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Choosing the right website builder to create a portfolio saves you lots of precious time. Time that can be used to improve your skills, focus on your business and clients. The right site builder will get you to the finish line faster and with less effort.

Here at SWB, our goal is to make your search a bit more bearable. We’ve already reviewed some of the most popular portfolio builders –, Carbonmade, and Pixpa, among others, and today we bring you a review of differs a lot from its competition. It combines the ease of use of drag-and-drop portfolio builders for beginners and the power of top-notch content management systems. Let’s take a closer look at it.

#1 Ease of Use

Basically, it takes 5 easy steps to build a portfolio with it:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Upload images.
  3. Customize or switch themes.
  4. View your live site.
  5. Get a custom domain. does a great job keeping its control panel as intuitive as possible. The control panel is clean and easy-to-navigate. Whether you want to upload a custom favicon, add a new page or a blog post – all is done in a user-friendly WYSIWYG environment.

Format control panel

The advanced HTML/CSS editor is hidden by default in the control panel, but can be toggled on.

#2 Feature Set and Flexibility

When it comes down to the basics, is just like most of its competition – it makes it easy to upload images/videos, create galleries, and add new pages. As for the bells and whistles, we’d like to point out its built-in blogging engine and advanced editor.

Blogging. provides image-based blogging system. You can choose how you want your images to be displayed (slideshow/grid/vertical), allow commenting, easily style text and share your posts via Format’s integrated social sharing tools.

Format social sharing

Advanced editor. The Advanced Editor is intended for users comfortable modifying and debugging CSS and HTML. Be careful when tweaking your site, since they don’t provide technical support for changes made through the Advanced Editor. If you encounter problems you’ll need to reset your theme template and start over with the default settings.

We also liked the Protect Images feature: when a visitor right-clicks an image on your site, he/she will see the message you set. However, a determined visitor could still download your images; if an image can be viewed in a web browser, it can be downloaded.

A nice feature of is that it ensures all content in your portfolio is mobile and tablet responsive.

The hidden smart features of Format include smart cropping (thumbnails will be cropped using a face detection algorithm) and automatic resizing of high-res images to make sure your site loads quickly.

#3 Designs

There are seventeen fully customizable themes featuring the latest web design trends. Users can access the HTML and CSS to edit the code, but the front-end editor also allows users to control the colors, fonts, caption text style, among others, in an easier interface.

Format themes

The Design mode has three tabs: Desktop, Tablet and Mobile. Each tab gives you access to customizations for its respective platform.

#4 Customer Support provides a well-structured knowledge base and email support. They promise to respond within one day.

#5 Pricing Policy

The basic account allows for 100 images + 100 videos to be uploaded, and limits your site to 50 pages. The Professional and Agency plans allow for more media uploads and also unlock HTML editing, and let you password protect your pages. You can try for 14 days free.

Format pricing

Disadvantages does exactly what you expect from a good portfolio builder. We don’t have many bad things to say about it. We only wish the theme library was bigger.

Format Review: Conclusion

If you want to make an online portfolio that looks clean and professional, can be the right platform. It’s clean, simple and feature-rich. But you should realize that it’s a specialized site builder focused on photography, so if you plan to scale your site in the future (add a shop, membership etc.), opt for a full-fledged CMS like WordPress or a versatile site builder from the start.

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  • How does an online site differ from one that is a domain?

    • GloriAnne Rose

      The domain is more like the site’s name. You can build a site on or on Squarespace, and then get your own domain thru a registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap, say,
      That’s the domain that you would then link to the site you made on Format or Squarespace so that when other people go to, they will see the site that you linked that domain to.

  • I have 4 years of monthly blogs on a domain When I started to create my format site I thought this would be a good way to introduce the blogs using a link to from format. This would also make Format my main intro site perhaps with its own domain name My impression is that a format blog wouldn’t be suitable for all the blog entries because of its simplicity; i.e., How would it handle so many files and still maintain visitor interest?

  • After reading these suggestions I am also persuaded to go with my name as my domain. I’ve discovered that format does have great tools for building a simple but distinctive blog. Better still, I can dispense with all the headaches of coding and concentrate on content.

  • my friend tried to leave a comment on my disqus forum and it didn’t work. She lost what she had entered. Would you mind checking it?