The Best Website Builders to Create a Clean Online Portfolio
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

With so many people choosing to freelance or trying side gigs, online portfolios are more important than ever. Whether you’re a designer, artist, photographer, writer, or any other person who wants to showcase your work, make a portfolio online and spread the word.

But not all of us have the skills or resources to create an entire website. And that’s where these handy free portfolio websites come in. Here are four of the best online portfolio makers that will help you showcase your work.

1. Wix

wix website builder portfolio editing tools

Wix is a free website creator that includes the ability to edit every small detail of your site. As such, Wix is perfect for customizing layouts to your exact preferences, with many templates for those who want an online portfolio.

To find out more about the service, check out our guide on using Wix to create a website without coding How to Build a Unique Website Without Code Using WIX How to Build a Unique Website Without Code Using WIX Websites are easier to make these days. Even when you don't know how to code. Let's see how you can create a website with Wix and customize it with the builder. Read More knowledge.

Pros:

One of the best features of Wix is the fact that the service has a comprehensive free plan. This means that you don’t feel locked out of most features or pressured to upgrade to a paid plan.

When it comes to making a free online portfolio, Wix’s ADI tool can create a draft website for you if you’re pressed for time. You simply answer a few questions, after which Wix will suggest a variety of generated templates to choose from.

Of course, you can also manually browse themes to decide which template suits you best. Other features include the ability to add apps and plugins to your site for free.

Another major perk of Wix is its intuitive editor. The service lets you edit specific elements of your site or portfolio, with drag-and-drop functionality and resizing tools. These features are great for resizing elements of the page effortlessly. This gives you the flexibility that other web editors sometimes lack.

When it comes to mobile optimization, Wix offers a dedicated mobile editor to help you perfectly tailor your mobile site. This means that you can edit any elements that don’t respond well to resizing, while adding mobile user-friendly features such as navigation buttons.

Wix’s SEO features also stand out. Wix guides you through a checklist of tasks to create a personalized SEO plan for your site. This helps you make sure that search engines properly index your site.

Cons:

Wix has many benefits, but also a few drawbacks. One major drawback is that once you’ve selected a template and created a Wix site with it, you cannot select a different template. If you want to put the same information into a different theme, you need to delete your site and start fresh. Of course, you could just edit your current site.

While the precise editing tools are a perk, editing elements one at a time can also be time-consuming. This isn’t necessarily a good platform for people who want to complete a portfolio in just a few minutes.

Finally, the URLs generated as part of the free plan can be overly complex. Your URL includes your username, the Wix domain, and your website name (username.wix.com/yourwebsitename).

2. Moonfruit

moonfruit portfolio website layout editor

Moonfruit is a website builder you can use to create personal portfolio websites. The themes on Moonfruit’s homepage are free to use and build, but you can also opt for a paid plan. Moonfruit is especially useful if you want a visual page—perfect for photographers, designers, and other visual creatives.

Pros:

With Moonfruit, you can choose to either use customizable templates or start a website completely from scratch. So, if you’re a perfectionist, you can build your website section by section without the need for technical knowledge.

When it comes to editing your site, you can also choose specific elements to add or replace. You can edit each element individually—from text colors, spacing, backgrounds, and more.

Cons:

Moonfruit doesn’t make it immediately clear how to opt for the site’s free plan. In fact, without creating a profile you might never know there’s a free plan. If you create a profile and site, you will see that once you begin your free trial you can choose to remain on Moonfruit’s free plan.

With both the paid and free versions of the service, however, there’s a limited number of templates to choose from. This lack of variety means it can be difficult to find one that suits you.

When it comes to customization, it can be a bit confusing to figure out the site’s editing tools at first—especially for beginners.

Finally, to get a secure site with the HTTPS protocol, you need to upgrade to a custom domain. This means that users on the free plan will have their site flagged as not secure by browsers like Chrome.

3. WordPress

wordpress portfolio site theme preview

WordPress.com is one of the most popular platforms for blogging. But it’s not only for businesses and blogs. The website allows you to create free online portfolios as well.

Pros:

If you want your portfolio to include content such as blog posts and news updates, the content management tools of WordPress are perfect for this. WordPress has a great central dashboard through which you can control your site.

