Creating an online portfolio can be a quick and easy task. It’s a great way of showing off your own work to others. You may even be able to entice new visitors and potential clients to your business. Using a website builder is a surefire way for you to achieve this.
However, it’s understandably quite a daunting market. There are so many website builders around, how on earth do you choose the right one? You’ll have to consider multiple factors like price, usability, and features, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
To save you the time and effort, I’ve been researching the best website builders for creating an online portfolio. I’ve tested them all in-depth and hope to be able to give you an open and honest view of each of them.
1. Wix (Best Overall Portfolio Builder)
Wix is my favourite website builder for many reasons. It’s very easy to use and has lots of features and tools for you to create an awesome portfolio website. As well as offering helpful support and plenty of templates, it’s also very affordable.
If you’re looking to grow your audience and get your portfolio seen, Wix can most definitely help with that. It has over 500 beautiful templates that are mobile responsive. They also have specific templates for portfolios, making it even easier to get online.
Wix Pros and Cons
|Wix's editor is very easy to use and intuitive||Once you've selected a template, you can't change it without losing your content|
|Wix's ADI editor is an added bonus, meaning you can create a website with minimal time and effort||There are so many features that it can be a little overwhelming for beginners|
|Wix websites are optimised to work across multiple devices|
|INCLUSIVE VIDEO MINUTES||0||30||60||120|
|SITE BOOSTER APP||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|VISITOR ANALYTICS APP||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|SOCIAL MEDIA LOGO FILES||✘||✘||✘||✔|
Wix’s website pricing offers 4 plans. These range from £3 per month and go up to £18 per month. They also offer eCommerce and Business plans too, however for the purpose of this review, I won’t be looking at those in detail.
Wix also offers a free plan, however, it does have quite a few limitations. For example, you won’t be able to have a custom domain, you’ll have Wix ads on your website, no access to Google Analytics, and limited storage/bandwidth.
Assigned URL: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress
Connect a custom domain
Wix ads appear on every page & favicon in URL
Remove Wix ads
Up to 500MB
Over 500MB available
Up to 500MB
From 1GB and up available
Included with Business Premium Plans
Premium & VIP support options including faster response time
The table above is taken from Wix’s website and gives you an overview of what their free plan offers in comparison to their premium plans.
SEO: One of Wix’s most outstanding features is their SEO tools. They make SEO super easy and very beginner-friendly. If you’ve never heard of SEO before, it’s known as Search Engine Optimisation. It helps your website to get found on Google and other search engines. Wix has plenty of helpful guides and an SEO wizard. It will create a personalised experience and ensure your website succeeds as it was intended to do!
Drag & Drop: Wix’s drag and drop functionality is super easy to get to grips with. Building your online portfolio has never been easier. It’s a simple case of choosing the elements you want on your website (e.g. a video) and dragging that element and dropping it onto your site! Wix has a wide range of elements for you to play with too, including a blog and forum.
Blog: With the click of a button, you can create a blog on your website. Blogs are a great way of sharing new ideas, updating your content, and keeping your fans engaged with your website and brand. Having a blog is also a bonus for SEO, as long as it contains relevant and updated content.
2. SquareSpace (Best for Templates)
SquareSpace has many advantages as a portfolio builder. You can create absolutely stunning websites that are beautifully designed. It’s one of the most popular website builders for photographers, offering affordable pricing and responsive templates.
Whilst SquareSpace isn’t the easiest website builder to use, it doesn’t require any coding skills to pick it up. It offers plenty of tools and features in order for you to create a professional-looking online portfolio.
SquareSpace Pros and Cons
|SquareSpace's templates are extremely high quality and are highly regarded in the design world||No free plan available unlike most other website builders|
|Plenty of in-house step by step guides for you to follow||Can be a little more tricky to get the hang of using SquareSpace, so not recommended for complete beginners|
|Very affordable pricing considering the tools and features on offer|
|PERSONAL||BUSINESS||BASIC COMMERCE||ADVANCED COMMERCE|
|FREE CUSTOM DOMAIN||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH AND STORAGE||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|BASIC WEBSITE METRICS||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|PROFESSIONAL EMAIL FROM GOOGLE||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|CUSTOMISATION WITH CSS AND JS||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|ADVANCED WEB ANALYTICS||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|$100 GOOGLE ADWORDS VOUCHER||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|PROMOTIONAL POP UPS AND BANNERS||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|FULLY INTEGRATED ECOMMERCE||✘||✔||✔||✔|
|POINT OF SALE||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|ABANDONED CART RECOVERY||✘||✘||✘||✔|
In comparison to Wix, SquareSpace is quite a lot more expensive. They don’t offer a free plan and their cheapest plan comes in at £10 per month. However, SquareSpace offer a more premium approach to their services. They don’t have cheaper plans which have adverts on, or subdomains that don’t look professional. They are all about getting your website online and looking great.
