You don't need sophisticated software to create an online portfolio. It's actually a fairly simple job. All it has to do is present a selection of thumbnails for visitors to select and view larger images.
The difficulty is not in the programming of the portfolio, it's in making the interface smooth, elegant and easy to navigate. Flash has a powerful range of tools for doing this, and it's the application of choice for most professional designers. However, it's expensive, and if you're an artist rather than a web designer, it's a skill you'd probably rather not spend time learning.
Luckily, there is a whole selection of pre-programmed Flash portfolios coded to high standards and available for a few dollars at sites such as www.istockphoto.com (opens in new tab). These not only offer sleek, impressive-looking portfolios, but also allow you to import your own images and text by editing a simple XML file, swapping images in a folder or writing a text file.
Here we're going to take a look at three examples, and set up online portfolios with each.