These days it is equally as – if not more – important to create a fantastic online portfolio in order to gain a following and, depending on your industry, work. This can be tricky and it’s very difficult to build if you’re not design or web savvy, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost! Paige Donahue of Digital Information World shares everything you could possibly need to know for creating the ultimate online portfolio, from which sites to use to everything it should include:

Just imagine how much it costs to make a hard copy of your portfolio in high quality paper and top-notch printing. Then multiply it by ten. It’s enough to feed you for a week! Then imagine having an online portfolio that will cause you next to nothing and be flexible enough to send to dozens of employers and affiliates. Which one do you prefer?

Gone are the days when you have to print countless copies of your portfolio and distribute them to possible employers. In five minutes, you can set up a website that features your best works. Online portfolios serves the functions of the old-school portfolios and more. E-portfolios can widen your reach and attract opportunities you haven’t imagined in the first place.

Many professionals think a blog is enough to showcase their strengths, but it’s not. A blog is a good way to network with people from your profession, but it’s insufficient in presenting the body of your work. To highlight your best works, you need a portfolio to do it for you.

Before you move in first you need to know, why should you display your work on online portfolios.

Ten of the best free and paid portfolio websites:

Behance – One of the biggest community of designers can be found on this website. Here, you can create folders for your project to create a more organized look into your works. Behance has a good categorizing system that groups illustrators, designers, painters, and photographers. This system offers a more efficient way to be discovered by companies. Members can even sell their works through this site.

Portfoliobox – A professional-looking website is at the tip of your fingertips with Portfoliobox. No coding knowledge is necessary to create a quality portfolio using this website. Here, you can create a blog, a static page and even a gallery. An e-store can be added, and marketing tools are included in your account.

Clippings.me – For writers, bloggers and journalists, Clippings is a good website to compile all their written works in one place. Users can easily add links of their published works online and even PDFs. This site is easy enough to customize and even provides detailed statistics of visitors on your portfolio. What gives this an edge is how you can embed any media to your works.

Dribble – Budding artists get a better chance of being discovered through Dribble. Users can simply upload their works and have other members give them votes to help them reach the popular page. Works on Dribble can easily be shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to direct more viewers to your portfolio.

4ormat – One of the easiest modifiable online portfolio, 4ormat gives users basic ways to tweak their pages. Hundreds of themes are available for your usage, from static to animated to dynamic ones. The presentation of your work in 4ormat is so simple that viewers are easily drawn to your work and not to the clutter. There’s a reason why thousands of professionals use this platform for their masterpieces.

Writer’s Residence – For a stress-free portfolio, this one will save anyone the trouble. There’s no HTML or CSS knowledge required, just your documents that you want to present to the world. Writer’s Residence allows users to upload multiple pages of PDFs or their writing samples and instantly include them in their portfolio. For newcomers, it is an easy website to navigate.

Dunked -  If you want a website that’s best viewed on any device, Dunked might be the one you’re searching for. Customizing the design of your portfolio is easy with their simple and advanced editing tools. It’s another good website to display diverse content from literary works to illustrations to videos and even audio clips. What’s even more amazing is it’s SEO optimized.

Weebly – For a more customizable portfolio, Weebly can do it for you. This platform is flexible for any kinds of work. Be it a web design you created or a logotype you designed. It’s a good website to combine all sorts of works, and showcase all your talents in one place. They offer four membership packages that range from $0-$25 per month.

Carbonmade – A nifty website that’s home to hundreds of thousands portfolios, Carbonmade is certainly one of the best portfolio websites out there. For free, users can upload up to five projects. With a paid account, they can display up to 50 of their best projects. It makes sure that every piece of work you upload in the site maintains its original quality. It’s stable so you can be reassured that your portfolio is viewable anytime.

Writerfolio – The no-nonsense approach of this website highlights your writings. It’s definitely the best way to showcase written works. Users has the option to categorize their works and lists them in an organized, clutter-free presentation. It will entice readers to read even further. No coding is necessary in Writerfolio since there’s a uniform theme for every portfolio, but it lets your writing shine without the glitter of a fancy design.

Creating an online portfolio is really daunting. You have to make sure that yours stand out from the crowd. With these websites and their friendly support team, it’ll be a piece of cake to create a portfolio that will give you an edge.

Best practices on how to use online portfolio sites:

Display your best work - Include works that feature your current skills.

Showcase variety - Explore different media, i.e photography, web design, freehand.

Talk about them if you have to - If your works are abstract and obscure, you may want to provide a description text to give visitors a better understanding of your thought process.

Ask for feedback - Use social media or comment boxes to engage with other designers and artists for suggestions on how you could improve your work.

Create as many portfolios as possible! - Make yourself accessible to different design sites like visual.ly to increase your chances of getting hired. Also, the sites features above aren’t the only ones where you could publish your online portfolio! Do a quick search to find more sites where you could boast your design chops.

Paige Donahue enjoys reading historical novels and writing online articles. She considers copywriting for Rushessay her part-time and blogging at The Very Last Paige her full-time job.

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