If you’re looking at creating your own online portfolio, their personal plan should offer all the features you require. However, if you do want to start selling some of your products (perhaps artwork), then their business plan will give you a taste of what’s to come.
Blog: As well as it being quick and easy to add pages to your website, so is creating a blog. Having a blog is a great way for your visitors to engage on a higher level with you. You can publish fresh and unique content that will get indexed by Google, making your website even more visible online.
Support: SquareSpace’s support is second to none. They offer 24/7 customer service all year round. On top of this, they have a wealth of helpful tutorial videos and guides to walk you through any issues you might encounter. I really like the fact you can watch these videos during your own time and take things at your own pace.
Editing: SquareSpace’s editor is extremely easy to use. Everything is driven from a sidebar menu which is easily accessible at any time. As opposed to Wix’s slightly intrusive floating toolkit, I find SquareSpace quite simple to work with. The only trouble is they offer so much, it can be a little overwhelming.
3. Weebly (Best for Budget)
Weebly is a great choice for beginners or those that are conscious about their budget. Weebly’s online portfolio creator makes building a website simple, whilst offering some pretty awesome features. Even on its low-cost plans, you won’t feel like you’ve missed out as their value for money is incredible.
Whilst it may not offer the best templates around, Weebly’s designs have certainly improved of late. They might not be as in-depth as those that SquareSpace offer, but they’re certainly eye-catching whilst offering a level of simplicity that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Weebly Pros and Cons
|Weebly offers high levels of customisation across the board. Whether you're looking to redo an entire template or just edit elements, their editor is simple to use||A lot of Weebly's apps and extensions require a premium plan|
|Weebly offers developers a space to edit code directly||Weebly's personalisation can lack somewhat unless you know how to code|
|There's plenty of pricing plans to suit most budgets and customers|
|REMOVE WEEBLY ADS||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|LEAD CAPTURE AND CONTACT FORMS||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|ADVANCED SITE STATS||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|ADVANCED ECOMMERCE STATS||✘||✘||✔|
|ACCEPT PAYMENTS THROUGH SQUARE||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|ACCEPT PAYMENTS THROUGH 3RD PARTIES||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|AUTOMATIC TAX CALCULATOR||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|SQUARE GIFT CARDS||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|INTEGRATED SHIPPING LABELS||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|GOOD SHIPPING DISCOUNTS||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|CHAT AND EMAIL SUPPORT||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Weebly’s pricing is quite broad. They offer something for everyone, even boasting an entirely free for life plan. Their free plan does have some drawbacks though; there’s limited storage space, you won’t be able to connect a custom domain, and your website will have Weebly branded adverts on it.
If you’re looking to display your online portfolio in a professional sense, you’re going to have to pay for their £9 per month plan, else you’ll have Weebly adverts. If you don’t mind this, then, by all means, go for their Connect plan, however, I personally don’t think it looks very professional.
Apps: Weebly offers a big selection of apps in its App Center. These range from SEO apps to image uploaders that help with meta tags. Their apps are great for boosting your presence on Google and other search engines, offering higher rankings for relevant keywords and more. However, most of these apps are only available to premium customers.
Simple Editor: Weebly’s editor is really simple and easy to use. It’s enabled with drag and drop functionality so you literally just move elements onto or off of your page. It’s an ideal solution for those who want to get a little creative, but also for developers who want to edit code directly.
SEO Options: Weebly’s basic SEO covers most of the essentials. However, if you’re on a premium plan, their SEO-boosting apps are pretty incredible. As I mentioned earlier, they offer apps that automatically prompt entering metadata, descriptions, and tags. Although this sounds like a simple feature, it’s essential if you are looking to boost your SEO.
4. GoDaddy (Best for Simplicity and Speed)
Whilst you may recognise GoDaddy for offering web hosting and domain names, they also offer a great website builder. If you’re looking to create an online portfolio in record time, GoDaddy is definitely a go-to option.
It won’t offer as many features or as complex tools like Wix or SquareSpace, but it certainly does the job at an affordable price. GoDaddy’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) means you can answer a small set of questions and your website will be designed for you. It’s a pretty neat feature!
