Carbonmade – is an online portfolio builder. It was developed to let individuals establish a solid web presence. Artists, photographers, graphic designers, and illustrators get a chance to connect with potential customers as well as share their works with the global audience through up-to-date and stylish sites. The website builder is very easy to use. It offers a literally instant way to set and run an online portfolio with no coding skills.
The software has a growing community with over 2,000,000 live portfolios built on Carbonmade. The website builder was established in 2005 and in 2019 it was completely rebuilt and relaunched to Carbonmade 4. Newbies will appreciate a seamless signing-in process in addition to a set of customization features to create a stunning portfolio that stands out. Although the website builder might look a bit limited in terms of flexibility, it does its job in a great way. Let’s have a look at what’s inside the Carbonmade 4 platform.
1. Pros and Cons
Summing up all pros and cons, Carbonmade is certainly a worthy portfolio builder with exceptional functionality and customization tools. Although users may want a cheaper option, dedicated experts will appreciate the capabilities it delivers.
| ✔ Great for newbies.|
✔ A wide selection of customization tools.
✔ Private Portfolio and Talent Pool features.
✔ Free trial to get started.
✔ Stylish template design.
| ✘ A limited selection of themes.|
✘ Very few features in the Beginner plan.
✘ Prices might look a bit too high.
2. What Is It Good for?
First of all, Carbonmade is a good option for beginners and non-technicians. The people of art usually lack technical background. They look for an easy and hassle-free tool to build a fully functional website. This is actually, what the system does. It comes as a straightforward solution for those, who do not want to get involved in the field of coding, programming, or web designing.
The second and the major benefit is the fact that the platform was developed mainly with creative users in mind. The instrument was designed to help individuals create and manage their online portfolios. It works great whenever you need to show off some of your best works, create a unique collection of pieces, or represent your photos, copywriting, illustrations, 3D animations, and other works to potential customers. What’s more, the system has baseline eCommerce functions letting you sell goods or charge fees.
With Carbonmade, you will be able to showcase any type of creative works. The system claims to fit photographers, architects, illustrators, graphic and 3D designers, and more. Let’s have a look at several real-life website examples to see how good the platform can be when going live with a ready-made project.
3. Ease of Use
As stated earlier, Carbonmade was developed with newbies in mind. It uses a drag-and-drop functionality making it easy to create any page layout, rearrange blocks, add content, and go live. The system makes it possible to connect your own domain (only for Pro plan users) or use the one delivered on default (available with a free plan).
As we have said before, the software is extremely easy to use. You do not have to purchase a pro plan to get started. Users may opt for a free trial period to check how the system works. You will be asked to indicate your name as well as the niche you represent. Here we have illustrators, UI/UX designers, photographers, artists, etc. Simply choose the specialization to let the system pick several template samples and move on.
The next stage is to indicate your email. The system will generate a welcoming letter without even the need to confirm your password. Then you will be provided with several layout options. They are pretty basic with some fundamental blocks. However, they are just to get started the customization process. You should not judge the design before you dive into the creative building.
At this stage, you will need to pick one of the available templates and start the building process. All layouts look very nice. They include several pre-designed blocks that you may remove or rearrange depending on your needs.
The main downside is the inability to create new pages. You will have to work with a pre-designed template’s layout on default. If you want to create new pages, you will need to upgrade the plan. However, the overall building process looks pretty simple. To go live, you will need to connect a domain and publish the website. There is a preview feature. You may have a look at how the website runs on desktop and mobile.
The bad news here is that the mode displays your site only on smartphones. There is no chance to check how it runs on tablets. That is a downside. Click on the button to go back to the desktop version. Click on “Go Live” to deploy your ready-made online portfolio.
In general settings, you may configure some of the baseline website functions. Besides, here you can manage your profile and switch to another plan if needed. Here you may also edit your online profile with some personal info as well as configure standard SEO settings. We will talk about them a bit later in the Feature section.
4. Features & Flexibility
As Carbonmade is a portfolio builder, most of its features are focused around web representation and design features. However, the software comes with extra options not just to represent yourself online but also to promote. The system has integrated analytics. In addition, developers regularly roll out new updates and options to benefit from.
Carbonmade with a full pack of instruments to customize and edit all the essentials. You may change everything from custom profile and SEO to design and page settings. All of the available blocks are located in the left sidebar. There we have galleries, sliders, full-screen images, About Me sections, Side by Side blocks, project details sections, etc.
While Carbonmade is a drag-and-drop website builder, you only need to pick a block, hold it with the mouse and move the on-page area. You are free to rearrange the blocks’ position as you wish. The wheel on the right form each block opens advanced settings to change dimensions, gaps between photos, columns, etc.
