Whether you are an artist, a photographer or a creative willing to showcase your works, you won’t go without a portfolio website. The question is: how can you get the one, if you don’t wish to hire a web designer and invest into complex projects? This is where a website builder will come in handy to you!
Website builders are the simplest and the most convenient tools you can use to create a portfolio website in a couple of hours only. They come with a variety of functions, features and built-in tools that allow for quick and convenient website customization. This is their major advantage over other web building services.
Portfolios created with website builders do not only look professionally, but they are also characterized by powerful functionality. What’s more, these systems are affordable and easy to use, which makes them a smart choice for non-techies, who don’t have the notion of website building. So, if you need a nice and appealing portfolio to showcase your works and attract the attention of the target audience, you will hardly find a better solution than this one. Which website builder will work best for this very purpose? Let’s discuss that further.
We Tested Out 10 Of The Best Portfolio Website Builders:
- Wix – The Best Free Portfolio Website Builder
- uKit – Simple Small Business Website Builder
- WordPress – Self-hosted Platform for Portfolio
- Ucraft – Super-Easy Online Portfolio Builder
- Semplice – WordPess-Based Platform for Portfolio Website
- Squarespace – All-in-One Platform for Portfolio Websites
- Portfoliobox – Best Portfolios for Creatives
- Carbonmade – SaaS Service to Make a Portfolio
- Gator – Hosting with Built-in Portfolio Builder
- Allyou – Specialized Portfolio Website Builder
Thus, we have come up to the major point of the discussion: reviews of the best website builders that let your start professional portfolio websites and offer powerful integrated functionality you can use to do that. Let’s get started right away.
Wix – The Best Free Portfolio Website Builder
Wix – is the best free portfolio website builder, which stands out from the crowd due to its impressive mobile-ready themes, customization tools, integration options and affordable pricing. The system allows building all types of personal and business projects. Portfolio websites are not an exception – the platform works best for models, artists, photographers and other users, who wish to present their works and business skills to the community and encourage the potential customers to explore their creative talent. The main highlights of the service are as follows:
- Impressive Portfolio Template Library. Wix offers one of the most extensive collections of designer-made templates, which includes a portfolio section with dozens of mobile-ready themes for graphic designers, photographers, resumes, illustrators, business consultants, artists, journalists, musicians, art directors, interior designers, actors, stylists, models and what not.
- Blogging. The website builder allows adding a blog to your portfolio website, which enables you to stay in touch with clients, sharing your ideas, news, events and work updates.
- Slideshows and Galleries. With Wix, you can upload your photos and videos into galleries and create slideshows to attract user attention from the very first sight.
- HD Video Hosting. Wix allows showcasing your talent by incorporating your Vimeo and YouTube videos (if any) into the newly created portfolio to tell your story and share news or upcoming events in the unique, fun and extraordinary way.
- User Interaction Tools. The website builder makes it possible to browse and use a set of customer interaction tools from the App Market that contribute to user engagement, satisfaction and retention rates (Events Calendar, Scheduling Pro, Google Event Calendar, Latest News, Wix Chat, 123 Form Builder, Wix Forms, Contact Management +CRM, Callback, Book Appointments Online, Live Chat and more).
- Customer Testimonials. The platform lets you enable user testimonials feature via extra widget integration (Social Testimonials, Voice Comments+, Customer Reviews, Testimonial Builder, MyReviews, Comments, Yelp, Comments+ and Inffuse Testimonials etc.) that allows your clients to leave their reviews regarding your work, their impressions and satisfaction rate.
- eCommerce Engine. Wix comes with a powerful eCommerce engine that lets you give your portfolio website web store functionality, if you intend not only to showcase your works of art or other portfolio items, but also to sell them directly at the website.
Wix is the all-in-one drag-and-drop website builder you can effectively use to launch a portfolio website. The system has a free plan, which never ends and lets everyone test the integrated functionality of the software along with improving web design skills. Users, who intend to start full-featured portfolios and go live with them, have an opportunity to pick one of premium subscriptions. They are available in two types of packages – Website and Business/eCommerce. The cost of paid subscriptions starts at $13/mo.
uKit – Simple Small Business Website Builder
uKit – is a simple small business website builder, which is also known for its convenience and affordability. Along with business projects, the system lets you start feature-rich portfolio websites. With this purpose, uKit offers a user-friendly interface, providing the required toolset to start and manage professional, visually-appealing and highly functional portfolios with integrated web hosting. The website builder is a great choice for creatives, artists and people of different professions, who have the desire to present their skills and talent in the form of a quality portfolio. Have a look at some of its highlights now:
- Portfolio Template Choice. uKit offers a nice gallery of pre-designed portfolio templates, which are responsive by default and 100% customizable to make your project stand out from the crowd (you can switch the themes during the web design process).
