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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
WordPress has been the base of many people’s blogs for quite a while now. It offers many great features on a stable platform and is also very easy to operate. The best part is customization: there are thousands of WordPress themes and plugins to enhance your readers’ experience. You can make WordPress do almost anything.
The only problem with having so many themes is that they’re not all the best for everyone. There’s WordPress themes to fit every taste and style imaginable, but that means you might have to pick through dozens to find the one you want. Today, I’m going to give you some insight on 20 WordPress themes that are clean and beautifully designed, especially if you like simpler themes that emphasize your content.
From Amazon’s runaway success with the Kindle platform to Apple’s new iBooks Author tool to help writers create interactive eBooks for their iPad iBooks store, eBooks are the story of the day for digital media. If you’ve ever considered writing a book or creating a new magazine, you’ll want to find the best tools to get your content published in the best way possible.
Calaméo is a digital publishing platform that allows you to publish documents not only for viewing on the web, but also for viewing on any iOS device. They offer native viewing platforms for iPhone, iPad, and the web. The only problem is, you’ll have to stick with their platform rather than selling your creations on any eBook store. Does it have enough to make an author that committed to their platform? Let’s take a look and see.
As a photographer or a creative professional, it should be easy to shoot or design your best work, day in and day out. That isn’t the problem. Showcasing your work is. If you are planning to sell your work online, that adds another layer of complexity to the process. To avoid paying an arm and leg for web design and development and to get started instantly, hosted portfolio services are a popular choice.
Pixpa promotes itself as a web app that assists photographers, artists and designers in creating a portfolio to showcase, share and sell all their online. Does it live up to the promise? We sure are going to check it out.
Over the past several years, there was an avalanche of photo sharing and showcasing web apps. Interestingly, though, most of these have been aimed at letting you quickly share simple pictures, rather than being designed around professional photography like Flickr. Facebook usage exploded and it turned into the World’s largest photo sharing site, while services like Instagram and Twitpic picked up where Twitter dropped the ball on photo sharing. Flickr and Photobucket stayed around, but there’s been much less innovation on professional photo sharing.
500px is a great photo community with a rating system, editorial selections, and professional portfolios. With a great selection of beautiful photographs, and the tools to make your work shine, it seems much more like a Flickr competitor than many of the newer sites aimed at quickly sharing photos. But is it awesome enough to take on established players, each with their own breed of loyal followers? Let us go find out.