But one huge benefit is the ability to change your theme at will, without losing your site content. All your content and data stay there, you just need to reorganize them a bit to suit the features of your new theme.

You can also add widgets that link to your Twitter feed, social media pages, and other sites.

Creating your portfolio on a free WordPress site also provides analytics about site visits. This can help you understand what your readers are interested in and what kind of traffic the portfolio is getting.

Cons:

The major drawback of using WordPress is how many features are locked behind different paid plans. WordPress pushes users to upgrade often—so even if you’re on a paid plan, WordPress will keep prompting you to upgrade to the next tier. The service also locks certain useful tools behind different subscriptions, such as SEO optimization, Google Analytics, and plugins.

Furthermore, even if you choose a paid plan and have access to premium themes, the theme’s creator still determines just how many elements of the theme you can change (unless you add CSS elements yourself). You can’t just select an element you want to change or replace it. You have to work within the constraints of the edits allowed by the theme creator.

The site can be challenging to figure out for those who haven’t used a CMS before. Finding the right theme can also be a hit-and-miss affair since the site caters to so many different website formats.

If you would like to use the content management side of WordPress but are not sure where to start, check out our guide on setting up a blog on WordPress Set Up Your Blog With WordPress: The Ultimate Guide Set Up Your Blog With WordPress: The Ultimate Guide Want to start your own blog but don't know how? Look to WordPress, the most powerful blogging platform available today. Read More .

4. IMCreator

IMCreator website builder portfolio editing

IMCreator is a visual portfolio creation website that provides a variety of formats—including business landing pages, artist portfolios, and product showcases. The site includes both free and paid plans. However, you need to apply for a free license.

If the developers don’t grant you a license, you can still share your website for free, however with an IMCreator-generated URL. You do not have to wait for a license before creating a website, so you can start building one right after signing up.

Pros:

The IMCreator website editor is incredibly intuitive, allowing you to edit, resize, and replace elements easily. Even when it comes to more complex attributes, such as scrolling animations, IMCreator presents these options in a sleek, easy-to-understand format.

There are also several useful elements you can add to your page, including slideshows, popups, and embedded videos.

IMCreator is so easy to use that even someone who doesn’t know much about building a website can quickly throw a portfolio together. Each theme comes packed with sample content that you can replace, edit, rearrange, or delete.

Cons:

IMCreator’s free version has a somewhat unappealing URL format. Many other site creators give you a subdomain name (i.e. http://yourname.wordpress.com), but IMCreator adds some extra fields that detract from the professionalism of your site.

Meanwhile, although adding sections is easy; adding elements within existing sections can sometimes be confusing. Rather than providing a popup button like when adding a section, you need to open the section settings menu to add individual items.

However, once you’ve had some time to figure the individual quirks out, it’s a relatively smooth experience.

Show Your Work With a New Portfolio Website

If none of these offer what you need, you may be better off hosting your own online portfolio. It’s a bit more work, but the added level of flexibility and personalization could make all the difference.

We highly recommend WP Engine, which handles all the hassle of running a WordPress portfolio site. With daily backups, lightning-fast speeds, and dozens of professional themes, it’s well worth the price. Sign up using this link for your first 4 months free!

Once you have an impressive online portfolio, the next step is to find jobs and opportunities. See our guide on websites to promote your creative work How to Find a Creative Job by Showing Off Your Work Online How to Find a Creative Job by Showing Off Your Work Online Showcasing your best work via popular online communities can land you the dream job you've always wanted. Read More to find out which platforms can help you find your next gig.

Explore more about: Online Portfolio, Remote Work, Resume, Web Design.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Ashley Miller
    December 11, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Thank you for this amazing list, Kayla!
    I'd also recommend Pixpa. I've recently shifted there after Squarespace's integration with Unsplash, and the transition has been a breeze. The platform is intuitive enough compared to Squarespace, but offers much more customization at a much affordable rate. I still haven't tried their e-commerce features for my photos, but would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a clean portfolio website.

  2. dann mason
    November 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Hello there,

    First of all I want to congratulate you for this stunning reviews.
    You have the talent.

    Second and maybe last:
    I'm trying to find an answer. One that's really difficult to find, but I'm confident that you can. Personally I'm using Weebly for a few years now. Even started to build sites for small companies. Ofcourse I've learned this last few years to adapt code so I have more customization options. And there are also the premium themes ofcourse.

