Top WordPress Alternatives to Create a Portfolio Website
A portfolio website is basically a gallery of readymade works of its owner. This website may contain information about a person, contact data, interesting articles etc. However, the major mission of a portfolio website is to showcase the photo works. This project is one of the simplest in terms of realization: there are not many pages and not too much text here. At the same time, there are many photos. Page design and photo quality are a priority here. The rest of the elements recede into the background.
The goal of creating a portfolio website is to present the talents of a person in the most favorable light to attract new clients. This is a great promo tool. Creative people (like interior designers, musicians, photographers, artists etc.) are generally far removed from programming knowledge and web creation skills. No wonder they start looking for a professional when there is the need to create a portfolio website for them. These website specialists usually make portfolios using the WordPress CMS because of its popularity and convenience.
It goes without saying that WordPress is a great platform. An experienced user can even create a large online eCommerce website, a news portal or a mega forum using WordPress, not to mention a simple portfolio website. The service offers a rich choice of templates, plugins, code editing and module creation options and other benefits that make the platform a powerful and flexible web building tool in the hands of a real pro. WordPress is rightfully considered the most popular CMS in the world.
But what should an ordinary photographer do with a website created with this platform? A user may not have any idea of how the system is structured, what the modules are for and how to make use of the dashboard options. Consequently, a user won’t have any other choice but to get in touch with a web developer and order website management assistance, paying for the service. While you will simplify the web creation process itself, you will still face portfolio management problems in the long run. This will eventually result in extra financial expenditures and time delays. Do you really need such a website? Isn’t it simpler to create it on your own then to deal with all the nuances?
It definitely makes sense to create a portfolio website on your own, but WordPress is not the best solution for this purpose. People who don’t have any desire to learn the technical nuances of using a CMS won’t like this approach at all. If you use WordPress, you will have to explore the plugins, hosting settings, safety controls and so much more. As a result, you may be faced with a lot of inconveniences. This is not what you really need, is it? What you need instead is your own portfolio that you’ll be able to update from time to time, adding new publications without any extra problems.
A nice WordPress alternative that may be used to create a simple portfolio is a website builder with a visual editor. The simplicity of the service doesn’t mean that you will be able to launch portfolio websites for your personal use only. Even if you are going to create custom made websites for your clients, they will still prefer getting a website with an intuitive structure and dashboard. Otherwise, you will have to invest much effort and time into your readymade project management, thus leaving your clients unsatisfied with the need to make extra payments, or for you to be forced to continually provide support and training for the CMS without cost. Who will have the desire to work for free? That’s why you should carefully consider how to best approach your own and your client’s websites.
When it comes to CMS, you will hardly find decent WordPress alternatives just because the system is popular and well-developed. To complete simpler projects (promo websites, landing pages, blogs and, of course, portfolios), it makes sense to use less complicated web building tools like website builders. Let’s focus on the most effective web design services, namely, SITE123, uKit, Mobirise and Ucraft. You’ll get setup hosting, thematic templates, automatically generated databases and SEO. You can create websites in these systems without the need to worry about other technical aspects. This is much simpler and convenient.
If you manage to learn how to work with website builders, you’ll be also able to use a CMS if needed. You will already have the required experience to do that. However, starting your web building experience with WordPress is too harsh, especially if you are far from the web design niche nuances. You run a risk of facing too many problems in the future, with constant core and plug-in updates that can potentially break your website. There is no sense in exploring all the technical nuances just to make one website.
Now, let’s review the specifications of each website builder mentioned. All of them work well to create a portfolio website and come with a trial (Mobirise is an entirely free tool). You can test them in any order you need without paying for the opportunity.
It won’t take you longer than one night to create a portfolio website with this service. Just select a template (all of them are responsive), a layout (there are 13 structure variants), a color scheme that can be manually setup and add the gallery. You can create a full-screen, single- or multipage portfolio with/without a sidebar, footer and header. These settings can easily be done in a few minutes only.
All in all, there are 8 gallery types with versatile design in the system. You can publish your portfolio on the home page or any other page you wish. You can also add several galleries for different image categories. The number of photos to be added to the gallery is unlimited. If needed, you can upload 20 photo screens. This, however, will hardly be a good idea. Instead, it’s better to sort the photos out and publish them in different galleries joined by themes and separated by menu points.
