Setting up a Portfolio Site: Look Professional - Look Legit

If you are a photographer, stylist, or a designer, you need more than just a blog. You need a part of your online presence that provides a quick review of your work. Clients shouldn't have to scroll through all of your blog posts to find past work. When you have a blog and a portfolio site, it can be even more challenging to have everything look good and work together cohesively. How do you know which platforms are best for you?

Here are a few of my recommendations for the creative just getting started:

1. Squarespace

Squarespace just recently added a bunch of great templates for portfolio sites. Their selection and back-end makes it easy to create a cohesive site in little time. Their back-end is wonderful to work with, but does take a bit of time to figure out. However, their support is excellent, and they are extremely reasonable and affordable with their pricing. This is a great option for beginners to intermediate creatives and for those who want a pretty site, but are limited on time and patience.

2. Wordpress

Wordpress offers a lot of different options for creatives. You can purchase one of dozens of themes for sale at Themeforest or Graph Paper Press. Many of these themes makes it fast and easy to get a professional site up and running. Wordpress has an awesome back-end and dozens of plug-ins at your fingertips. Wordpress is a favorite of many creatives for it's usability and capabilities. This is a great option for beginners to advanced creatives, and is easy to maintain. However, it does take a little bit of time to set up initially. Wordpress is also one of the cheaper options for a portfolio site.

3. A Photofolio

Photofolio is great for photographers who need a cohesive site that works on all platforms, makes it easy to upload photos, and is simple to maintain. Customization, however, is limited. You can pick from a few different layouts, and change only a few things on each site. However, it is clean and professional, making it a favorite among professional photographers. This is a great platform, if you are limited on time (but not resources) and you want a site that looks professional and is easy to maintain.

Stay tuned for more tips and hints about setting up online in a series by Melanie Burk from Fifth & Hazel. Image by Michael Cina.