Creating an online portfolio is the best way to spread the word about your personality, whether you’re a photographer, designer, singer or writer. A portfolio site is aimed at building trust for your brand as well as increasing income by attracting new clients. Once created, it will work to the benefit of your business for the years to come.
Now let’s roll up our sleeves and have a look at the best services to create a professional portfolio website.
Wix – The Best Portfolio Website Builder
Wix is the fullest-featured and the most solid drag-and-drop site builder around. Intuitive and powerful, it’s the biggest player in the industry, boasting over 70M users worldwide. Its standout features include strong eCommerce and blogging options, social media integration, and a mobile editor to adapt the site’s look for a mobile view. Not to mention the recently released artificial design intelligent tool.
The first thing that catches an eye when you sign up for Wix is their impressive template library. All of them are stylish, sleek, and in touch with the latest design trends. It really doesn’t matter what type of portfolio you are creating, with hundreds of themes, Wix has something for everyone.
The industries they cover vary from music, photography, and fashion to restaurants, designers, beauty, etc. Even if you don’t find your specific niche, each template can be customized to look exactly how you want it. Just change layout, edit texts, rearrange elements, tweak colors, and you’re all set.
Wix is incredibly powerful in terms of working with visuals, which is a number one priority if you want to create a successful portfolio. The platform allows you to include galleries and slideshows to present your works to potential clients, add animation, edit and enhance photos with filters, and even set up videos as a background.
uKit – The Easiest and Almost Free Website Builder to Create a Portfolio Website
uKit is another great option. Just like Wix, it offers a user-friendly interface and provides all the tools you need to build and manage a professional-looking, highly functional portfolio with web hosting included. Although the platform is not the talk of town, it’s safe to say that uKit is a true competitor to Wix in the website builder field. In the value/price aspect, too.
The best thing about uKit is its amazing ease of use. Their intuitive approach to website building experience means that you really couldn’t ask for a more straightforward tool. The editor’s interface is as clear as it gets: there’s a row of page elements and blocks on the left panel – text, separator, image, slider and so on – that you simply drag to the page where you want them to appear.
uKit’s integration with social media deserves particular compliments as well. You can insert neat icons taking to your social profiles, include a floating bar with share buttons, display feeds of the most popular networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., and even import posts from your Facebook page to the blog section.
And just like Wix, uKit offers an incredible collection of designer-made templates. With over 250 industry-specific themes, they cater to literally every possible niche. Their categories number over 37 items and include Photography, Music, Dancing, Fashion Model, Stylist, and Clothing, just to name a few. All of the designs are mobile-friendly, which means your portfolio will always look great, whatever the screen size it is viewed on.
Have it built or DIY?
You might be wondering if it’s worth delving into these website builders when you can entrust the job to professionals. After years of extensive experience as a webmaster I’ve come to the following conclusions.
You can have a basic portfolio website built for you for quite a reasonable price. But if you want it to be professional, you will be surely charged an arm and a leg for it. Custom design, well-written texts, and additional bespoke features will cost way more than an average solution. A whole lot more. But if you’re short on time and it won’t break your bank, ordering a promo site from professionals is the way to go.
Apart from the price, there’s one more drawback to consider: you won’t know for sure how your website will work. Every tweak will have to be made through a developer, for an additional fee. Or, you can have your website maintained at a fixed rate. Alternatively, you may get a hang of things like editing and publishing content, but you will have to invest time and go deep into it. Wouldn’t it be easier to handle it all by yourself from scratch? It’s not that hard as it may seem. And a penny saved is a penny earned.
How much does a portfolio website cost?
The prices vary. It all depends on the site’s size, complexity of design, and individual requirements. As a rule, developers charge starting from $300 for a fairly basic copy, without taking into account content and maintenance.
If you’ve decided to do it yourself, there’re 2 options: use a CMS or a website builder. The first will require you to arrange hosting, register a domain, and, most likely, pay for a CMS itself. The majority of CMS’s are free, but it will definitely take you more than one evening to master any of them. At the very least you need to know nuts and bolts of coding, nuances of hosting and CMS setup, and much more. At the end of the day, I guess it might be easier to order a custom website, rather than spend a lot of time and effort to study tons of tutorials on this subject.
Website builders are a far more reasonable option for non-techies. If you don’t plan on turning the website creation into your main business, I highly recommend you consider them. They are void of the most mind-boggling complications that go with CMS. And offer more comfortable conditions: hosting is included, you don’t need to purchase and set it up separately; a domain name can be connected directly from the dashboard, which again makes life easier; designer-made templates are also added to the starter package. Straightforward, all-in-one service. Even the simplest CMS has a steeper learning curve compared to the majority of website builders. All in all, a site builder can save you a lot of headache.
Speaking about pricing, Wix offers a free subscription which limits you in storage, bandwidth, and company branding. Also, there are paid plans ranging from $4.5/mo to $24.5/mo. uKit paid subscriptions start at $4/mo, which makes it one of the best deals on the market.
To sum up, both platforms I reviewed today are well-featured and and make really compelling choices if you want to create a professional, robust portfolio website. Whatever your niche and preferences, I recommend that you go check out both of them, put their templates and editors to test, and see for yourself which one suits you best.