    My question:
    Do you know why weebly and others like mentioned here, are not taken serieus? I mean, for example webdesigners they will not say many good things. But I understand why in a way. But on the other hand, i think and maybe even know that I probably will be a fulltime designer if people keep comming like they do the last months. Also in articles (except you) wordpress and weebly are almost never mentioned in one blog/article. What's your general opinion about weebly, wix, etc.. vs WP Dural etc...

    Design - seo - price - and more technical.

    I would be pleased with an answer from you, so that maybe... one day... I can find... peace of mind! ;-)

    Grtz From Belgium

  3. scholarships4study.com
    June 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    coupon sherpa olive garden "coupon sherpa olive garden"

    sundiatapost.com

  4. William Brown
    February 9, 2016 at 8:45 am

    You can install google analytics, you just create a google analytics account from google and use one of the many free plugins for it

  5. Felix
    February 4, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    From a photographer's point of view, [Broken Link Removed] has the most intuitive platform for creating an online portfolio. I've tried several options on this list and none of them seem to be as complete as Format.

  6. Anonymous
    October 6, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    https://clickbooq.com is another great option, especially if you have a need for a variety of gallery designs.

  7. Anonymous
    October 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Hello there, why dont you come and try out http://site.pro/ Website Builder too?
    It is free and simple to use even for beginners, no registration needed, does not require any special knowledge as well. Really worth a try. :)

  8. Anonymous
    October 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Another one that wasn't included is Format.com! It is catered to creative professionals and enthusiasts, it's super easy to use and support is 24/7 - 7 days a week! http://format.com/

  9. Anonymous
    September 3, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Came across Siftr - a great platform for creating portfolios!

    http://siftr.co

    All one needs to do there is tag their most recent photo on Instagram or Flickr with #getsiftr, and it creates a beautiful showcase for you.

  10. anna
    May 3, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thank you for the helpful article including both pros and cons. There are so many site builders to navigate through, so this was a huge help! I'm glad I was able to find something written recently in 2015 since I'm sure these change frequently.

  11. Dee
    April 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    What about Dropr? http://dropr.com/i/mYUV

  12. Dan Spelinski
    April 19, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Good article. Everything is greatly explained. Personally I used Webbuildersguide.com and I can say that Wix is a really good choice for ones who need professional looking website and at the same time a free one.

  13. Heloise
    March 13, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Any opinions on Portfoliobox.net? I was considering it because it looks so pretty, but since I don't know anything about this I thought I'd ask for a second opinion.

  14. Jacob
    March 7, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Thanks Kayla. This insight is exactly what I was looking for.

  15. Olive
    March 6, 2015 at 4:11 am

    I loved this article! It was exactly what I was looking for, the pros and cons are extremely helpful. Thanks!

  16. Katrina Keene @teachintechgal
    March 4, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Im surprised Pathbrite isn't in this list? It's one of my favorites

  17. nadarajalavan
    February 17, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Blogger
    wordpress
    webnode.com
    1msite.com
    angelfire.com
    bravesites.com
    dinstudio.com
    doomby.com
    jimdo.com
    nation2.com
    yola
    puzl.com
    searchgi.com
    sitey.me
    strikingly.com

  18. Jo Jo
    February 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Great round up, I've used a few of these platforms in the past, the one I use currently is on weebly, but I've also backed a crowd-source funded company called THE GRID- which uses A.I to build your own website- it's pretty freakin amazing actually.

  19. Michael
    February 11, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Hi Kayla! Thank you for the well written, thorough article. I was searching the web researching QR code applications when I stumbled upon your article. I am in my final semester of grad school and started my online portfolio website today, using Google Sites. I was not feeling it, so I am excited to explore some of these options. Fantastic work and your professionalism in responding to the comments is noted and appreciated.