The system comes with its custom analytics functionality. It is available in the user’s control panel. It shows total views per year as well as monthly stats. Moreover, the visitors are sorted out by the devices they use (tablets, smartphones or desktop). You may track the most popular pages.
You should not expect much of SEO optimization features here. Nevertheless, Carbonmade still offers its baseline setting to promote your portfolio and make it more SEO friendly. The settings let you modify the website meta description as well as connect the project with Google Analytics using the verification code. Social media share preview is also available in SEO settings. In addition, you may upload the favicon as well as integrate social sharing buttons from the block selection.
A unique feature for those who want to share their works or experience only with users who have a special access code. The option keeps your portfolio closed from regular web surfers. The system lets you generate a special access code that you may share with those who are really interested in cooperation.
Carbonmade is not just a website builder. It is a huge marketplace of copywriters, designers, illustrators, photographers, and other creative-minded individuals. Their websites are displayed in the Talent Pool section. You may also connect your portfolio with Carbonmade.com and get displayed in its pool of creative enthusiasts.
5. Design & Templates
Carbonmade does not boast a huge selection of templates. It offers about 4-5 layouts per each specialization. The key idea is not to provide a ready-made theme but to let users create their unique styles. A template here is just to get started with the customization process.
The rest is provided by the collection of blocks and elements. Nevertheless, all the themes look very cool. They are stylish and up-to-date with tons of features and visual effects. The platform automatically compresses images of any size letting you stand out with amazing picks in the highest resolution.
Users may benefit from unlimited content uploads. You may add as many videos and images as you need. The platform supports various formats including PDFs, mp3s, JPGs, etc. All templates have a flash preview mode as well as a mobile preview before publishing. All themes are responsive and run great on different devices.
We have already discussed some of the baseline customization and design features. Apart from custom blocks, full-screen galleries, and slideshows, the platform offers advanced tools for the most outstanding representation. First of all, you are free to upload your own logo for better recognition. While there is a basic video upload function, users may also take advantage of the Autoplay and Loop feature. All you need is to upload your motion creative and set a preferred option:
- Autoplay will launch the video instantly once a visitor has opened the page.
- Loop will play all your videos and motion creative one by one automatically.
Carbonmade has a wide selection of site navigation layouts. You may select from 5 different options (some of them are available with Pro plans only). At the same time, you may edit the menu yourself.
6. Customer Support
Although Carbonmade is pretty simple to use, it offers extended support with instant ways to get in touch as well as a comprehensive knowledge base. You may contact the support team right from the dashboard.
Here we have:
- A Live Chat feature – the support specialists claim to answer within several hours.
- Instant Answers – the option offers a set of baseline answers that cover different areas from how to get started to switching from the old Carbonmade to the new one.
- A Blog – here in the dashboard you may track all the latest updates and features rolled out by the developers.
In addition, you may watch handy video guides and tutorials just for fun. We do not really think they will be necessary.
7. Plans & Pricing
As we have stated before, users may start with a free trial. However, you will need to pick a paid plan when it expires. There are three different packages that include:
- Beginner Plan for $8 per month. It comes with a very tight set of features. You get only limited customer support as well as only custom default Carbonmade subdomain. The good news here is that the plan includes unlimited photos and images to upload.
- Pro Plan for $12 per month. You may create up to 50 projects, connect your own domain, remove the ads, create private portfolios, use integrated analytics, etc.
- Expert Plan costs $18 per month and includes all unlimited features. Moreover, your portfolio will appear in the Talent Pool listing.
The prices might look a bit too high especially for the Beginner plan. You may come across some more cost-effective options with barely the same feature set. As for the Pro and Expert plan, that might be a good pick.
8. Website Examples
After we have introduced Carbonmade in detail, let us check several website examples created with this simple portfolio builder.
Micaela Sapinho – designer
Winnie Kong – artist and designer
Lydia Tzirkova – Beauty and Fashion
Steven Crosby – Designer & illustrator
Elisabeth Kiviorg – freelance graphic designer
Jonathan L – multimedia artist
Carbonmade is a good choice for professionals who already have a rich portfolio to display. The software is extremely easy to use. It offers great functionality to create stylish websites and highlight some of the best works in the niche of design, illustration, and art.
If you only make your first steps in the industry of art, you might require a bit cheaper alternatives. On the other hand, Carbonmade might still be a great opportunity for beginners, as it offers real working perspectives through its Talent Pool. You have real chances to connect with potential customers.