Portfolio Website Builders

Portfolio website builders: 9 great options as of 2019

Why an online portfolio may be needed? For a host of creative professions of people who work as employed by some company or work for themselves, an online portfolio is a way to earn money. Potential employers and individual orderers see your works online, estimate your qualification and decide whether you qualify for their needs and requirements. Using such a way of presenting your experience and skills, you can also create an especial ambiance, which may be hard or impossible to obtain using just some freelance portals or portals of employment agencies, which all are tuned to a specific way of representing works of people registered in them. A personal touch that you give to your online site is a unique opportunity to stand out of the crowd & to win in a highly competitive environment, where most creative people work.

This task is easily solved by using portfolio website builders – tools, which allow you to deal with the site-making issue on your own, not resorting to the services of any third-party web-making studios.  

 

How to make a portfolio website: introduction to the world of these tools

To allow creative and other people to start their online presence and to run a site with little efforts in the future, there have been portfolio website builders created. It is easy to get lost in a host of them on the market to a beginner. If you are one of such beginners – we completely understand your frustration that you might have experienced right after the encounter with market offers due to the vastness of available options. Which site builder would be right to choose? Which is the right for your needs and available monthly budget? How to create a portfolio website? Is it possible to run your portfolio for free? Let’s consider these issues in the article below.  

 

The list of nine best portfolio website builders

  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. Weebly
  4. Fabrik
  5. SmugMug
  6. Format
  7. Godaddy
  8. IM Creator
  9. Jimdo.

 

Wix portfolio website builder

Wix is a powerful solution of the market, delivering many strengths for a host of users (millions as of today) – they all appreciate the vastness of available templates (around a half-thousand), major power of its interface (which, however, may take additional time for novices to master), and many apps to integrate with. Creative people find it convenient because of dedicated adjustable templates, the customization of which can be done to their needs, can profitably highlight their pieces of work thanks to galleries and slideshows of pictures and videos, as well as a possibility to sell right through their site, without the need to resort to some third-party sales platforms (but also with a possibility to resort to them, if needed, to increase the sales potential – like eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and others).

 

Pricing:

The pricing of Wix starts with $4.50 (if you reside in one of the English-speaking countries) or €4.50 (if you are in Europe). For other territories, the price tag may change, so we are going to consider only dollar options. For this money, it is possible to receive an initial bandwidth of 1 Gb and 500 Mb of storage.

For $8.50 a month, you will not anymore see Wix’s branded commercials on your pages and will have the added bandwidth and storage: 2 Gb and 3 Gb correspondingly. Also, there is a possibility to connect a good-looking custom domain name and own favicon – replacing the Wix’s ones. The next option you see on the pricing page is $12.50 – the first plan that withdraws the bandwidth limits and gives 10 Gb storage. With them, goes everything that is included in the previous plan and some free money for advertising of your site. $16.50-plan is going to add an online store to the set of features. $24.50 gives a number of monthly mailing campaigns.

 

Pros:

  • Fabulous number of templates

  • Powerful interface

  • Own app store and many exciting narrow-specialized features like a Wix music store to make it possible to download own music and sell it online (like in iTunes)

  • Add pieces of HTML code

  • Backup and restore

  • Selected mobile-friendliness (not all templates are so).

 

Cons:

  • The interface is so powerful that takes time to master it by newcomers

  • Varying payment for different territories

  • Demanding to the speed of the Internet

  • Paid templates and apps may significantly increase your initial and monthly expenditures.

 

Squarespace premium portfolio website builder

If you desire to plunge yourself in a world of beautiful templates, the best road to go is to approach Squarespace. This site builder is wonderful to showcase what you’ve got, as everything is done here to show pictures and videos in the most exciting manner.

 

Pricing:

It has four general plans:

  • ‘Personal’ for twelve dollars a month – here, you receive a free custom domain for 1 year, SSL, no limits on storage & bandwidth, SEO, great templates, mobile optimization, great customer support, and metrics to estimate how your site’s doing.

  • ‘Business’ for eighteen dollars – give the mentioned plus unlimited number of contributors, Google e-mail branded with your site’s name, a possibility to change CSS and JS, better analytics, a free promo money, e-commerce with initial 3% commission for sales transactions, a possibility to accept donations, and a limited number of merch items to sell.

  • For twenty-six dollars a month in a ‘Commerce’ plan, you get the mentioned in the previous one + a possibility to make your customers register on your site having own accounts, e-commerce analytics turns from basic to advanced, connection to Instagram to sell your merch there too, and some other features. Also, the 3% commission zeroes. 

  • And finally, for forty American dollars a month, in the ‘Advanced commerce’ pack, you get the mentioned in the basic e-commerce plan plus abandoned cart recovery, gift cards option, sell subscriptions to your website, widened sales and shipping methods, and better discounts to offer to your clients on the pieces of your merch.