  20. Amir
    February 6, 2015 at 7:28 am

    I think wix also use HTML5 . i use wix paid versions and my sites are all on google , even my free sites are searchable on google.
    wix free sites is meaningless, even if you connect your domain you should pay money and still have ads on your website.
    weebly ads are more tolerated!
    BUT i think the best free website builder with many good features is ZOHO .an indian company i think, you can buy domain from zoho for about 10usd/year i think or connect your own domain to zoho site. and they have NO ads at all.
    they have very affordable Ad-ons to make your site an online SHOP and accept payment . their only problem is website builders and theme is not very flexible .
    in fact they do not need many theme but they need a better website builder which people can do things more freely.
    I hope zoho keeps its promises and keep service for free forever as they said !
    most of these sites offer free website for a while and after they collect more customers they limit the free version and push customers to use premium versions and pay something. there are many other ways to get money and now is 2015 people should have more free and easier web presence than 20 years ago !

  21. Dimitri
    February 5, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Hey Kayla,
    thanx.

  22. Kevin M
    February 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    What is meant by "can't setup Google Analytics"? Google Analytics is not setup on ANY website, it is a collection of SEO tools that can be found in a Google developer account. Setting up Google Analytics on ANY website is a simple matter of adding some code to the page. Any web tool that does not offer a way to get to the code is NOT a tool that should be used to build a website, regardless of the persons knowledge of the code. If a tool does not offer a way to edit the code the underlying problem is because it is sloppy and cannot be edited no matter how skilled you are at code. Generally speaking ALL of the web creation tools that automate the design are going to have an issue here. The bigger problem with them is while this author understands the difficulty of Flash and search engines, these tools that automate the development create an even worse environment for search engines. Something this author really should investigate before writing an article like this.

    • Kayla
      February 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Kevin,

      By "can't set up Google Analytics" I mean that the free version of WordPress does not allow you access to the code of your website (or any of the code for your website for that matter). Thus, you cannot integrate Google Analytics with a FREE WordPress site. You can, however, set up Analytics quite easily from a paid WP domain.

      In response to the second half of your comment, not everyone who builds a website is trying to rank in Google for something. In the case of the audience to whom this piece is directed, they're likely people who want to create an online portfolio to use for job searching. Therefore, the appearance of templates and low cost of using many of these websites is the big appeal, not having access to Google Analytics.

      It's worth noting, though, that even free versions of WordPress rank in Google occasionally. The free .wordpress.com domain doesn't prevent search engines from reading the text on the page; the user simply has less control over the specific coding and reporting on these websites.

      Hope that answers all of your concerns!

    • Kevin M
      February 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Kayla, I was not even aware that you could have free .wordpress.com domain but that makes sense since it would not do you any good anyway. Free does have a price thats for sure...

    • Kayla
      February 5, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      I'm sure there are varying opinions about that, but thanks for sharing yours.

  23. paul gureghian
    February 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    wix uses an html 5 editor to create websites. no coding skills are needed yet it is built on html 5. it uses a drag and drop editor. how it is called a html 5 coded page when he creator didn't build it by actually coding?

    • Kayla
      February 5, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Hey Paul,

      Thanks for asking! I believe the creative individuals who develop the templates for Wix do, in fact, code the page templates in order to style them and make them easy to use for the rest of use who can't code a webpage from scratch.

      So the HTML 5 coding is only done by the people making the templates. As a Wix user, you would not be required to do any coding because someone else has already done it all for you. Thus, users can rely on drag and drop features and an easy-to-use interface with zero coding required because someone else has already coded and designed the template that way.

      Does that make sense?

      Thanks for reading!

      Kayla

  24. Adam
    February 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I think http://webstarts.com is the best website builder.

    • Kayla
      February 5, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for the suggestion!

      Kayla

  25. Nishad
    February 3, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    http://dunked.com is my favourite. Simple easy and amazingly fast.
    --

    • Kayla
      February 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Hi Nishad,

      I actually might have looked at Dunked while doing my research for this; just needed a decent amount of variety for people whose portfolios aren't based in the visual arts. I agree with you though - very simple and clean. Thanks for suggesting it here! =)

  26. DonGateley
    February 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Kayla, amazingly comprehensive and well written article. MakeUseOf and the writers they hire are the pinnacle of internet utility.

    OT question for you: do you happen to know what speakers those are in the picture with the article?

    • Kayla
      February 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Don,

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my article! It's really great to know that I'm living up to the amazing reputation of my coworkers on the MakeUseOf team.

