Some of the best website builders I’ve had the pleasure to review were created out of need, rather than just another application to sell, and Carbonmade is one of these. This unpretentious portfolio builder was developed for personal use by a creative team of three in December 2005. Even though this tool was called to make life easier for its creators only, its popularity grew so fast that the guys had to drop all remaining client work and focus on the profile builder.
As you can tell from its welcome page (see screenshot above), Carbonmade sets itself apart from the competition as a not-so-serious, I would say funny way to build a portfolio. But don’t let their design fool you. Behind the funny graphics there’s a powerful platform that powers 884,374 nice portfolios and counting.
During the past few years Carbonmade has introduced a whole bunch of updates called to make the process of building your online portfolio as easy as possible. Let’s take a look at them 🙂 .
#1 Ease of Use
It takes you less than one minute to create an account. Their friendly editor is a joy to behold – it’s clean, easy-to-navigate and very fun. Each option feels in reach, so you’ll never get lost there. Once you’re in the control panel, you can quickly review recent system updates and quickly access the company blog.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Carbonmade is advertised as a simple portfolio builder, so it’s no surprise it doesn’t offer shopping carts or user management capabilties. It’s primarily focused on providing tools needed to build an eye-pleasing portfolio, nothing extra. Thus, with its current version, you can do the following customizations:
- Add and manage ite,s.
- Edit the menu.
- Customize your About and Contact pages.
- Add Google Analytics tracking code.
- Password-protect your pages.
- Connect your own domain name.
- Specify meta tags.
- Start a simple blog.
Carbonmade has its own stats application that can be used along with Google Analytics. Built specifically for Carbonmade, it allows you to montior views and visitors, see your most popular projects, check what devices your visitors are using to view your work as well as where they are coming from.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also enable Carbonmade Beta to become one of the first to try out new features. Important note: If you choose to go with their Beta, Carbonmade can act really strange 🙂 .
Carbonmade offers a selection of beautiful, modern templates that will show off your work the best way. Their themes are Retina-ready to look great on even the highest res screens. You can change themes whenever you like.
Each theme comes in different moods (colors), with several backgrounds and two fonts (serif/sans serif). You can also upload your own favicon and logo. Project thumbs are also customizable. Here’s how my portfolio looked on the tiny screen of my smartphone:
#4 Customer Support
Actually, it’s hard to imagine a situation where someone can’t figure out how Carbonmade works. Anyway, there’s a knowledge base comprised of how-to articles. You can also get support via email.
#5 Pricing Policy
There are three simple plans: Okay, Whoo! and LASER WHALE (see screenshot). The Okay plan ($6/month or #59/year) extends the free account with extra projects and some additional personalization features. The Whoo! plan ($12/month; $119/year) unlocks even more features and extra projects (up to 50), while the LASER WHALE gives you unlimited projects and everything Carbonmade has to offer.
If you want to build something very unique, you’ll feel limited with Carbonmade. But if you just want to create a neat portfolio in one sitting with no coding knowledge – it’s just what you need.
Here’s what real users have to say about Cardbonmade: Interview with Mike Brice.
Carbonmade Review: Conclusion
With over 852,000 portfolios created and counting, Carbonmade is obviously working. It’s feature set is very basic, yet there are many people who have been looking for something exactly like this.