Pay attention that monthly payments are going to increase the prices to 16, 26, 30, and 46 dollars a month accordingly.

 

Pros of this platform:

  • Powerful sales

  • Advanced metrics and features

  • The beauty of templates

  • Bright working interface.

 

Cons:

  • No free run possible

  • Only get a free domain if paying for a year in one payment

  • Some powerful sales features only come in two high-cost plans.

 

Weebly portfolio website builder

If you want excellence of templates on the visual foreground and technical background, high ease of use of the interface, the nice attitude of the help center to every client, and nice e-commerce for prices within the market – choose Weebly site builder. 

 

Pricing:

  • Running for free, you get only free SSL, branded domain & branding on the webpages and 500 Mb of storage

  • Paying €5 a month, get the same plus a custom domain name connection (paid for 12 months with 1 payment)

  • E-commerce starts in a ‘Pro’ account for €10 a month. Also, the storage becomes unlimited, no Weebly ads any longer shown on webpages, and website search is enabled. It becomes possible to have a shopping cart and to receive payments through a number of channels. 

  • €20 a month largely improves the power of sales, marketing, and support.

  • The package for €30 a month significantly widens the power of everything mentioned before, summarily providing over 30 features.

 

Pros:

  • A possibility to run for free (limited in power but not in time)

  • Exciting working interface and adorable templates

  • Easy to start and scale up the store, adding many payment channels, stats, shipping, and other tools to estimate your sales levels.

 

Cons:

  • Two initial packages are too low-power to consider them with interest

  • Mid-market power to build a portfolio website and showcase it.

 

Fabrik portfolio website builder

This is a specialized tool for portfolios sites – it has been created by specialists in the area of showcasing, which, collaboratively with strong developers, have elaborated the tool that is going to power up any online portfolio. Consecutively, it is not great for other types of websites.

 

Pricing:

Everything in its pricing is tuned at the number of projects and portfolios one can have. A ‘Personal’ plan for €7.50 a month (billed annually) includes 50 projects and ten different portfolios, any number of possible blog posts to popularize up, 2 Gb storage for media files, free SSL, and starting customer support. The one for €9.25 a month (billed annually) increases the number of projects and portfolios to 100 & 20 accordingly, 5 Gb media files storage, and priority support. The third, final, plan for €17.50 a month (billed annually) widens the possibilities to any number of portfolios, projects & media storage.

The mentioned prices increase to 9, 11, and 21 Euros a month if billed month-to-month.

 

Pros:

  • A professional tool for professionals, focusing primarily on portfolios for creative people

  • Interesting templates to work with.

 

Cons:

  • Drag-and-drop isn’t the best.

  • Only limited to portfolio websites.

 

SmugMug portfolio website builder

It is another professional tool, equipped with high power to make portfolio website to make your works astounding. We haven’t seen so many options in any other website builder, specialized or not – and, surely, opting to have this one, you receive a significant boost to showcase your works.

 

Pricing:

No plan differs much from one another in features – only with minor ones, which you can find here: https://www.smugmug.com/features. We will not submit every one of it here and just say that the features are split into large zones packed with an impressive number of functions in each:

  • Photo website

  • Community & support

  • Personalization

  • Organization

  • Sharing

  • Safety & security

  • E-commerce

  • Print & gifts

  • Branding

  • Marketing.

These payment options are present:

  • ‘Basic’ costing $48 a year (5.99 dollars monthly)

  • ‘Power’ costing $72 a year (8.99 dollars monthly)

  • ‘Portfolio’ costing $180 a year (23.99 dollars monthly)

  • ‘Pro’ costing $360 a year (41.99 dollars monthly).

 

Pros:

  • Many greatly elaborated templates

  • Professional tool with the vastness of features

  • Easy sales and monetization. 

 

Cons (we haven’t found many):

  • Costly compared to other tools.

 

Format portfolio website builder

This is yet another special tool for best websites for portfolios and it offers 3 plans with a number of features in each – you will feel the power of your site right from the beginning. If you hate creating a portfolio website on your own, for 50 US dollars, people from this company are ready to set up everything for you within half an hour. 

 

Pricing of its three packages:

  • 6 US dollars for a month make one able to upload a hundred images, put 3 products on sales, and start fifteen pages

  • 12 US dollars for a month make one able to upload ten times more images, add 20 products to the online store and not being limited in pages count. Also, start a decent blog, get a cool custom domain name and access to altering the course code.

  • 25 dollars are going to make it possible to add any number of pictures, a thousand products in the store, more fabulous templates, and the same well power of the support center.

The mentioned money is stated for an annual payment. 

 

Pros:

  • Effective themes

  • Ease of work.

 

Cons:

  • Limited design abilities.

  • Can be tangled for a novice.

Godaddy portfolio website builder

This is a general-direction website builder but you can start a beautiful portfolio with its help as well. 

