Sites to build your portfolio for free

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This past week, we asked our staff one short, sweet question: What are the best free portfolio sites on the web?

We see 100 or more portfolios every week by many of our staff members. We’re sharing the fruits of their endless hours spent staring into monitors at portfolio websites of all shapes and sizes. There is nothing like having your OWN portfolio site with a brand and user experience you created if you are an Interactive Designer. Fortunately, there are many free options out there for folks who do not have the time or skills to start from scratch.

Let me return to our original question. By analyzing the responses we received from our excellent agents, we have compiled the best sites to showcase all of your hard work without spending any of your hard-earned money. We will thank you later.

  1. Coflot (36% of the vote)

This is not a surprise. With this site billed as “the largest, most established, and most diverse collection of professional creative portfolios in the world,” there is no doubt that this is one huge site. Coroflot was launched in 1998 and hosts over 1.4 million images created by more than 150,000 creators. Registration, invites, or applications are not required. There is also an excellent job board. Thanks!

  1. LinkedIn (20%)

From May 14th through 21st, our agents will attend some of Behance’s 468 Portfolio reviews around the world, but the site has been on the radar of many creatives since 2006. With millions of pageviews a month, Behance allows you to create a stunning portfolio that is connected to the design community via activity feeds, groups, and collections. This site is not only beautiful, but it’s also an effective free online portfolio building tool.

  1. Carbonmade (16%)

Carbonmade began as a designer’s frustration over the difficulty of putting his illustration work online, but has now grown into the home for nearly 400,000 portfolios. It may not have the social media features that Behance and Coroflot have, but its simplicity and ease of use make it appealing. The landing page includes a unicorn, so that’s an added bonus. There is a “Meh plan” from Carbonmade that includes five projects and 35 images for free. 

  1. Cargo (12%)

You must be invited to join Cargo to create freestanding personal websites with your own URL. If you contact Cargo with a sample of your work, they will likely award you a membership. Cargo is divided into two sections: a public website and a back end that connects members.

  1. Dribbble (4%)

As with Carbonmade, Dribbble began as a side project for Rich Thornett and Dan Cederholm, one of whom felt like an NBA player trapped in a software developer’s body (which explains the basketball theme that runs throughout). Designs and apps are showcased by designers by small screenshots, which are arranged in a portfolio or explored by screenshots arranged by popularity, “debuts” (new submissions), or keywords. Individual pieces can be commented on and critiqued by users. It is an excellent site.

To learn more about what makes these sites tick, check out Erik Hans Rasmussen’s post over at Vandelay Design.

It is possible to have more than one portfolio site. If Cargo offers you another one, for instance, you can keep your Behance one. Because there are so many options and so many people looking for work, it’s a good idea to put yourself out there. These sites are actively trolled by recruiters looking for new talent, so it’s a great way to discover new career opportunities.