7 Great Places to Build an Online Portfolio

With the world of design moving and growing at a faster pace than ever before, having a place to build, maintain and store an online portfolio that can be displayed at any time is essential for staying at or getting to the front of the pack. However, choosing the place where your portfolio will live can be a challenging yet critical decision. Like any online endeavor, starting at the right place is the most important step.

Check out a few of the options that are a favorite of many designers. Think about the look and feel you’re trying to create and how the tools on each site work. Find your comfort zone and go from there.

1. Behance

Behance Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioCreated by Adobe, Behance is an online portfolio building and sharing site – a social network by designers, for designers. Marketed as a tool to help designers take creative control, the network links up to traditional social media sites for maximum impact.

Within Behance, studios and artists can display individual pieces of work or projects for free. There’s also the option to upgrade to a pro plan to publish (11 monthly or $99 a year). The network is a favorite of professionals looking to hire designers and as such, is taken seriously. Views, appreciations, artist information and other data are publicly available to help with individual marketing. To increase exposure, Behance is an excellent starting point.

2. Carbonmade

Carbonmade Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioIf simplicity matters to you, Carbonmade is right up your alley. Created as a simple drag and drop portfolio builder, Carbonmade brings all the tools needed to give a portfolio the look and feel the artist or designer is going for without paying the big bucks – it’s free for up to five projects and 35 images or $12 monthly after that.

Carbonmade requires no knowledge of HTML or coding of any type, and allows designers to connect with other designers in an easy, social-networking style. A favorite of photographers and illustrators, the site’s categorization options make highlighting specific pieces of art or collections simple while keeping the designer in control at all times.

3. DeviantART

DeviantART Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioFor designers looking to monetize their pieces of art, DeviantART should be their top choice. Based on a commission structure, artists, illustrators and photographers can display individual pieces of art while receiving payouts from the stock photography-like site model.

Artists are able to create a personalized profile and multiple galleries while reaching a large audience for free. Furthermore, each designer remains in control of which pieces of art are sold in the DeviantART shop, which remain for private use only. To monetize a portfolio, DeviantART is a solid starting point.

4. Dribbble

Dribbble Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioWhile it’s not a traditional portfolio builder or display site, Dribbble is essential for any designer looking to grow in his or her trade. Available for free or with a professional option of $20 a year, Dribbble is affordable and worth your time.

Marketed as a “show and tell” for designers, the community exists to help one another by answering questions, sharing pieces of art, screen shots, progress and other design pieces leading to promotion and networking opportunities. If artist feedback helps your creative process, setting up a Dribbble account is a good idea.

5. Dunked

Dunked Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioMarketed as a free, easy-to-use, standard drag and drop solution that requires no coding or HTML knowledge whatsoever, Dunked is an easy, no frills platform for building an online portfolio.

With a smaller network than some of the other mentions, Dunked gives control to the designer and enables each user to select from pre-make templates, upload images, embed various file types, and to customize to a limited extent. This free solution is an excellent way to start an online portfolio.

6. Portfolio Box

Portfoliobox Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioSimilar to DeviantART, Portfolio Box combines a portfolio format with the ability to monetize designs and artwork.

Designers can share photos, illustrations, web designs and more in galleries, individual pages, the store and video networks. While pre-existing themes and templates are not available, making it a little more complicated than the drag and drop options – still doable without coding knowledge, however – Portfolio Box is a total package. The solution offers a free plan with hosting of up to 40 images, or a Pro plan for $6.90 a month.

7. Subfolio

Subfolio Logo - 7 Great Places to Build an Online PortfolioFor artists looking to take the “hands-off” approach to creating an online portfolio, Subfolio is the solution of choice.

Still in Beta mode, Subfolio was created to enable artists to display artwork publically or privately without the hassle. The program reads computer file systems and creates websites out of pre-selected folders and content. According to the site, “Folders become sections, files become pages.” Available by request, pricing is based upon the number of files and revealed by the platform after initial contact is made. Simple, sophisticated and hassle-free, Subfolio acts as your private design studio and agent in one.

The options for creating an online portfolio are endless and so are the benefits. Artists and designers have total control over the way their work is shared online. Create a portfolio and get noticed today.

About the author

Lexie Lu

Hello! My name is Lexie and I have a fervor for design, writing, and coffee. I graduated with a dual major in Creative Writing and Commercial Design, and through those grueling study hours (facilitated by coffee, of course) I always found time to write for myself.

My posts feature design trends throughout all industries and show how the field is always changing. There’s never a dull moment in the design world!


  • Useful summary Erin, thanks. I like Behance personally, because it’s a nice mixture of various types of graphic design, (I.e. logos, typography, illustration etc.) DeviantART seems to be mostly illustration and photography.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tristan! I’ve also noticed that the different platforms cater to different genres of work. I agree that DeviantART is a little less graphic design and a little more illustration artwork, but I felt like it couldn’t not be included!

      By the way, I checked out your blog. Are you planning on starting to update again? Nice to meet another design blogger, either way! 🙂

  • Hey Adrienne,

    I would like to pitch another portfolio tool to you, that you probably don’t know yet.
    ALLYOU.net was created by a Swiss design studio “for people who have an eye for design but no patience for complicated interfaces”. I’d be very interested to hear your opinion about it: http://www.allyou.net


    • Thanks for sharing your tool, Judith!

      I haven’t had a chance to look at it in detail yet, but on first inspection it looks like a great portfolio tool!

  • Online portfolio can also get you more business. People get information regarding your designing talent through these online portfolio websites.

  • Hi Adrienne,

    Your list of free portfolio builders is really solid. I’ve been help building clickbooq.com, a portfolio builder for professional photographers.

    While I know your a designer we’re working hard to integrated into the workflow of designers as well. Please check it out when you get a chance!!

    • Thanks for sharing, Julian! I gave it a quick look and it seems really nice! I’ll take a closer look later and may include it in a roundup like this in the future.

  • Thank you for this list, Lexie!
    I’d also like to suggest Pixpa. The themes are way more intuitive than most of the platforms I’ve tried.

  • +1 for Pixpa. I recently started with their free trial and the platform already seems more intuitive than most other platforms I’ve tried. Haven’t yet explored its full capabilities, but definitely enjoying the process.

  • Amongst all these websites Portfolio Box is best from my personal prospective . its Pro plan is much impressive . One of my friend have been used this for making his portfolio and after using this he personally suggest me this . I have browsed all these website you mention here and found all of these are good . Finally I have a request if I would like paid membership with any portfolio making website which would be much better from your prospective .? I hope I will get your answer .

    • Hey Adam,

      Dribble is a great resource where you can also connect with prospective clients and other designers to get feedback. I’d recommend that one—Good luck!

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