Our big list of platforms and features for ePortfolios. There are a lot of platforms and a lot to consider! This page will keep evolving as we try more platforms, compute costs, share experience, and critique aesthetics.
Platforms & Costs
Don't be scared away! Yes these can add up to some cash! Hopefully after you graduate these sums will be reasonable in the context of your career. I realize that they might be scary as a student, but you have many options. Some options are as little as $10/year for a website & me.com. Other options range from there all the way up to $200/year.
WordPress.com is free forever, and VIRB's student discount is free for the 1st year. SquareSpace will give students 1/2 off the 1st year. If you want to brave the world of web servers (I'll help!), you can install free WP.org on free 4 students Gwiddle. (you'd still have to buy your "me.com" somewhere. Gwiddle is free server space 4 students that you can keep for free when you're no longer a student)
But if you put time in on a platform and end up having to move it later, that can be a substantial time cost. Cheaper now might not be cheaper in the long run.
2 ways we'll try to deal with the time cost of having to move a medium to large portfolio site are:
- Try a variety of platforms early while it's easy to move and get a feel for features and costs before committing to a platform.
- Organizing content via Dropbox, Flashdrive, or other means, so that you're well organized and can install your portfolio on another platform relatively easily if necessary.
Blog / CMS Platforms
Blogger's been around a long time. I tend to think of it as "old" software. But lots of peeps still use it and love it. Blogger is owned by Google. It's free to use and free to connect your me.com.
I personally like Ghost a lot! But it's a bit fussier than WordPress and for most artists WordPress will be a better choice. The Ghost software is free, but you need web server space. Or you can use Ghost.org for US$19/month. Markdown is the native way to write in Ghost. Markdown is my favorite way to write.
WordPress, and to some degree Blogger & Tumblr are blogs and also CMS' (content management systems). Medium, like Ghost, is really just a blog. It's got a nice interface and a lot of peeps love it. It's free to use. If you want to connect your me.com that's $75, but only one time, not annually.
Tumblr's a very fun platform. And it can be used for big sites. But I don't recomend Tumblr for Artist websites because it has so much association with teenage mood boards. Tumblr can work if you want it to, but there might be other choices. Tumblr is currently owned by Yahoo. It's free to use and free to connect your me.com.
WordPress is a blog and a CMS (Content Management System). WordPress powers about 25% of all sites on the web today. From tiny personal blogs to huge corporate sites, and everything in between.
WordPress comes in 2 flavors, WordPress.com & WordPress.org.
WordPress.org is a little bit more flexible and it is my personal choice. But you need to rent web server space from someone. So maybe bit more technical than most artists will prefer. (you can get free web server space from Gwiddle)
WordPress.com is "fremium" software. You can use it for free forever, and they'll provide the web server space for you. You can also pay for extra features, like using "me.com" instead of "me.wordpress.com"
We can collect some useful WP themes here. Like WP itself, themes can be Free or Pay. And on WP.org there are also Fremium themes where you get a lite version free and can pay for a fancy version.
Other People's Pixels
- Students - 1st Year Free
Design / Code
Most of you will want simpler ways of creating and maintaining your website. But if there are more technical peeps in the class, either wanting more customization of your own site, or the ability to build sites for artists & other clients, this might be a good space for you.
Adobe Experience Design
- Sublime Text $70 (Mac-Win-Lin)
- Adobe tools: Muse, Dreamweaver, etc - complete Adobe Creative Cloud (Mac-Win) is $50/month public, $20/month students, and free on campus computers
Coding your own will be more technical than most of you want to be, but a few of you might enjoy it.