GoDaddy Pros and Cons
|Extremely easy to use with drag and drop functionality||Offers limited design features compared to other website builders|
|24/7 support, offering a reliable and well-known brand||GoDaddy doesn't offer many features or feel as personal as it's competitors|
|GoDaddy offers an all-in-one solution, with web hosting, domain names and a website builder in one place|
|SOCIAL MEDIA LISTING PLATFORMS||1||3||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SOCIAL POSTS AND RESPONSES||5/mo||20/mo||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|EMAIL MARKETING SENDS||100/mo||500/mo||25,000/mo||25,000/mo|
|BOOK ONE-TIME APPOINTMENTS||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|ONE-TIME GROUP EVENTS||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|RECURRING GROUP EVENTS||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|EMAIL AND TEXT REMINDERS||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|ACCEPT ONLINE PAYMENTS||✘||✘||✔||✔|
|ADD AND EDIT PRODUCTS||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|SETUP FLEXIBLE SHIPPING||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|SELL PRODUCTS DIRECTLY||✘||✘||✘||✔|
|MANAGE DISCOUNTS AND PROMOTIONS||✘||✘||✘||✔|
GoDaddy’s pricing plans start from £6.99 per month. However, they do offer a 1 month free trial on all of their pricing plans. I’d definitely recommend signing up for their free trial so you can get a taste of whether you like their website builder or not.
For £6.99 per month, you’ll get a free SSL, custom domain connection, and access to GoDaddy Insight. However, you won’t be able to use their SEO tools which will be essential to getting your online portfolio found online. If I were setting up an online portfolio, I would opt for their £9.99 per month plan.
ADI: Once you’ve answered a few basic questions, GoDaddy will create a template just for you. You are free to put your own content straight onto the template or edit it to your heart’s content. You can choose which theme you prefer, alter the colours, change images, and make it your own. However, their ADI tool gives you the ability to have the basics laid out on a plate for you.
Templates: GoDaddy offers well over 300 professional templates. The designs are pretty good in my opinion, and may even outdo Weebly’s. After looking through their selection, there’s plenty of suitable templates for an online portfolio, with specific templates offering social media integration which is a great platform to show off your flair.
Customer Support: Whilst GoDaddy may not offer the extensive list of features other website builders do, their customer support is hard to beat. In my personal experience, having support options 24/7/365 is well worth it. I’ve never been let down by GoDaddy and it’s great to speak to someone for support and advice when needed.
Strikingly is a great website builder that caters to a wide market. Everyone and anyone can use Strikingly to create a website or online portfolio. It offers a simple editor and plenty of helpful and useful resources.
Strikingly offers a free plan to all of its customers which we will go into more later on. It’s a great platform for scalability, starting small and allow you and your website to grow with their services.
Strikingly Pros and Cons
|Great for beginners, offering simplicity and support 24/7||Limited creative control may mean customers outgrow the platform|
|Strikingly offers some brilliant blogging tools making it a good option for those wanting to boost SEO||Free plan offers one-page websites only making it very limited for online portfolios|
|Free plan means there's something for everyone and gives you a taste of more to come|
|CONNECT CUSTOM DOMAIN||✔||✔||✔|
|WEBSITES||2 Limited||3 Pro||5 Pro|
|PRODUCTS||5 per site||300 per site||500 per site|
|STRIKINGLY APP STORE||✘||✔||✔|
|MOBILE ACTION BUTTONS||✘||✔||✔|
|REMOVE STRIKINGLY BRANDING||✘||✔||✔|
|ENGLISH PHONE SUPPORT||✘||✘||✔|
|PRICE||$8/mo (£6.10)||$16/mo (£12.20)||$49/mo (£37.36)|
Strikingly’s pricing seems a tad expensive compared to its competitors. When you compare what features are on offer, their pricing plans seem quite limited. However, they do offer a free plan which includes unlimited free sites, a strikingly.com domain, 5GB bandwidth, and 24/7 support.
If you do opt for their free plan, you will only be able to build 1-page websites. Whilst this might suit some customers, I wouldn’t recommend it for online portfolios. It will definitely limit what you can show off, whereas other website builders like Weebly won’t.
Customer Support: Strikingly’s customer support is really good. Their live chat option is easy to use and very responsive. I was able to talk to someone within 1 minute of connecting and they were very friendly and helpful.
Easy to use: Strikingly’s platform is very easy to use. The drawbacks of this are there aren’t many features on offer compared to Wix and SquareSpace. However, if creating a basic website in no time at all is suitable for you, then you should have no trouble getting to grips with their tools.
Newsletters: Although this option is only available on their VIP plan, it is a great feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. You’ll be able to send up to 2000 contacts per month, engaging with customers and building your brand.