 

Pricing of this best website builder for portfolio:

$5.99 a month is an initial pack giving the mobile-friendliness, SSL and edits on the go, as well as a number of templates to use. $9.99 adds to the starting power a possibility to make your best portfolio websites found online thanks to SEO, and accept payments through PayPal. $14.99 a month opens e-mail marketing, setting meetings through an online calendar, and integration to social media. $19.99-pack adds to the mentioned big power of online store and sales on third-party platforms like Amazon. 

 

Pros:

  • The ease of use of its templates and working interface

  • Many abilities of connection and integration.

 

Cons:

  • You will always pay for a custom domain name and an e-mail

  • Just a regular power of this portfolio website builder does not differentiate it from the crowd.

 

IM Creator portfolio website builder

This tool is not considered the top-notch anymore – it used to be years ago. But it’s still fine for simple websites, which have to be started quickly.

 

Pricing:

If you’re not interested in ‘White Label’ for 350 dollars a year to make websites in this professional portfolio website builder to sell them to someone else further, then you should look at either free run (not good for packed-with-weight portfolios) or options of $5.95… $9.95 a month (differing prices depend on the term that you pay for – 6, 12, 24 or 36 months with one payment).

 

Pros:

  • Applicable for simple websites but not in the free run, as it’s too limited.

 

Cons:

  • Outdated

  • Not too many powers – for instance, go for Fabrik, SmugMug or Format to receive excellence for your portfolio websites.

 

Jimdo portfolio website builder

On the list of portfolio builders, this option is for simple websites without tangled requirements. 

 

Pricing:

If you don’t want powerful e-commerce and can live with set limitations on bandwidth and storage, you can opt for one of its four beginning plans (out of five):

  1. Run the website for free with ‘Play’ plan and get just basics with a subdomain of this portfolio maker.

  2. For $4.20 a month, get deprived of commercials of the website builder and get a free custom domain for twelve months.

  3. For $7.29, get SEO features, personal support and website stats.

  4. For $9.23 a month, add to the mentioned an online store.

But just for you to know – for $18.88, you can, finally, get any space for storage of your webpages and media files, instant support answers, no limits on bandwidth, and some added minor features.

 

Pros:

  • It has nice online store capacities in two high-cost plans.

  • It offers fairly low pricing.

 

Cons:

  • Limits in every plan but the costliest in storage, bandwidth, and a possible max number of pages, as well as the time of support’s answers.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about portfolio website builders

What is an online portfolio?

This is a collection of your previous works that you have sold to somebody or done for no money, for various occasions. Depending on an industry where a creative person works, the site may contain texts, pictures, videos, graphics, renders, sketches, voice records, music, films, multiplication, photographs of offline works (decoration of interiors or exteriors, food, catering, flowers arrangement, and others). They collectively allow estimating what kind of working spirit and gift you have as a personal professional or a studio (or, if you are the head of some creative collective, then your collective works may be included too). These are needed to make a potential hirer or orderer to estimate your skills, the level of previous performances, and to understand whether he or she likes what you’re doing and wants to hire you to make a similar job. 

If you are a specialist in different or adjacent areas, or if you represent an agency of wide profile, then it might be a good thought to create several different portfolios to showcase your works in every direction.

 

Can I create a portfolio website for free?

Yes, you can. But take into account that free site builder is not going to offer you a high-profile package of abilities – and you will eventually have to resort to a paid option to gain powers, which will be able to make you grow or to abandon the thought that your online presence is going to give you anything tangible. However, you shall not think that paid options will make you a bankrupt – pretty often, decent options come for as much as a price of 2-3 latte coffees a month. Get better health and get online for the saved money.

 

I’m not sure which portfolio website builder to use. What should I do?

There is no one universal answer to all needs. Someone might need huge storage space for large files (and they aren’t videos to put them on YouTube). Another creative person may need fabulous carousel done automatically of pictures of a portfolio. Yet another man is specialist in several adjacent areas and might need an easy and not tiresome possibility to create several different portfolios to show them to different clients or orderers (with a possibility to limit the show of other portfolios). Also, there are specialized portfolio website builders and ones of the general profile – and it’s not the fact that your needs might be covered only by specialized tools. 

The first thing you should do is to open several portfolio website builders that you liked based on our description and to read carefully the full list of offered options. Then study their pricing and then – choose several to run them for free during the try-and-buy period on your own, to feel them better. Thus, after the mentioned steps, we are sure that you will pick one to your needs. 

 

Conclusion

How to make a portfolio website? There are at least 9 portfolio website builders, which can add a certain degree of vibrancy to your portfolios that you can transfer online. In either case, being online to showcase your works is always better than not being online – as in the last case, you limit yourself in finding new jobs, some of which may not only bring you great money but also be of high interest and give you new useful skills. We wish you to pick the right tool, which is going to give you blossoming jobs!


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