What's the best site to build your portfolio in 2020?

Best Platforms to Build Your Portfolio in 2020

Freelancer portfolios are an often neglected but critically important part of finding new work. The neglect is unsurprising though because most websites are still tedious and unintuitive to update. There’s no doubt that it takes some work to show off your work, but there are a growing number of sites that make it as painless as possible. Here’s a roundup of the most popular portfolio website tools, from most customizable (and complex) to least. 

Wordpress

The workhorse of the internet, Wordpress powers about one in three websites. With such a large user base, there are plugins for every possible feature—e-commerce, forms, etc. This plugin-based architecture makes it flexible, but can also feel a little like Frankenstein’s monster—pieced together from bits and pieces, clanking around. Well-designed themes can go a long way towards eliminating excess cruft, but using the backend interface can still feel clunky for simple portfolio updates.

WordPress_Developer (1)Who It’s For
Website developers who prize plugin options and a huge support network.

 

Kirby

A “flat-file” CMS, Kirby is built with the same language—PHP—as Wordpress, but doesn’t require a database to run and is much simpler to develop on. Combined with a minimalist admin interface, it’s a favorite of tech-savvy designer-developers. 

Kirby_PHPWho It’s For
Website “artisans” who like having absolute control and love writing PHP by hand.

 

Webflow / Wix

Webflow (and Wix’s EditorX) essentially took the huge list of CSS attributes and HTML tags and added a UI skin to make them easier to customize. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to have absolute control over layout without writing code. Both platforms also offer great starter themes and basic e-commerce tools.

Wix_DesignerWho It’s For
Designers who want to sweat the details but don’t want to deal with code.

 

Squarespace

Squarespace started off as a drag-and-drop website building tool with an emphasis on having great starter themes, but has since expanded into a full-fledged platform, offering domain registration, e-commerce, and other services. Considering the wealth of customization options (fonts, colors, layout, etc), the admin interface is clean and intuitive. 

SquareSpace_SalesWho It’s For
People who want to sell products and don’t want to write code.  

 

Cargo

A dedicated portfolio-building tool with an “intentional defaults” aesthetic. Their themes skew towards minimal and simple and work for a range of creative professionals. The page layout tool can be clunky for doing typical grid-and-block layouts, but it really shines when you want to create complex, asymmetric layouts with overlapping content or movable images.

Cargo_ArtistWho It’s For
People who went to art school and want to make sure everyone knows it.

 

Dunked / Krop / Carbonmade

These sites offer cleanly designed themes with drag-and-drop modules and no HTML/CSS customization. Removing code-writing options yields a big boost in simplicity—there’s almost no way to “break” your site layout.

Dunk_Crop_Carbonmade_NoFrillsWho It’s For
Anyone who wants a basic, no-frills website that’s easy to update and presents work in a clean and neutral layout.

 

Behance / Dribbble / WorkingNotWorking

These platforms are hybrids, somewhere between social networks and personal portfolios. They trade personality for visibility—your work is displayed in a standardized format and included in a feed that is shown to everyone else in the network. The drawback is that relying exclusively on these platforms as portfolios doesn’t exude professionalism the same as having your own personal piece of internet real estate, aka a website. Also, some of them are invite-only or require a vetting process, which can make it difficult to get into when you’re just starting out. (Want to learn more about Behance? We've broken it down for you here.)

Dribbble_Behance_SocialWho It’s For
Social butterflies who love getting public likes and comments on their work. Anyone who wants the bare minimum of effort to update their portfolio. 

 

There are a ton of options out there, but the most important consideration is picking a platform you enjoy using. You might need some help from a web-savvy friend to set it up the way you want initially, but whatever you choose, you should be comfortable adding new projects or editing images and text.


When you’ve got a shiny new website and feel ready to put yourself out there, get in touch! Artisan connects creative talent with great projects and jobs. 

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