- Social Media Promotion. Integration with social media accounts allows publishing your posts and portfolio updates to share with your clients and subscribers at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social accounts.
- Blogging Option. By adding a blog to your portfolio, you will be able to write posts, recent events and updates, new portfolio items to keep your clients aware of everything that is going on in your career.
- Temporary Website Management Rights. If you plan to work on your portfolio website development in cooperation with a co-partner, for example, you can share the access rights with everyone, who will update the portfolio together with you.
- User Interaction Options. With uKit, you have access to powerful user interaction options (live chat and callback widget that let you connect with your customers whenever required should be the first to mention here) that contribute to better website performance and higher customer generation rates.
- Widget Choice. The website builder grants access to its integrated widget collection (Timer, Social Networking Buttons, Timeline, User Comments, Service Calculator etc.), which can notably contribute to your portfolio website performance.
- SSL Certification. If you plan to use a portfolio website to sell your works, connection of the SSL Certificate will definitely be a nice option. It ensures maximum website safety and confidentiality of user payment/personal info as well as anti-scam protection.
uKit is a reliable and professional website builder, which offers one of the most reasonable rates in the modern web design industry. The system has a free trial that extends for 14 days. This is enough to let users understand whether the system comes up to their requirements or not. For those people, who plan to keep working with the platform, it is possible to pick one of four premium plans. Their cost starts at $4/mo.
WordPress – Self-Hosted Platform for Portfolio
WordPress – is a self-hosted platform for portfolio websites, which enjoys worldwide user recognition. This is a professional full-featured Content Management System that stands out from the crowd due to its powerful integration options, availability of high end and completely customizable designs, niche plugins and advanced customization tools. The fact that WordPress is the CMS implies the awareness of the major coding basics. This, however, does not mean that the platform is too complicated for ordinary users. Instead, even newbies can explore and master it to be able to develop high end projects. Listed below are the main advantages of the service:
- Plugin and Widget Integration. There are hundreds of external plugins and widgets you can pick and integrate into your portfolio to give it stunning look and high end functionality (Envira Gallery, Nimble Portfolio, Projects by WooThemes, NextGen Gallery, WP Portfolio Plugin, Portfolio Gallery, Custom Content Portfolio etc. are some of the best samples).
- Portfolio Templates. The CMS has a collection of built-in themes, but there are also multiple portfolio templates (free and paid) that are specially designed for WordPress by third-party developers.
- Gutenberg Editor. The latest WordPress 5.0 version comes with Gutenberg Editor that notably simplifies the process of website creation, making it somewhat similar to the standard website builder.
- eCommerce. WordPress makes it possible to sell your works directly at the website via integrating specialized niche plugins like WooCommerce that helps you keep track of your customers’ behaviour, interests and even communicate with them at the website to be able to offer them your best works.
WordPress is a popular CMS, the range of features of which is more than enough to start and manage an appealing portfolio website. The system is absolutely free by default and it’s possible to download and install it without any budget investment at all. To publish the ready-made project, you won’t go without hosting choice. WordPress officially recommends Bluehost as the best host for your portfolio website. It comes with multiple advantages (add-ons, apps and scripts, strong uptime rates, rich marketplace with hundreds of plugins, fast page load speed, safety, extensive content marketing and SEO options, multiple applications, eCommerce focus etc.). The cheapest Bluehost plan will cost you $2.95/mo only. Additionally, you might need to invest into third-party plugins that are compatible with your project.
Ucraft – Super-Easy Online Portfolio Builder
Ucraft – is the super-easy online portfolio builder, which is worth the attention of newbies and web design pros. The cloud platform boasts an extensive range of features, design customization tools and solutions required to start and manage professional portfolios. The system works great for artists and creatives, who have the intention to design stunning projects to showcase their talent and masterpieces. Here is a quick overview of the system’s highlights:
- Portfolio Templates. Ucraft template collection comprises quality portfolio templates that are available in the Art category of the catalogue, but you can choose any of the available themes to create your own one-of-a-kind design from scratch.
