8 top tools for creating a portfolio

Want an easy way to host your work online? These tools all offer a fuss-way way to build a creative portfolio

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Whatever kind of creative you are, prospective employers or clients expect to see your best work presented in an easily digestible format. 

To meet the need for design portfolios, dozens of portfolio-creating tools have sprung up, and we here present our favourites on the market right now; some paid-for, some free. 

Of course, there are plenty more portfolio tools out there. So if there’s one you have particular love for, and feel we should add it to the list, please tell us about in the contents below!

01. Behance

Behance is by the far the biggest portfolio platform on the web

With more than a million creatives hosting their work on Behance, and traffic in the order of 60million+ page views per month, it must be doing something right. Launched in 2006, the online service was bought in 2012 by Adobe, and has since been incorporated into the Creative Cloud, making it easier for users of Photoshop, Illustrator, etc to share their works-in-progress as well as finished designs. 

Behance itself remains free, though, and you certainly don’t need a Creative Cloud subscription to use it. Adobe has also recently enhanced the service by launching a free app for iOS and Android, Behance Display; this syncs with Behance and enables you to showcase your work even when you’re offline. 

02. Adobe Portfolio

Adobe Portfolio is fully integrated into Behance and the Creative Cloud

While Behance allows you to host your portfolio within the confines of its own ‘walled garden’, Adobe Portfolio (previously known as Behance Pro Site) lets you build your own independent portfolio website, using a number of templates and simple tools.

Adobe Portfolio comes as part of a Creative Cloud subscription and as you’d expect, everything is synchronised with your Behance account, so you can bring in any portfolio work you’ve hosted there without having to upload it again. Other cool features include personalised URLs, password protection and use of Typekit fonts.

03. Morpholio

Morpholio offers a way of both presenting your work and getting it critiqued

If you want to improve your portfolio of work, rather than just present it, Morpholio might be for you. Launched in 2011, this free iOS app enables you to easily get your designs critiqued by other creatives. 

You can discuss work, ideas or projects in either a public or private forum; sketch over any image to make comments or share ideas; and view comments and sketches by others invited to critique. 

Of course, if you’d rather people kept their opinions to themselves, you can also just use Morpholio as a way of showing your portfolio: after all, it is free.

04. Fabrik

Fabrik offers a high-end portfolio service for discerning professionals

Fabrik promises to help you create a customised portfolio website in a matter of minutes. It offers a drag and drop interface, a range of responsive templates and integration with Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud and Slate. 

Fundamentally, Fabrik claims to offer a more professional solution than rivals, with intelligently designed themes that understand and adapt to project content. You can freely switch themes at any time without impacting your projects, and themes include multiple layouts, designed to complement different content and media formats. 

Also on offer are one-click theme and layout choices, straightforward configurations, and full font and colour customisation. Pricing for Fabrik starts at £5.75 a month. There’s also a 14-day free trial offer, with no credit card required.

05. Squarespace

Website tool Squarespace is firmly focused on helping creatives build online portfolios

Squarespace isn’t specifically a portfolio tool; it’s actually a general website building service. But it’s so keen to target creatives who want to create an online portfolio, and so many creatives have heeded that call, that we felt compelled to include it in this list. 

Squarespace does pretty much what other website builders do: offer an easy-to-use, off-the-peg way to create a portfolio quickly. But it does it better than most, with beautiful themes that present your work in an elegant, professional looking way, and simple but effective functionality that means any client or employer will find what they need quickly and easy.

The service offers a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) and pricing begins at $12.99 a month billed annually.

06. Dunked

Dunked offers a super-simple way to get your portfolio online

Having done a lot of work with WordPress themes at ThemeZilla, Orman Clark wanted to create a super-simple way to create an online portfolio site. And with Dunked, he’s pretty much succeeded. Its drag and drop interface is easy to use, and the elegant, grid-based and fully responsive templates have won it many fans within the creative community. 

Integrated with YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud and Flickr, Dunked is fully optimised for Retina screens, lets you create a custom URL, and offers seemingly endless customisation options. If you’re so minded, you can edit and customize the HTML and CSS, too. With a 10-day free trial (no credit card required), pricing plans start at $7 a month, billed annually.

07. Krop

Krop’s portfolio app is fully integrated into its jobs board

Starting life in 2000 as a private industry newsletter among top designers, Krop has evolved to become both a creative industry job board and a portfolio hosting website. Its portfolio builder, then, doesn’t just offer customisable, professional templates and an easy to use, drag and drop builder; it integrates full into the jobs site in order to get recruiters interested in hiring your services.

All Krop’s portfolios are accessible from its Creative Database, a back-end tool it supplies to recruiters, and Krop also features a section called Pluck’t, which showcases a daily staff selection of Krop portfolios.

08. Minimal Folio

Minimal Folio removes much of the complexity from portfolio creation

Minimal Folio does what it says on the label. This $2.99 app offers a simple way to present your images and video on the iPad. 

The app is totally unbranded, ensuring your work has a clean and minimalist presentation. You’re also able to manage multiple portfolios; batch import images from your photo albums; copy and paste items between different portfolios or apps; and cloud sync to multiple devices with Dropbox.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world's best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he's worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.

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