This is a guide to the best portfolio websites for displaying your graphic design, web design, art or photography creations.
A portfolio website is the easiest way of showcasing your creative work to potential clients.
After all, creating an online portfolio of all your best work is much quicker than building a physical photo book or portfolio.
Portfolio websites allow you to reach more people in more places at no additional cost – as long as your contact details are displayed, your next creative job could be just around the corner!
Start a free 7-day Lightroom trial to get instant access to Adobe Portfolio.
The best portfolio websites should feature attractive templates, customizable layouts, a simple drag and drop website builder, blogging tools and ideally SEO tools too.
Some creative professionals prefer a single-page website style portfolio, while others benefit from multiple pages – there are plenty of free options available for you to start making a portfolio today.
Let’s take a closer look first at our recommendations.
8 Best Free Portfolio Websites in 2022
The options listed below allow you to create and manage a free account for your photography or design portfolio.
Most free portfolio websites can upgrade to a paid membership that gives you additional features, capability, or an ad-free version.
They are a great way to start a portfolio website while you grow your business enough to start investing.
1. Adobe Portfolio
All Creative Cloud subscriptions include Adobe Portfolio. So, if you already use an Adobe app for your graphic design process or your photography projects, you can have a free portfolio website.
You can choose between creating a landing page or a portfolio site with multiple pages. The platform is very easy to use, and you can customise your own website by adding blocks of images, text, contact forms, etc.
There’s a Behance and Lightroom integration, so you can easily import your projects and keep your portfolio updated. You also have access to Adobe Fonts.
You can protect single pages or the entire website with a password, and you can create up to five different websites optimised for any device. You’ll be assigned a personal myportfolio.com domain name, but you can also buy a custom domain and connect it with your portfolio page.
Behance is a platform created by Adobe where you can display your work and connect with other creators. It’s completely free to use, and – unlike Adobe Portfolio – you don’t need to have an Adobe membership.
Behance is one of the best portfolio websites to meet potential clients and find creative jobs. That’s because you can navigate Behance’s job list and apply using your profile and portfolio.
On Behance, you can only build a one-page portfolio website, but you can upload unlimited projects to it. It also works like a social media network where you can follow your favourite authors, create mood boards, and appreciate other portfolio websites.
Dribble is not meant to be your online portfolio. It’s more like a showcase platform that needs to work in combination with your portfolio website – let me explain.
Dribble is a community of creatives (you can be a graphic designer, web designer, UX designer, creative director, art director, a design studio, etc.).
Each one shows small screenshots of their own work to attract prospective clients who will then visit their design portfolios to have an in-depth look at what they can do.
You can open an account for free whenever you want – but only to browse. If you want to display your own work, you need to be invited by other designers. It’s worth the effort, though, because Google, Facebook, Apple, Shopify, Dropbox, and other big companies are among the potential customers.
WordPress.com gives you the chance to build a portfolio website for free with a limited capacity of 1GB and a wordpress.com domain name. If you want to connect with your own domain name or need a bigger capacity, you can upgrade to a paid version.
You can use the built-in website builder to make a design portfolio without coding knowledge – just using blocks to add texts, photos, forms, etc.
The free plan has limited features, but you can easily create a great portfolio website. Then, you can upgrade once you’re ready to add any of the multiple plug-ins, such as an online store.
Wix has three types of plans for you to build a portfolio website: the free plan, the website plans, and the business and e-commerce plans.
Wix has tons of customizable themes and templates that you can use regardless of the type of plan, so you can create a beautiful graphic design portfolio or one for your photos for free. Of course, it does have limitations – otherwise, why would you upgrade.
Some of the most significant limitations are the 500MB maximum storage, it doesn’t allow for online payments, it doesn’t support video, it doesn’t have Google Analytics, and it has Wix ads on every page and favicon. You also have to use it with a wixsite.com domain.
The interface is very easy to use, and you can create as many websites as you want. It’s also optimized for mobile devices.
Mostly catered for photographers (although all creators are welcome), Pixieset offers you the possibility to make a free portfolio website.
With the free account, you have up to 3GB storage, unlimited galleries, and the possibility to sell your work by paying a 15% commission.
Similar to ShootProof, Pixieset allows you to customize the template that better represents your brand identity using the website builder. As you grow, you can upgrade for more storage space, client-proof galleries, sales without commissions, and other features.
Coroflot is a platform for designers to find job opportunities and promote their work. Here, you can create a designer portfolio, find inspiration, browse the job list, and even explore design salaries worldwide.
To join the Coroflot community, you need to send an application with some personal information and samples of your work.
If you’re a freelance graphic designer, Coroflot could be a great place to find other graphic designers to collaborate with or even to find your next job – just be sure to keep your design portfolio updated with the latest trends.
Crevado is a free, easy-to-use portfolio site. You can upload your content and arrange it with simply a drag-and-drop method.
It has a minimal design, and you can get the site up and running in no time. If you’re not looking to upgrade to other management tools or e-commerce and you simply want your work online for free – Crevado is an excellent option.