- eCommerce Engine. The system comes with the integrated eCommerce engine that makes it possible to sell your creative works, if you have such an intention.
- Integrable Apps. Ucraft has a rich selection of portfolio applications (Disqus, Google Analytics, LiveAgent, Zendesk Chat, Jivosite, Live Agent) that can contribute to your project design and performance.
- Mobile-Friendliness. Ucraft templates feature outstanding UX design, which make them mobile-friendly so that users could further view your portfolio both on desktop and mobile devices.
- Logo Maker. The tool lets you create or upload and then customize your own logo that will help popularize your brand on the web, making it stand out from the crowd.
- Designer Tools. The website builder is known for its advanced Designer Tools (typography, UI Kit, form builder, layout) that can help you get the most out of your portfolio design.
- Free Landing Page Creator. Ucraft unveils an opportunity to make use of the free Landing Page Creator that lets you design and manage professional landing pages without paying for that.
Ucraft is a new generation website builder, which sees its mission in the simplification of the web design process. The website builder has a free trial that works great when it comes to testing its functionality. To proceed to professional portfolio development, you will be offered to pick one of premium subscriptions. Their costs starts at $10/mo.
Semplice – WordPess-Based Platform for Portfolio Website
Semplice – is a quality platform for portfolio website development, which is powered by WordPress CMS. The software delivers full-scale technology that grants access to the source code, high end design customization tools, convenient drag-and-drop editing functionality and extensive project promotion options. The system comes with a powerful web design engine, which allows starting and managing feature-rich portfolio projects without deep coding awareness. If you are interested in using the system, have a look at its highlights below:
- WP-Based Platform. The system is not compatible with other CMS as it can be used with ready-made WordPress websites only.
- Advanced Portfolio Customization Options. The system delivers a bunch of advanced portfolio design customization options, including a powerful visual content editor, professional portfolio grids, pre-built animation effects, SVG support etc.
- Blogging. Semplice users have an opportunity to add and manage minimalistic blog pages with the platform, but you shouldn’t expect deep functionality from them.
- Integrated Video Guides. To simplify the software use, the system generates handy and intuitive video guidelines to help newbies master its integrated functionality.
Semplice is a downloadable software with lifetime ownership, which does not have free plans or trials. Users may choose one of three versions of the program available in packages. Their cost constitutes $99, $138 and $599. Thus, Semplice is not a cost-effective portfolio development platform.
Squarespace – All-in-One Platform for Portfolio Websites
Squarespace – is an easy platform for portfolio websites, which allows presenting a wide range of creative services and works of art in the most favorable light. With this purpose, the system utilizes a broad selection of integrated tools and features. Some of the most remarkable and handy merits of the website builder are as follows:
- Selection of Portfolio Pages. Squarespace Style Editor allows choosing between several page types to be included into your portfolio, namely Cover Pages, Product Pages, Galleries, Blog Pages, Events Pages etc.
- Niche Widgets and Add-Ons. You can select and integrate specific add-ons and widgets to boost your portfolio performance, including those for photo and image galleries, social media buttons, integrated statistics collection tools, Contact Form Builder etc.
- Professional Portfolio Themes. The website builder has a separate section of professional portfolio templates that are 100% customizable and responsive.
- Cover Page Builder. The system lets you create an appealing cover page, selecting suitable blocks, colors, media files, images, posts and other content (all in all, there are 29 website layouts here).
- eCommerce Platform. Squarespace boasts one of the most powerful and feature-laden eCommerce platforms that makes it possible to start and manage quality portfolios with a strong eCommerce focus. This is a great idea, if you plan to sell your masterpieces or offer professional services directly at the website.
- Professional Show Window Design. The website builder does not only come with advanced integrated eCommerce functionality, but it also allows creating appealing show windows to present your creativity to the advantage and to drive user attention, thus, generating profit. This is where you can add and update products, assign their parameters, product variations (SKUs), create image galleries, upload videos, set up shipping and payment options, integrate loyalty programs and special offers etc.
