Are you still looking for the ideal tool to build your exceptional online portfolio that will immediately grab your clients' attention?
Then you know that a certain amount of research is required before you find a portfolio builder that hits your sweet spot. I've already conducted a few detailed comparisons of Adobe Portfolio vs Wix vs Authory, Adobe Portfolio vs Squarespace vs Authory, and Journo Portfolio vs WordPress vs Authory.
This time, I'll be comparing Portfoliobox vs Squarespace vs Authory. Though none of these tools require coding skills, there are still some standout differences between them you should consider before choosing one.
• What I wanted in my ideal portfolio builder
• Exploration of each tool in some detail
• Why I chose Authory and not the other tools
What I wanted in my portfolio builder
Ease of use: I should be able to set up my portfolio easily, within a few clicks.
Content Format Flexibility: I should be able to upload content in multiple formats — text, audio, and video.
Adequate customizability: I don't need award-winning designs on templates, but I should be able to move elements around to get the aesthetic setup I want.
Analytics Support: I should be able to get some insight into how my published work is doing across the internet and social media.
Affordability: I should be able to afford the monthly plan. Ideally, it should be less than $10 a month.
Now, let's explore these tools in some detail.
Designed to create portfolio websites, in particular, Portfoliobox is best known for its customizability. The kicker is this: Portfoliobox lets you utilize a different style/theme for every page of your portfolio. This is especially appealing to artists, designers, illustrators, stylists, models — anyone looking to infuse vibrant creativity into their portfolio website.
Primary features of Portfoliobox
- Provides dynamic, responsive templates, optimized for mobile devices.
- Provides templates and galleries to present your work in multiple layouts.
- Provides project management tools that allow you to work, receive feedback on work, and push deliverables to clients from the tool itself.
- Enables password protection on galleries so that clients can view your work without downloading or transferring it.
- Allows clients to leave comments on your work within the tool itself.
- Provides a watermarking tool to prevent theft or unauthorized use of your images.
- Easy customizability of layouts and templates.
- Robust integration with Adobe Lightroom.
- Provides in-built eCommerce features. You can create an eCommerce store within your portfolio.
Examples of portfolios built with Portfoliobox
Emma Wilson is a designer who works with silversmithing and enameling.
Kate Strucka is a fashion and beauty photographer.
Light Plan: $3.50/month
Pro Plan: $9.50/month
Pro Plus Plan: $12.50/month
If you're looking for a website builder, Squarespace should be among the top contenders. Among website builders, it stands out, thanks to the thousands of sharply designed templates designed to cater to all niches — including portfolio creation.
Once you pick the right template (one meant for portfolios), it's an easy start. On top of that, you get a slew of features to meet your every requirement (ones beyond a simple portfolio). Some of them are advanced SEO features, eCommerce capabilities, and a free custom domain as long as you pay for your plan annually.
Primary features of Squarespace
- Hundreds of templates with unique designs that are fully customizable and responsive for mobile devices.
- Pre-designed layouts carrying necessary sections like ones for Contact, About Me, Blog, Products, Portfolio, and the like. This contributes to less work on your part.
- Enables the inclusion of multiple content types and page elements: text, photos, videos, audio, galleries, products, newsletter sign-ups, appointments, calendars, tour dates, reservations, menus, forms, maps, links, files, social links, buttons, quotes, custom code, charts, etc.
- Enables incorporation of password protection whether for a single page or the entire site.
- In-built SEO optimization for the entire portfolio.
- No plugins are required to expand website functionality.
- Sophisticated, in-built eCommerce stores that you can trigger with a couple of clicks.
- A drag-and-drop editor for easy customization and setup of your portfolio.
- Numerous extensions to allow integration of third-party tools that manage marketing, finance, sales, products, inventory, shipping, and the like.
Examples of portfolios made with Squarespace
Caylon Hackwith is a photographer, videographer, and art director.
Mike Perry is an Emmy award-winning artist.
