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Portfolio

I love taking pictures. I also like sharing the images I take, showing them off to the world in style, and offering others the opportunity to own the artworks I create. It doesn’t sound like a particularly challenging feature list to satisfy, but my experience says differently, particularly when it comes to affordable solutions. Over the years, I have tried literally dozens of hosted site builders, content management systems and design-conscious networks in the hope of finding the desired blend, with only limited success.

There have been a few close misses. I’m impressed with many elements of Behance‘s ProSite system, particularly on the design side of things, while at the other end of the spectrum, Weebly is affordable, customizable and easy-to-use, with some decent ecommerce options. Unfortunately, the former service’s $11/month price tag, and the latter’s inability to deliver dynamic galleries and photologs makes neither platform truly viable.

My most recent tour of the available services ended with the creation of a Tumblr blog — but I still think there must be a better option. Maybe that option will be Portfoliobox. This one-year-old Stockholm-based outfit has already amassed 62,000 users, which is hardly surprising given the generous feature-set offered even for free account holders. But does it deliver on its promises?

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If you’re a creative professional, you probably have enough to do between working on projects, managing clients and keeping track of finances — so where’s the time to set up and maintain an online portfolio? There are several apps out there for this very purpose, but many users might find the current crop of portfolio builders a bit too demanding — wouldn’t it be nice if you could throw together a site by simply uploading a few images, without the hassle of a CMS?

That’s the thinking behind RetinaFolio, a new app that creates portfolio sites using images and video from your Dropbox folder. With RetinaFolio, you can update your content by simply adding and removing images in Dropbox, without even having to fire up your web browser. Easy peasy indeed, but is it enough to impress your clients? Let’s build a portfolio for ourselves and find out.

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So you want to get your own website up and running? For those of us who want to do anything other than blog, the CMS options are somewhat limited. WordPress seems to be the default option for most websites, and it can be wrestled into nearly any shape required of it. However, this isn’t an easy road to take, and the end result is usually a far from ideal method of managing your site.

Enter the new Koken CMS. Still in beta, this free-to-download website manager has been built with the needs of creative folks in mind – beautiful galleries and easy to publish blogging with the minimum of fuss. As a photographer myself, I was very keen to try Koken, in the hope of finding the holy grail of self-hosted portfolio building, but does this fledgling CMS match its own hype?

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Whether you’re wanting to promote your business online or find a way to let others quickly find out more about you, you’ll want to have your own website. That’s not too much to ask for, especially in 2012, but if time’s at a premium and you’re not a design and coding expert, making a high quality website can still be a daunting task. There’s a number of ways you could make a blog online, using a pre-made theme, but if you’re wanting something more customized, you’ll have to look further.

That’s where Striking.ly comes in. It’s a great web app which lets you create attractive web pages in a few easy steps, and the final results are much nicer than you might expect. Let’s take a look.

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I come from a large family, and we are all quite close. In fact, we’re even close to the extended family — uncles, aunts, cousins. My grandfather and his five siblings made it a point to maintain a healthy relationship, which they passed on to the next generations. So for a long time, I have been pondering making a family tree to chart out our herd.

When I first came across PeoplePlotr, it seemed like a good idea to give it a try. The web app is made by the same guys who developed the easy-to-use timeline-maker Tiki-Toki. I’ve used that before and have been quite happy with it, so I dove right in.

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These days, it’s essential for visual artists of all disciplines to have an online presence so that their work can be found, followed and talked about in the industry. And there are indeed plenty of web apps one can use to create portfolio sites, with something for everyone and various feature sets. But what if you’re looking for something clean, elegant and easy to use, that lets your work do the talking?

The enthusiastic team behind Salon.io believe they have the answer – their still-in-the-works app allows you to create stunning showcases of your art with minimal effort, while retaining the flexibility to be customized as much as you need. But how does it fare against the competition? Let’s give it a try and find out! (more…)

As if creative professionals already didn’t have their hands full managing their careers and keeping their work relevant, they also have to maintain strong online presences in order to be visible to clients. The first step in this direction is a website that introduces you and your work to the world – but who has the time to build and maintain sites these days?

The team behind 4ormat believes that you can do it yourself. Their app gives you the tools you need to create beautiful portfolio websites with ease, without having to know how to design or code. There’s a lot you can do with 4ormat and the results are stunning, so if you’re ready to take the plunge and put your work online for all to see, let’s take a look at how we can build our own site.

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It almost seems that it’s more difficult to get a job than it is to do the job once you’ve been hired. One of the most frustrating things about trying to get a job is polishing your resume. You have to go through and think of all the jobs you’ve had, list any important details about your accomplishments and skills, then get it looking presentable. When you’re stressed over trying to find a job, that’s far from an easy task to undertake.

Resumonk is a new web app that helps you create the perfect resume, with the content you need laid out in a beautiful design. Resumonk takes over all formatting of your resume, allowing you to work on the content for your resume. Since you won’t have to worry about turning your info into a high-quality document, you can just devote all of your time and energy to making your resume the best it can be.

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Starting off a new design project can be difficult. In a lot of cases, there’s a period of to and fro between designer and client. Whether you’re in the initial planning stages, where new concepts and ideas are thrown about, or in the final stages, where tiny details are being tweaked before everything’s final, you’ll be going back and forth with your client dozens of times. There’s a number of ways you can exchange design ideas with your clients, but most of the time, you’ll end up working with email, even if you’d rather use an online design tool.

Welcome to Mail’ette. It’s a new web service that allows you to email in design proposals and have them formatted into a simple webpage to be shared with your clients. You can work with them from there, with built-in feedback and approval tools. Email may still be king, but it’ll make it much more useful for design work than before. Let’s take a tour!

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In this day and age, establishing your identity online is becoming almost as important as having a mobile phone. Whether you’re an individual looking to impress potential clients and employers, or a brand that wants to engage its audience on the web, an online profile is a must. Thankfully the web app industry has recognized this need and made a slew of services available to allow just about anyone to create websites and personal nameplates easily.

Sidengo is the latest player on this field and it comes armed with a secret weapon: the ability to embed your embed your sites anywhere. The app allows you to throw together a beautiful site in minutes with no coding knowledge required and can be run as is, placed on your Facebook page or within any widget that supports HTML code. Let’s build a site and find out how Sidengo works.

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