I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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After 6 years as a professional designer, there’s one reason why I still don’t have an online portfolio: it’s a pain in the ass to create and maintain. Online portfolios just involve labor-intensive design, coding, updating, and promoting. I know I’ll eventually get around to making a stellar online portfolio. But for now, I need something quick and dirty.

If you’re in the same boat and need to swiftly put up work to show friends, family, and potential employers, try one of these free services. No HTML experience needed.

Coroflot
Created by industrial design site, Core77, Coroflot hosts portfolios as well as job listings, which means you’re more likely to be seen by recruiters and employers. You can also create and join groups with other members of like interests. It’s totally free, and you can upload an unlimited number of images.

Coroflot

Coroflot

CarbonMade
It’s quite easy to upload images and setup projects on CarbonMade, but customization is limited. You can’t change the portfolio’s theme beyond switching the background color from black to white. The free version is limited to 5 projects and a total of 35 images. Unlike Coroflot, CarbonMade has no job hunting/listing services. The paid version ($12/month) allows 50 projects with 500 images and 10 videos.

CarbonMade

CarbonMade

Flickr
I know Flickr is supposed to be about “photos,” but you can also use it to collect other types of images such as illustrations, sketches, diagrams, and design work. Just upload your work, create a set, and voila! An instant portfolio you can share. Best of all, it’s free. That beats paying for an expensive and constrained portfolio hosting service like Portfolios.com. A basic Flickr account gets you 100MB/month upload limit and a maximum of 3 sets. Paid accounts ($25/year) gets you unlimited uploads and photosets.

Flickr

Flickr

DeviantART
DeviantART is “the largest art community in the world.” With 4.5 million members, I believe it. However, designers don’t have as large a presence as illustrators and fine artists on the site. The free account is loaded with features, letting you upload images and create galleries in a cornucopia of categories from Anime to Typography. You can even make some money by selling prints of your work. The paid account ($30/year) removes ads and includes a few special features like advanced journals and large thumbnails.

DevianART

DevianART

Update (August 9):

ViewBook
Sylvain just pointed out this free site in the comments. It’s quite nice, minimal, and easy to set up. Also free :-):

ViewBook

ViewBook

12 Comments

  • Sylvain Lemire

    gravatarAug 8, 2007
    10:37 am

    There is Workbook that is quite pleasing to the eye : http://www.viewbook.com/ Still in Beta, free for 250 images and 5 presentations.

  • Asgeir Hoem

    gravatarAug 8, 2007
    1:14 pm

    Indexhibit (indexhibit.org) is also a nice one, if you can host it yourself. Stripped down to the basics it has an intuitive layout for both frontend and backend.

    I have been playing around with mine on http://www.asgeirhoem.no/exhibit/ .

  • r

    gravatarAug 8, 2007
    5:51 pm

    What changes have you done to make Firefox look different in the address bar?

  • MAWSpitau

    gravatarAug 9, 2007
    12:07 am

    Hi there, what about iperinty.com?! It is a french community with abilities to upload photos, movies, music and all kind of data. After flickr is cersoring the german community, many memebers changed.

  • Marina

    gravatarAug 9, 2007
    5:31 am

    I think that a good way to be noticed without having to maintain a portfolio is to upload the sites that you make on css galleries… Don’t you think? Off course its only for web sites and not for logos, but it does help to build a Name as a quality web designer…

  • Chanpory

    gravatarAug 9, 2007
    7:07 pm

    @Sylvain, thanks for pointing out ViewBook. It looks great. I’ve updated the post to include it.

    @Marina, the thing I don’t like about those CSS galleries, is that there’s no guarantee you’ll get accepted and shown. You can’t curate your own work. So it basically becomes a beauty contest.

  • ArtisticEndeavor

    gravatarAug 10, 2007
    12:36 am

    Deviant Art is ok but it’s not as good because there’s a lot of great talent and you’re work can get lost in the myriads of works there. Flickr is the best because it has a huge fanbase, your stuff will get indexed easily and because its a social giant there’s eyeballs looking at everything, so if you’re work is great – it really will get discovered.

  • Marina

    gravatarAug 10, 2007
    1:24 am

    Hm, yes, @Chanpory, you are right about that. I guess my point of you is a little bit different because in Croatia (where I’m from), potential clients do not visit this kind of “social portfolios”. They will mostly find their web designer thru a friend or thru another online page which you designed. In that case its the best to have your own page with at least contact mail… :-)

  • plaka999

    gravatarMar 24, 2008
    8:00 am

    I’ve been in this quandry for years, except my issue largely results from the propietary nature of the projects I’ve worked on – thanks to NDAs.

    A few options to consider – PDFs are great for portfolios, they (sort of) have security, are printable, you can control the formatting, and can easily distributed. This is how I currently distribute my portfolio, and host it in a protected area of my site (when I’ve needed to send it out, I send email w/login info).

    Also, hosting your own photo gallery or blog as a portfolio and putting it behind access control is another option, if you really want something truly “online.”

    Maybe it’s time for a “portfolio-only” wordpress theme!

  • amarilys

    gravatarAug 14, 2008
    3:14 pm

    Thanks for the info! Question: Does an online portfolio on one of these networks replace having your own website? I’m weighing my options…

  • PJRyan

    gravatarNov 8, 2008
    10:38 pm

    Thanks for the info. You listed a site I hadn’t seen yet. And I appreciate another opinion. Like that you included screen shots. Made the article complete. Well done.

  • wheeday

    gravatarJun 23, 2009
    3:59 am

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