A few years ago, our friends at Vitamin T made a list of the best free portfolio websites available to creative professionals. Back then, Cargo and Carbonmade (still great, but no longer free) were all the rage. But, times change, and a new breed of easy-to-build, easy-to-use free portfolio sites have taken centre stage.
Now, if you’re an interactive, UX, or UI Designer, you may want to create your own site from scratch to demonstrate your skills. But, for many Graphic Designers, Photographers, and Writers, the web is full of sites to help you easily create one. It’s a great way to promote your latest work and talents that won’t cost you anything.
So, without further ado, here’s a quick review of five of the best and most popular free portfolio website builders available today.
New to our list since we last ranked the top 5 portfolio websites, Wix offers over 500 website templates to help get you started. According to a respected Web Designer, these templates offer the same pedigree that a professional could produce. Maybe that’s why the platform has over 200 million users worldwide.
First off, this one is not totally “free” in the traditional sense—you need an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (starting from £4.98/month with a subscription to InCopy) — but it works so well, we had to include it in our list. The platform’s tools are super user-friendly, allowing you to build a really nice-looking site in no time. Not only does it give you access to thousands of best-in-class fonts with Adobe Fonts, but it also has the ability to integrate with Behance and Adobe Lightroom to import your projects. There are many who consider this one of the best online portfolio website builders around.
Wildly popular with UX/UI designers, Behance is the first of two portfolio websites to make a repeat appearance on our list. The easy-to-use platform is also part of Adobe and has been around since 2006. Not only does it allow you to build an amazing-looking site, but it's also a great tool for connecting to peers and potential opportunities through activity feeds, groups, and collections.
Weebly powers over 50 million websites worldwide. Similar to Wix, this online portfolio builder offers a drag-and-drop interface and a wide range of helpful tools that make it easy to create a great-looking website. As an added bonus, the platform lets you sell your creations (photos, illustrations, icons, etc.) using their e-commerce system powered by Square. The ability to build an e-commerce website should put this on the top of many designers’ lists.
Another site making its return appearance on our list is Dribbble. Also popular with UX/UI designers, the platform allows you to share small screenshots of your designing processes, design drafts, interactive prototypes, app design concepts, and more. Many use Dribbble in tandem with Behance, which allows you to feature more design case details.
All of these platforms will allow you to make a really great-looking portfolio website. Spend a little time on each to determine which is right for you. Most of them offer a (paid) upgraded service, which includes enhanced design tools and removes any advertising for the site-builder tool. Whatever platform you decide to go with, it’s best to consider using one that allows you to update it with your latest work quickly. That way, your site is always fresh.
Don’t forget—there’s no rule saying you can’t use more than one free portfolio site. The more self-promotion you do, the more likely hiring managers will see your work, and the more likely you’ll get the best opportunities. (And it won’t cost you anything, as someone else is hosting your online portfolio free of charge.)