully responsive case study portfolio system based on WordPress. It’s built by designers for designers. We’ve included this as a wildcard option because technically it’s not a ready to go cloud based system. You don’t need HTML or code knowledge but you will require your own hosting and know how to install WordPress.
Once you’ve managed that, you will be presented with a wonderful custom content editor to configure your portfolio in real time. Semplice is not a template, nor does it offer templates, but you get to design your portfolio how you want without boundaries.
So if you’re looking for a job, and you want to impress us, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a beautiful online portfolio – good luck!
If you’re applying for a role in a digital media agency, you should at least be displaying a portfolio on a digital platform, even if it’s images on an iPad