If you're a professional who wants to showcase your projects and impress clients around the world - a great way to do that is to build a personal portfolio. A good portfolio can play a key role in your future success.
But with so many website builders and so many deals - how can you be sure to choose the right one for you?
Well, that's where I can help you. During years of testing website builders, we've gathered quite an experience, and know which products are good for what causes.
So these are the best portfolio website builders for portfolio websites:
- SITE123 - the best portfolio website builder.
- Wix - beginner-friendly website builder.
- GoCentral - a nice builder with responsive designs.
- Squarespace - portfolio builder with attractive templates.
- Weebly - portfolio website builder with a lot of freedom.
- Format - the best website builder with coding included.
Prices from: $0.00 /month
Recommended for: users who want to customize stylish templates to create a portfolio.
SITE123 is a beginner-friendly website builder that offers a lot of templates for free. If you're thinking of building a portfolio - there are a few templates completely portfolio-based to choose from.
Apart from portfolio-based templates, you have access to all of the other templates that this site builder offers. It is also possible to insert a music track or a video to your homepage.
Moreover, since SITE123 doesn't work like a typical drag&drop builder - there's an option to customize your blocks while using provided templates.
You can customize font styles, colors, backgrounds, and add a variety of images from SITE123's gallery. There's one thing though, as much as there are templates to choose from, your customization is limited with a free version. Also if you want to use a custom domain, you will have to take a look at their paid plans.
The differences between a free plan and paid plans are that with paid plans you can get a free domain for 1 year and remove the SITE123 floating tag. Also, there's a difference in resources provided for your website on which depends your website's loading speed.
Furthermore, if you ever decide to sell your projects - SITE123 offers an eCommerce solution with its paid plans. It also allows you to sell digital products, providing a download link for your customer for 30 days after the purchase is done.
So the cheapest plan called "Basic" starts as low as $4.68/mo and offers you a free domain for 1 year, 10GB storage, 5GB bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.
The most expensive plan costs $15.48/mo. However, if you're building a portfolio, you might not need as much resources. Personally, I would recommend the Advanced plan for $8.28/mo for building a professional-looking portfolio.
- Beginner-friendly interface
- Lots of templates
- Responsive designs
- Limited design features with a free plan
Prices from: $0.00 /month
Recommended for: users who want an easy-to-use website builder with plenty of creative freedom
First up, it's one of the best free portfolio websites builder - Wix. This easy to use website builder has all the tools for creating a truly eye-catching portfolio.
It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to design a great website for almost any industry or business.
Wix provides the user with around 30 templates that are specifically designed for portfolio websites. And this one pictured is a 3D designer portfolio - impressive, right? But what's more, each one is fully responsive and will look great on almost any device - desktop or mobile.
Wix's editor allows you to tweak almost every element of your portfolio, while it also gives you the option to add meta tags and metadata to your images to get them noticed by the search engines and boost your online visibility.
But now let's take a look at some of the other features that Wix offers:
- Wix photography allows the user to add 30+ galleries consisting of images, text, and autoplay videos.
- Create a blog to couple up with your portfolio with the Wix blogging platform.
- Wix booking is a great way to get booked for services or events.
- Total design freedom is a key feature that users who want to build a unique portfolio will love.
As you can see, there is a lot that Wix has to offer - so let's take a look at the pricing.
Does Wix Break The Bank?
It's good news, Wix offers a free plan that provides more than enough features to build a portfolio. However, it is limited and does come with Wix ads and no way no connect your own domain.
Wish to do that? You'll need to upgrade. There are four paid plans that range from $5.00 - $25.00 per month. For an ultimate combination of features and value, I would recommend upgrading to its Combo plan at $10.00 per month.
- Drag and drop editor makes for a user-friendly experience
- A bucket load of portfolio templates
- Great design features and responsive websites
- No flexibility - can't move a created site to a different website builder platform.
Prices from: $5.99 /month
Recommended for: users who want a more pre-built portfolio and website design.
Everyone, meet GoCentral. You might be more familiar with the hosting provider GoDaddy.
Well, this builder right here is the company's new and easy to use website builder.
GoCentral provides the user with a friendly interface that makes for a pleasant and fun website building process.
It's also home to a good portfolio platform, and creating one is a piece of cake. There are plenty of templates to choose from, all of which as fully responsive and transition well to almost any device.
To create an eye-catching portfolio - you need good tools. And thankfully, GoCentral provides you with those.
For users who are familiar with drag and drop editors, you will be pleased to know that GoCentral's swipe-to-style interface is pretty much one of those - just with a fancy name.
Its dynamic galleries and professional imagery play a key role in making sure that your portfolio really stands out.
And for those users who are active on social media, it's a good job you can integrate social media accounts, too.
GoCentral - The Pricing
GoCentral doesn't offer a free plan. But it does offer a free trial for 14 days, which should be just about enough time to see if it suits you.
There are four paid plans that range from $5.99 - $29.99, depending on which plan you choose. Building a portfolio website with all the main portfolio features will cost you around $10.00 per month with its Business plan.
- No coding required and an easy to use interface
- Building features are simple to understand
- 24/7 customer support
- Fewer customization options
- Limited design features
- No free plan
Prices from: $12.00 /month
Recommended for: users who want to showcase artwork in a unique way.
