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3 Easy Tools for Building a Professional Website

These days, finding freelance (or even full-time) work without an established and thoughtful web presence is next to impossible. It’s important to have an online presence that’s “Google-ready,” with a smart-looking website that shows off your professional work in a formal yet stylish setting, to lure publications into your professional brand and show them your best work.

But it’s hard to quickly put together a professional portfolio website with a dearth of disposable skills and time, and not many freelancers have the extra budget to hire a web designer.Thankfully, there are some fast, simple and stunning portfolio-building websites that will not only put your work online but also do it with the right amount of flair. Here are three standouts, with their ease and good looks, that can give you a great portfolio website without breaking the bank.

What’s your favorite portfolio website? Let us know in the comments.

Pressfolios

One of the most difficult tasks involved in sending a pitch packet or cover letter is including relevant clips. Whether it’s sending a large and ugly PDF or including a set of links at the bottom of the email, it’s rare that clips are presented in a simple and smart way — and can also do more for your web presence.

Enter Pressfolios, a minimalist and lightning-quick way to put all of your clips in one place. Now out of private beta, the portfolio website offers an easy and evergreen place to store all relevant clips online and presents them in a thoughtful, tile-based presentation. Compiling clips is as easy as copying over a URL from your favorite article and pasting it into the Pressfolios reader. You can also select your own image for the article to make the most visual impact. Once your portfolio is put together, you can encourage potential employers to access it through a smart permalink in your cover letter — making clips an easy and fluid part of your application package. 

(For more information, sister blog MediaJobsDaily posted an in-depth review on Pressfolios in May.)

Wix

If your portfolio includes multimedia pieces and tons of video, you can’t go wrong with a free site from Wix. The templates provided by the website are visually attractive and incorporate the most cutting-edge programming technology (hello, HTML 5!) that will not only showcase your best multimedia work but also make you look like a computer whiz with an eye for design.

While not as lightning quick as the bare-bones Pressfolios, Wix’s simple “What You See Is What You Get” platform means that you can just drag, add and alter features without straying away from the end product. Dropping in video and other multimedia projects is also a snap — there’s no need to worry about fussing with embed codes or proper sizing, thanks to the platform’s easy set-up wizards. The end result is almost always a composed and sophisticated layout that people will think took hours of hand coding to achieve.

However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to use your own domain name unless you link it to your Wix account and pay $4 per month — but it’s a small price to pay for a great looking portfolio.

Carbonmade

A lot of websites cater to writers, but what about designing a portfolio website for layouts or photos? While it’s a snap to upload photos into galleries onto standard gallery websites like Flickr or to a social media network like Facebook, a predefined and standalone portfolio space cannot only do wonders for your photos, but will also help boost your recognition online.

Carbonmade is one such portfolio site that really makes it all about the art. Simply sign up, select your domain, and add your photos to your new website with lossless compression. The free version comes with a limit of five projects and 35 photos, but you can also upgrade to an unlimited premium account for $12 per month. The websites are on the minimalist end — leaving a blank canvas for your work to really shine — but there is some customization involved so you can make it your own.

When it comes down to having a safe and personal place to post your prized photos or designs, Carbonmade is a quick and easy option that gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

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