      In answer to your question, looks like the speakers are made by Joey Roth and are simply called "Ceramic Speakers." Just Google his name and "ceramic speakers" and you'll find 'em. =)

    • DonGateley
      February 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Yikes! I wasn't prepared for the $500 price tag but thanks for helping me get the info.

    • Kayla
      February 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Haha, yeah, the free Creative Commons image from Unsplash was more in my price range. =P

  27. Scot Duke
    February 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I've tried most and found WordPress.org being the most satisfying.

    • Kayla
      February 3, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks for reading, Scot! I have to agree with you. While there are many things that I like and think that I would enjoy about all of these sites, I've been a WordPress user for a long time and I think it's just ingrained in me to prefer WP over other site builders.

    • Dan
      February 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      @ Scott - you probably mean WordPress.com (which is a hosted service) as opposed to WordPress.org, where you can download the WP framework in order to deploy it on your own webserver :)

  28. Michele Walfred
    February 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Weebly, is an easy website builder. Contently is an impressive portfoilo builder for writers. LinkedIn also has much improved. I do use about.me and WordPress.com, even though there aren't Google Analytics, if you just want the basics, the WordPress .com anaylitics are getting better.

    • Kayla
      February 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Great suggestions, Michele! Thanks so much for sharing. =)

  29. Joshua Schmidt
    February 3, 2015 at 1:43 am

    There is always Zoho sites.

    Zoho is great because it lets you use your custom domain for free and is extremely easy to use. There is great integration with Googles webmaster utilities.

    There are so many great features such as form submissions, custom 404 pages, drag and drop elements, social media integration, ad-free, add in html content.

    Also there are other tools Zoho offers such as email connected to your domain.

    There are a few cons about it and that is their themes. They aren't outdated but there are not many options (only about 45). Sometimes I notice a security certificate error when opening in a browser, but it is not as often now.

    It is free but there are some paid features like most websites.

    • Kayla
      February 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Hey Joshua,

      This is a good suggestion and you're right about there not being that many themes. The ones that are available are pretty nice though, so thanks for suggesting this!

      The only thing I'm noticing is that the site says custom domain hosting starts at $10/month, so that part isn't free (still definitely manageable though).

      Thanks for reading!

  30. Eric
    February 3, 2015 at 12:23 am

    I have the same question as Jukka :D

    • Kayla
      February 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Hey Eric,

      See comment above. =)

  31. Jukka Hauensuo
    February 2, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    What about free website builders in case you want to create page(s) to your existing domain? I mean you want transfer HTML with FTP pgm to your own site.

    • Kayla
      February 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Hey Jukka and Eric,

      I'm not sure if you could really use a free website builder to create pages for your existing domain, since you are already paying for hosting on the current domain. You can install WordPress on an existing domain, but I don't think you can make your domain free; just add onto it instead.

      Possibly something you could do, though, is to create a new site using a free website builder and then set up a redirect so that anyone who tries to go to your old site will be automatically redirected to your new one. However, I think you'd still be paying for hosting for the original domain name so your site still wouldn't really be free.

      If you really want to create a free website, it might be best to sell your domain and just stick to a free builder, but that's entirely dependent on what you hope to accomplish with your site.

      I hope this helps!

      Kayla

    • Dan
      February 26, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      @ Jukka and Eric - you might consider hiring a professional team - or a freelance web developer - to do all the hard work for you. The added benefit is, a web dev knows the ins and outs of the condig process and makes use of (pun intended :) ) the best practices when building the website. The result is a professionally built, unique looking website, which is IMO one of the most important aspects of an online identity, no matter if you're an individual, or a company. To me, standing out from the crowd is equivalent to a successful startup, considering the opposite. The last thing you wanna do is have a copycat website that looks awfully similar to another one. You don't want your clients and/or business partners to have that feeling when visiting your site. Please don't get me wrong, Kayla, I appreciate your efforts of providing the less technically inclined people with the means of building an WYSIWYG website by themselves, but professional web developers exist for a reason :)

  32. Stevie Wright
    February 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Strikingly is very good in my opinion.

    https://www.strikingly.com/

    • Kayla
      February 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Hey Stevie!

      Somehow this never came up in my searches, but the examples on the site look really clean! You're right, I think this could be a good option in addition to the others listed here. Thanks so much for sharing!