- Social Integrations. Squarespace allows adding and updating your portfolio-related information in the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Dropbox, Tumblr, Instagram, Dribbble, Linkedin, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Behance, Twitch, Yelp) to let your subscribers figure out recent news, updates, creative plans and upcoming events.
Squarespace is a nice web building solution for portfolio projects. The system allows testing its feature set on a free trial that extends for 14 days. To get access to advanced design customization tools and options, go ahead to upgrade to one of the premium plans. Their cost starts at $12/mo.
Portfoliobox – Best Portfolios for Creatives
Portfoliobox – is a specialized full-featured platform, which allows creating the best portfolios for creatives. This is a perfect solution for users, who have an idea to start a functional project with a rich integrated feature set. The system works best for artists, photographers, designers, architects, models, musicians, hair and make up stylists etc. It allows effectively manage image galleries, add blogs, apply eCommerce and marketing tools to ensure the best user experience. The most outstanding features of the website builder are as follows:
- Different Types of Pages. With Portfoliobox, you can create and manage any types of web pages, including Blogs, Instagram Pages, Galleries, Videos, Multipages, Parallax Pages etc.
- eCommerce Option. The platform lets you sell your works of art by integrating and managing online stores.
- Powerful Marketing Tools. The service features quality SEO optimization options, social media integration tools, statistics collection features etc.
- “Find Creatives” Integration. You can connect your Portfoliobox account with “Find Creatives” – a platform that lets you market your works and talent, connecting with clients from any location.
- Galleries. The website builder lets you create stunning and visually-impressive web pages and posts that come with amazing galleries that have responsive design and are clearly displayed on all mobile/desktop devices.
- Blogging. The integrated blogging engine lets you add appealing high-res images into each post to grow user engagement rate and encourage them for further participation.
Portfoliobox is a nice solution for those, who need a worthy portfolio website. The system is quite affordable to everyone. There is a free trial that lasts for a month and lets you explore the entire feature set of the platform. As soon as you are ready to upgrade to a premium subscription, the system will offer you three plans to choose from. The cheapest of them currently costs $4.9/mo.
Carbonmade – SaaS Service to Make a Portfolio
Carbonmade – is a SaaS service to make a portfolio website, which is known for its powerful photography focus and abundance of niche-related tools/features. As a specialized software, it is not quite easy to master for beginners. It takes around several hours to explore the entire integrated functionality of the system to proceed to professional project creation. The list of Carbonmade highlights currently includes:
- Extensive Uploading Options. The website builder lets you upload and manage unlimited image and video files to your project (HD video support is available here as well) to present your creativity and your personal message to the target audience.
- Sharing Features. Along with uploading media files, Carbonmade makes it possible to share your portfolio with other users, who would like to browse them – just grant the access code to a user to guarantee the permission.
- Statistics Tracking Tools. To keep track of your portfolio popularity, the system allows using integrated analytics tools to find out traffic fluctuations and other crucial parameters.
- Portfolio-Related Options. The software grants access to the set of portfolio-related features and tools that are a must, when it comes to the development of these projects (photo captions, custom logos and favicons, video loops, password protection, fullscreen covers, gallery sliders, social buttons, video and photo cropping, Lightbox integration, thumbnails and backgrounds, audio/PDF/SVG/Vector/GIF support, image optimization etc.).
- Portfolio Templates. Carbonmade templates are not quite numerous, but they are versatile – the system lets you browse 9 categories of professions (Photographer, Industrial Designer, Graphic Designer, Concept Artist, 3D Designer, Motion Designer, Illustrator, Architect, UX Designer) to pick a theme that complies with your actual requirements.
The website builder is moderately-priced. There is no free plan here, but it is still possible to test the integrated functionality of the platform using a free trial here. As soon as you are ready to go live with your portfolio, you can upgrade to one of three plans, the cheapest of which will cost you $8/mo.
Gator – Hosting with Built-In Portfolio Builder
Gator – is a popular hosting with built-in portfolio builder, which was created with the needs and web design skills of inexperienced users in mind. It is offered as a part of the HostGator hosting provider package, which eliminates the need to look for a third-party host elsewhere. The website builder comes with a drag-and-drop editor, which is intuitive and completely understandable even to beginners. The feature set of the platform is as follows:
- Powerful Social Media Integration. Gator allows embedding content from well-known social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.) into your website, granting access to social media buttons, live feeds and extensive image libraries.