Generally, SITE123 is a great tool for those who are willing to create an appealing portfolio website. No coding, simple dashboard, attractive templates, flexible design settings and the availability of a free plan contribute to the benefits of this system.
This is an impressive website builder to launch a portfolio. By using a “gallery” widget, you can publish unlimited number of photos. You can use the widget as many times as you need, which makes it possible to create as many galleries on your website as required.
uKit gallery can be set up in a simple and flexible way. Choosing the number of columns with photos (having chosen “1”, the images will occupy the entire screen without fields), adding photo signatures (visible or popping up) as well as alt/description tags will contribute to further portfolio website promotion.
All the templates are responsive, thematic and specially created to be easily adjusted to portfolios websites. It’s easy to create a photographer site here, for example. Just select a ready-made template, fill it with photos, information and publish. You can use color schemes of your own, Google Fonts and any combination of blocks.
Compared to other representatives of the contemporary web design niche market, uKit cost is worth the attention. This is one of the most affordable paid website builders of all. The system is well adapted to graphic content presentation, including large thumbnails, responsive templates and modern template designs. It looks great and you can master it in around 10 minutes. You will need one night only to create a portfolio website of your own, provided that you have prepared the photos for publication in advance and you won’t have to sort out and edit them.
I have included Mobirise into this review as the best sample of desktop website builders. It is a great choice for newbies willing to create their first websites. There are Mobirise versions for Windows, Mac OS and Android. The platform is available absolutely for free. You just download and use it. This is legally allowed for commercial projects, just like portfolio websites. It takes around 2 minutes only to install Mobirise, including the process of downloading the software from the official website.
The program makes it possible to create web pages out of readymade blocks, which also include a gallery. You can choose a block template (all the them are responsive), which is the only design style to create web pages. The number of galleries and photos added is unlimited. If needed, you can expand the amount of blocks, templates and other paid options. As opposed to cloud website builders, all Mobirise payments are made only once – everything you will buy for the account will be stored forever. The website builder itself is free. It’s not obligatory to purchase extra features to create a portfolio website here.
It’s easy to set up a gallery block. You can decide on the best distance between the photos and neighboring blocks, adjust gallery width, add a text and tags for quick access to photo categories, choose background color etc. Generally, the number of settings is limited here, but all of them have notable impact on the quality of photo presentation. Portfolios created with Mobirise look appealing.
The type of this website builder implies that portfolio websites published here require hosting or cloud storage. You can also save project files to the local server. To publish the websites online, the system allows establishing FTP server connection to upload/update websites created with the platform.
All in all, Mobirise is the best desktop software to create portfolio websites. It is simple, convenient and free. The platform is a real find for a newbie.
Ucraft is the best service to create a portfolio website with creative design. All templates are responsive and have contemporary look. Lots of them make use of the duo-tone feature that makes it possible to divide a block into two color contrasting areas to feature the content in each of them.
The dashboard is impressive and intuitive. It will certainly appeal to creative people. You can add a gallery as a separately designed block or a blank widget so that you are able to further adjust things as you see fit. It’s possible to choose the number of images that will be displayed per line, decide on the distances and gallery background color. You can add an unlimited number of photos.
Apart from that, you will also like block animations – parallax and several fade types. They will give your portfolio a more impressive look. You can also use a multilingual feature, if you aim to target foreign audience as well or set up your own blog with Articles App feature.
The system has several stunning templates to create portfolio websites, which come with demo content. What you need is to adjust the design as per your needs and replace the available photos/data with those of your own.
Ucraft is an easy-to-use website builder, which is a perfect choice for newbies with creative skills and ideas. It looks harmonious and makes it possible to easily launch small websites like portfolios featuring quality design.
Anyone who needs a quality portfolio website doesn’t have to look for a web studio or a web designer. You can solve this task on your own with the help of website builders with visual editors. This is simpler than it initially seems.
You don’t need WordPress to successfully create a portfolio website. WordPress works well only for those users who are real niche professionals. You do not need a readymade website created with WordPress because with WordPress you will have to explore its nuances or hire a web designer to help you.
SITE123, uKit, Mobirise and Ucraft are the best services to create your first portfolio website. The result you eventually get looks professional and requires just a bit of money and time.
It’s close to impossible to decide on the best website builder. This depends upon the requirements of each user and each system has its own benefits. The smartest decision is to test the website builders on your own and make your choice. Good luck!
Written by Howard Steele,