Personal Plan: $23/month
Business Plan: $33/month
Commerce Basic: $36/month
Commerce Advanced: $65/month
Spoiler Alert: I went with Authory to build my portfolio, and then started writing for them.
This tool stands out because of two major features (among others, of course) — automatic importation AND backup of all bylined pieces from any digital source (website or social media).
In essence, Authory builds your portfolio for you while you relax (or, if you're like me, while you binge 2 whole seasons of Community).
Primary features of Authory
- Automating importing of all your bylined content from any digital source (website, social media, YouTube, podcast platforms). You just enter the URL of the site where your pieces or published, and the tool imports all your existing content. Additionally, it continues to import all future pieces published under your name on the sources you've fed into the system.
- All imported content is automatically and permanently backed up. It doesn't matter if the source link dies for some reason; your content is safely preserved on Authory's web server.
- Content backups occur in the content's original format i.e., text and/or media. No screenshots.
- Simple but effective options for customizations that leave your portfolio looking sharp and professional every time.
- All content is downloadable at any time as high-quality PDFs. You can also export it as HTML files. No lock-in period.
- Get email notifications every time a new content piece is imported by Authory.
- In-built search engine optimization and responsive design implementation for every portfolio.
- Sturdy analytics support: you get real monthly numbers on how your content performs across the web and popular social media sites.
- You can create newsletters with a couple of clicks, enabling the tool to send your newly published content to subscribers automatically. I repeat, the whole process is automatic after initial setup.
- Widgets to display your portfolio on other sites, such as your personal website (if you have one).
Examples of portfolios made with Authory
Ali M Latifi is a freelance journalist.
Melissa Kalt calls herself a “Solver of Unsolvable Problems,” “Master Healer,” and “Antifragile Narcissist Survival Expert.”
Portfoliobox vs Squarespace vs Authory
I've already stated that I chose Authory among these three portfolio builders, and I'll explore my justification for rejecting the first two and choosing the third below:
Why not Portfoliobox?
If your professional projects largely involve the use of high-res photographs and unique, original images, Portfoliobox makes perfect sense for you. Its clientele usually comprises artists, designers, models, and illustrators — people working with visual representation and expression.
For me, a freelance writer, Portfoliobox didn't offer much. Sure, I could copy-paste my publication, tastefully arrange design elements and create multiple pages with different, eye-catching layouts.
However, my clients do not care about the aesthetic nuances of my portfolio, as long as it works well, displays all my work, and is easy to navigate. While Portfoliobox was cheaper (or its most basic plan was) than the other two, it came with features I didn't need (Lightroom integration, dynamic galleries) and missed ones I did need (automatic importing, permanent content backup, etc.)
Why not Squarespace?
Among website builders, this is definitely the best website builder (or in the top 3) that I came across. It gives you every possible website feature, including integrated marketing tools and a free domain with every premium account (note that there is no option for a permanent free account).
However, once again, Squarespace provided a bunch of features I didn't need. I don't need world-bending designs on portfolio templates, an online store, project management tools, shipping tools, and the like. I needed a tool that found all my published pieces (over 6 years) and collated them in one location without me having to hunt them down.
Not to mention that Squarespace was wildly outside my budget.
Automatic importing of all my pieces that have ever been published or will be published.
Permanent backup of all imported pieces.
But, in all honestly, these two features really won me over. I would never have been able to find all my articles across different websites by myself. Not only am I a tad lazy, but I've also forgotten a lot of the pieces I published early on in my career. But, thanks to Authory, I have them all at my fingertips today.
Additionally, I'll never lose any of my pieces again, thanks to Authory's backup mechanism. Plus, the fact that I can get monthly updates on which pieces perform well compared to others, means that I can track which topics I need to work on, and which ones I can afford to relax with.
Last but not least, Authory provided one of the best video tutorials I have ever come across. It really helped me set up my portfolio within a couple of minutes, and take a much-needed nap.
Obviously, I do have some bias, given that I both use and write for Authory. So, why not just try out their 30-day free trial? You'll see that my positive review is more than deserved, and maybe even stick around after the trial ends.