Popular Paid Portfolio Websites
If you’re willing to invest a little money into your own portfolio website, the following paid options allow for more customisation and handy features.
Squarespace is one of the best portfolio websites where you can showcase your work, build your brand with marketing tools, and sell your products or services.
Whether you’re a photographer, a graphic designer, or a visual artist, you can use Squarespace to manage your business.
To build your online portfolio, you can choose the template, font, and color palette that better fits your design style. Also, you can set up a store to sell prints and artworks – you can even offer in-person pickups for your local clients.
As for your graphic design and photography services, you can offer online bookings and send reminders.
Last but not least, grow your audience by offering coupons, running email campaigns, using SEO tools to drive traffic to your site, etc.
Squarespace offers four different plans with monthly or yearly payments and a free trial period.
CarbonMade starts by asking you about your line of work -this way, it can offer you website designs specifically for your profession. You can later customize the template using blocks that work with drag-and-drop.
The platform supports images, 4k video, before-and-after visuals, audios, pdf files, etc. You can change the website navigation with one click and use a color picker and gradient for a more creative outlook.
There are three plans, and you get unlimited storage for photos and video, even on the most basic. Also, in all three, you have Insights and Analytics included to keep track of the site visitors.
PhotoShelter is a platform to manage your digital assets, collaborate, and create an online portfolio. You can use it as a freelancer (marketed for photographers but useful for any visual creator) or as a brand/organization.
As a photography freelancer, you can set up your website using any of the nine templates, build an online shop partnering with different printing labs, and create galleries and deliver high-resolution files to your clients.
As a creative team, you can access your media from multiple devices and on the go, tag images using AI, share photos and content with integrated accounts, get custom recommendations to organize your media library and more.
Whether you want to store, organize or showcase your online portfolio, PhotoShelter has a plan for you.
Using a minimalist web design, you can create a website that organizes your work into projects which can later be organize into portfolios.
Fabrik’s smart designs adapt according to your content, leaving your work always at center stage. You can also toggle your galleries from private to public easily – or you can use password protection.
Quickly change the layout of your work to have it neatly displayed and change the look of your overall portfolio without starting over.
There are three pricing plans depending on how much storage you need and how many projects/portfolios you want to upload. You have a 14-day free trial period.
Like any other portfolio website, Smugmug has different plans depending on the features, storage space, etc. You can choose your plan according to your budget or select your must-have features, and Smugmug will propose the plan that better fits your needs.
Even the most basic plan offers unlimited high-resolution storage, privacy and image protection controls, a personalized website for your portfolio, and 24/7 support.
You can then add the use 0f drag and drop templates, personalized domain names, sales and fulfilment tools, client management features, and marketing instruments.
In other words, you can use SmugMug for something as basic as creating an online portfolio up to running your entire business with it.
You can start with the basic plan and gradually upgrade as your business grow. You can use the 14-day free trial to see if this is the best portfolio website for you.
Read more: ShootProof vs SmugMug: Online galleries compared
Right from the landing page, you can browse websites created with Semplice to see what you can make with it. You can even filter them by country and creative profession.
Semplice allows for complete customization of the website, so forget about limiting templates. It supports photo and video files, full-screen images, interactive image and text grids, and custom animations.
You can also integrate your Instagram feed, your Dribble shots, a MailChimp module, and many other blocks to make your portfolio exactly as you want it. If you know how to code, you can add your own to ‘hack’ your site.
It also has Semplice V6, allowing you to create a blog and publish a magazine, a journal, or a news section together with your portfolio.
Semplice doesn’t have a subscription-based program – it’s a single purchase for a lifetime license. You can choose from three options according to your needs, but you can grow from the first two plans into the third ‘Business’ one if your studio grows.
Pixpa has one of the most affordable plans for a paid portfolio website – and it has a 50% discount for students and educators.
Depending on your plan, you can create a portfolio, build an online store, add a blog, enable client galleries for proofing and sharing, and create an e-commerce store to sell photo prints and downloads.
It allows for more than 50 third-party integrations such as Paypal, Instagram, Google Maps, Booking Bug, Issuu, and Tawkto.
You can choose the template you like most and start customizing it immediately – or with the more expensive plans, you can have a Pixpa expert set up your website for free.
Format offers you the tools to build your website using Online Portfolio and run your business using Workflow. You can subscribe to just one of these solutions or get the bundle.
You can browse the templates by profession or by type of gallery. You can then design your website, set up a marketplace to sell prints, upload your images to the cloud, etc.
Otherwise, you can hire a Format expert to build your photography or graphic design portfolio – but this option is only available for Pro Plus members.
As you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get your work out for the world to see when getting an online portfolio is this simple.
Whether you opt for one of the free portfolio websites we recommend here or prefer to pay for a premium online portfolio service with more features, getting your work in front of an Internet audience is the most important step!
These are just our top picks for building a portfolio website. If you have a favourite one that didn’t make the list, please share it with us in the comments.