Squarespace is without a doubt one of the slickest and most attractive website builders.
For users who want to create an eye-catching portfolio using the latest design features then I would recommend you look no further than Squarespace. Its templates look really, really good.
And there are hundreds to choose from with plenty of white space to fill with your projects and/or art. Each template is fully responsive and will look great on almost every mobile device.
Adding additional pages to your website with Squarespace is easy, too. Adding a blog to your website is a good way to promote your projects and spread the word about upcoming events or things like gallery exhibitions.
With those things in mind, now seems like a good time to check out some of the other features that Squarespace features:
- Customizable layouts let you build a unique design for your portfolio using a drag and drop editor.
- Video tutorials are a great help for inexperienced users to get the most out of Squarespace.
- SEO guides which are great for helping draw attention and new visitors to your website/portfolio.
- Users can add integrations such as Adobe Creative Suite, Google Drive, Getty Images, and more.
So, it's easy to see that Squarespace has what it takes to build one of the best portfolio websites.
But What About The Price?
Just like they won't let you draw with crayons over Mona Lisa (I tried, and everyone in Paris was very rude to me) you won't be allowed to mess with Squarespace templates all that much. Sections like sliders or headers are designed fully in place - you'll be able to put all of the content in, but that's about it.
And just like Mona Lisa, Squarespace won't come cheap. It doesn't have a free plan, and there are four paid plans that range from $12.00 - $40.00 per month. I would recommend the Personal plan ($12.00) for creative individuals who want to build a portfolio website with a custom domain.
- Modern templates for creative portfolios
- 24/7 customer support
- Mobile-optimized design
- Free and unlimited hosting
- Limited customizability options
- No free plan
Prices from: $0.00 /month
Recommended for: users who want a simple and attractive portfolio that is easy to create
Weebly is one of the easiest portfolio website builders to use, and it offers a good amount of creative freedom.
Weebly's templates are simple and attractive, two things that you want most when building a portfolio website. Each one of its templates is mobile responsive and look great on smaller devices such as a tablet or mobile.
There are 7 templates specifically designed for portfolios, but there are plenty of others with lots of white space and tidy layouts to pick from too. Also, when it comes to customizing your website, Weebly uses a simple drag and drop editor to build.
But now, let's see a list of Weebly's key features to ensure your portfolio catches the viewers' attention.
- Its design options include video backgrounds, parallax backgrounds, custom fonts and many more.
- Set up and build a blog to spread the word about your upcoming projects or events.
- Integrated social media marketing and SEO will put your portfolio on the map.
- Users can build a newsletter to communicate with their fans/visitors.
How Much Will All Of These Features Cost?
Well, Weebly has a free plan. But just like Wix's, it's going to be very limited. The Weebly ads won't be nearly as intrusive as Wix's, but you won't be able to connect a custom domain. That's possible for $4/month, but I'd suggest going all the way to the Starter plan which is priced at $8.00 per month.
- Easy to set up and simple to use
- Portfolio-specific templates
- A great number of customization features
- Chat & email support
- Limited free plan
- Templates aren't as cutting-edge as Wix or Squarespace
Prices from: $6.00 /month
Recommended for: users who want a vibrant and professional portfolio
Portfolios are about showing off your best work, and Format believes this too.
Format offers over a hundred themes that are fully responsive and look good on most devices. Each theme comes with three presets to change the background color and menu style. You can also choose from multiple layout options which alter how your work is presented.
The Format interface is intuitive. It uses a drag and drop tools to make the building process easier, and if you are customizing your website using code - there are very few limits.
So, with that in mind, let's take a look at some of the key features from Format.
- Build a blog and start telling people about your new portfolio website with Format's blogging platform
- Publish and update your portfolio using Adobe Lightroom
- Sell your products directly from your portfolio website
- Manage your galleries on your mobile with the Format iPhone App
With that said, it's clear to see that building and customizing your website with Format can be extremely versatile.
Are There Any Flaws?
Like with all website builders - there are flaws, but with Format, they're unfortunately within its pricing structure.
First of all, there is no free plan. Secondly, if you want to connect a custom domain to your website, it will cost you $12.00 per month - which is just as expensive as Squarespace, and well over Wix, Weebly, or GoCentral!
- A great number of design options
- Modern and stylish templates
- 24/7 customer support
- Some coding knowledge would be beneficial
- Starter plans are expensive
Who Can Be Crowned The Best Portfolio Website Builder?
Picking one winner out of these five is too hard of a decision. They each bring something different to building a portfolio website that will appeal to different people.
Choosing the perfect website builder depends on the purpose of your portfolio. For example, If you want to create a good-looking portfolio fast, I would recommend GoCentral or Weebly.
For users who want a unique layout with an eye-catching design and don't mind spending a little bit more money, I would recommend either Squarespace or Format. If you are looking for the best all-around and easy-to-use website builder that provides plenty of stunning templates with an intuitive editor - then It has to be Wix.
After testing dozens of website builders, these are the 6 that I believe are the best. However, if you have your own suggestions, please let me know in the comments below!
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