Having a good-looking portfolio website is one of the basic things you need to take care of as a designer. But if you're just starting out, or even if you're simply cost-conscious, you might be reluctant to spring for a paid portfolio hosting option.
Finding a free home for your design portfolio isn't easy – there are usually restrictions to the level of service that you won't get with a paid plan. But it's still possible to find a free hosting option for your portfolio that doesn't involve too much compromise; we've found seven of the best services.
Billed as offering everything you need to create a professional portfolio website, Portfoliobox is specifically geared towards creatives and offers a stack of ready-made templates and layouts that you can edit in the browser through a drag-and-drop interface.
The free version gives you a portfolio with room for 30 images and 10 pages, plus a zero-commission ecommerce platform; the pro version removes the Portfoliobox branding and also gives you a free domain and 24/7 support.
Behance might not be your first choice when it comes to finding some portfolio hosting, but as a hugely popular creative network it's the perfect place to show your work. Even if you have your main portfolio elsewhere, it makes sense to have a presence on Behance and to keep it updated with your latest projects.
It's not particularly sophisticated in terms of options, but its straightforward interface makes it easy to design basic pages on which to share your work, and as a free service it's hard to beat, especially once you start picking up followers.
03. Adobe Portfolio
Another Adobe offering, Portfolio isn't strictly free – you need a Creative Cloud account to take advantage of it. But unless you're a staunch Adobe refusenik, always looking for the best Photoshop alternatives, you probably have a CC account, in which case Portfolio is definitely worth investigating.
It has plenty of themes to choose from, all of which can be easily customised – there are loads of examples on the Portfolio site to demonstrate just what the platform's capable of – and naturally it features Behance integration, as well as Adobe Fonts and the option to import photos from Lightroom. All of Portfolio's themes are fully responsive, and once your site's ready to share you can use your own domain name.
Like Portfoliobox, Crevado offers a free portfolio hosting service alongside paid plans that offer more capacity and features. And while you might find the free plan a little restrictive – it gives you a maximum of five galleries and can hold 30 images, and doesn't provide a contact form – it's a good starting point that you can build upon later if you want to use a custom domain or sell your work online.
Crevado prides itself on taking care of all the technical issues so that you can simply create a fully responsive portfolio with minimum effort; it also has an extensive selection of example sites for you to check out and get an idea of what you could create for yourself.
Portfolio hosting is just part of the deal with Coroflot; it's a serious online community created by designers for designers, aimed at helping creative professionals and hiring companies to connect with each other. So if you're looking for more work, having a portfolio on Coroflot is a must, assuming you get accepted.
That's the tricky bit; you can't simply sign up and get your portfolio space. Instead you need to submit an application that demonstrates the quality of your work, and you'll only be accepted if it meets Coroflot's standards. Thankfully it's also provided a guide to getting your application right; make sure you read it before hitting Send on your application.
Dribbble, like Behance, isn't necessarily the place to host your main portfolio, but as a hugely popular design community it's definitely a place to show your work and also works in progress, and hopefully get seen by potential employers and clients.
As a busy social network for designers it's also a great platform for getting feedback from other designers and also for seeing what other creatives are working on. And our favourite feature? Dribbble automatically generates palettes based on each hosted shot, so if you see a colour scheme you like the look of you can download it instantly.
It's hard not to be aware of Wix as it's made a name for itself with as an easy-to-use website builder with a generous free package. And while you might not think of it as the place to build a portfolio website, it's well worth a look. Among its vast assortment of customisable ready-made templates you'll find a good few options for building a good-looking portfolio.
As long as you don't mind your portfolio having a Wix domain name and Wix brand ads then the free option should provide you with plenty of a value; if you want your own domain name, no ads, more storage and additional bandwidth, its paid plans are reasonably priced.