There are too many people in the world. Back in previous generations, when the population was logarithmically smaller, it was far easier to get the attention of people. There were simply fewer people vying for attention. As any creative can well attest, the days of easy attention are far gone from us. Today, it requires a campaign of branding and publican in order to make yourself known to the correct people. Even outside of the creative industries, getting the attention of a potential employer is challenging. With the labor market as competitive as it is, you have to put on your best game in order to stand even a chance at a highly-desired position. Skill and experience simply aren’t enough anymore: you also need a stellar presentation. That’s where portfolio websites come into play.
If you are a web developer, you obviously have significant experience when it comes to building a website. And it’s probable that you could create your own personal website from scratch by following your normal client process with yourself as the patron. However, that takes time, and time is always in short supply. Using a portfolio template website saves an enormous amount of time, removing the need for design, coding, testing, revision, and constant maintenance. Instead, all those duties are shifted on to the portfolio website’s owner. This makes them an excellent solution for those who are short on time. It’s also a good fit for web developers that might excel in coding but aren’t as familiar with the visual design elements of the business. By getting a portfolio website, you can ensure that your design will be visually appealing and effective, as well as constantly maintained and updated on the backend. If you’re dying to get your hands on some code, many online portfolio maker websites also offer support for custom CSS. This way, you can modify the design to put your own personalized touch on your website, but you avoid the tedious work of actually building the website for yourself. It’s rather close to the best of both worlds, in fact.
If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve likely heard more about Squarespace than you feel you can stomach. At this point, surely you know how beautifully-designed their templates are, and how fitting there are for a wide variety of commercial and professional uses. It’s easily the most popular online portfolio maker, and you’ll find it in use on a huge array of custom websites. Surely this is a testament to Squarespace’s value as a portfolio maker website. Squarespace hosts the templates themselves, but you can easily link an existing domain or purchase a new domain directly through Squarespace. The system is fully compatible with Google Apps, providing back-end integration for email addresses if Squarespace provides your domain. The drag-and-drop design tools simplify the website building process to fool-proof levels, and more knowledgeable users can inject custom CSS to better style their pages. The platform supports blogs, online stores, galleries, and much more. Plans run $10/month which includes a free Squarespace domain.
You might be surprised to see Wix on this list. The website maker hasn’t always had the best reputation. But in the last several years, Wix has dramatically stepped up their game. Much like Domino’s successful revitalization, Wix has managed to ditch their old image as a buggy, limited application. Today, it’s one of the better-known portfolio websites, and it provides the largest degree of control among its competitors. You can work with the code as much as you like, and prepare a website that you find most appealing. While it’s not as easy to use as Ning, the customization options make Wix appealing to our needs.
For a web developer, Ning is an excellent choice. It features a strong mix of pre-existing templates and advanced editing tools, making it well suited to a web developer who doesn’t have time to build an entire portfolio website.
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