- Customizable Templates. Gator provides a set of responsive customizable designs you can pick and modify for your portfolio website.
- App Market. The website builder boasts a stunning choice of free widgets, apps and add-ons for high-end on page website customization.
- eCommerce. Gator boasts a full-featured eCommerce engine, which lets you set up and manage a web store, selling your best works “here and now”.
Gator is a simple yet effective website builder that can be a good choice for users willing to create and present their portfolios to the audience. The platform does not have free plans or trials. To start using it, you have to decide on the subscription to go for. There are three premium plans here, the cheapest of which costs $3.46/mo.
Allyou – Specialized Portfolio Website Builder
Allyou – is a specialized online portfolio website builder for creatives, who have a strong focus on the development of a feature-laden portfolio website yet don’t wish to struggle with complex web design nuances or just lack required coding skills to do that on their own. The system is easy-to-use and it doesn’t require any programming awareness or preliminary web design background to run and manage a portfolio with it. Let’s enlist its crucial advantages now:
- Portfolio Website Templates. Whether you need a simple photo gallery or a classy full-featured portfolio, you will certainly find a worthy template to come up to your needs.
- Retina Support. The system automatically identifies hi-res screens, which ensures that all your galleries and photos will have great look when watched on Retina devices.
- Mobile View. When creating your portfolio, you can select optimized fonts and make the required settings to provide the best mobile browsing experience for website visitors.
- Rich Choice of Free Fonts. Allyou partners with Typekit to provide users with an extensive selection of free fonts (there are more than 1000 of them here).
- Third-Party Integrations. To present your works to the advantage, you can embed content from third-party services like YouTube, Vimeo, Issuu, SoundCloud etc.
If you need a nice portfolio website, then you may consider using Allyou. This is a specialized niche service, which comes with portfolio-specific features that cover your web building needs and ensure worthy result. The system has a free trial that lasts for 14 days. This term is enough to let users understand whether the platform complies with their requirements. Premium plans start at $8/mo, which is quite cost-effective even for beginners.
How to Choose the Best Website Builder for Portfolio Website
Portfolio website builders make it possible to create and manage appealing projects to showcase your services and talent. However, they differ in their integrated functionality, tools and features included, customizability, template choice and, of course, pricing policy. To make your portfolio creation success, you have to decide on the platform that matches your individual project parameters as well as your personal requirements. Let’s review the aspects to consider, when making your choice.
- Portfolio Implication
Are you an individual willing to target a specific audience? Or, maybe, you represent an agency or a studio that wants to reach international partners/clients? Before you pick a website builder, you should initially define the implication of your portfolio website. Some systems work best for independent creatives, while others are developed with vast audiences in mind. Set your priorities in advance.
If you are going to start a standalone portfolio project just to establish web presence and to present your talent to the target audience, you may go for a simpler website builder that does not include a powerful eCommerce engine. Do you intend to sell your works online? Then picking a system, which unveils extensive eCommerce options, is a more reasonable solution.
- Portfolio Features
Website builders differ with regard to their integrated functionality. We may distinguish between all-in-one and specialized platforms with latter being more niche-focused. It’s up to you to decide on the software, which works best for your individual project. Just make sure it includes the following features: About Me section, Contact Page, Image/Video Gallery, Customer Testimonials, Social Buttons. The more – the better.
Budget is another crucial factor to consider. All-in-one website builders are generally more affordable as compared to specialized services. However, each system offers its own pricing policy that is based on the integrated functionality, portfolio complexity and objectives a user sets. Have a look at subscriptions offered, browse the terms they encompass and pick the service, which fits your budget.
These are the baseline issues to keep in mind, when it comes to picking the best website builder for a portfolio project. Define your priorities, review and compare the available options to make the choice you won’t regret.
A website builder is a great solution, when it comes to portfolio creation. These services are simple and powerful at a time. This is what makes them a decent choice for users with diverse web design background and intentions. By using a quality website builder, you can reach several goals – get a portfolio of your works or services, present them to the target audience, market and sell the products etc.
It certainly takes time and effort to design a portfolio website, but if you are fortunate to select the right web building tool, this process won’t be a challenge for you.
Reviewed above are the best portfolio website builders, which are worth the attention of any creative, who intends to publish a portfolio of his/her works. Take your time to test each of these services to finally select the one, which fits your needs most of all.