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Portfoliobox Online Portfolio Builder Review

Portfoliobox Online Portfolio Builder Review  - We build our own Portfoliobox website to see how the site performs in our review.

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Portfoliobox

Portfoliobox is an online service allowing you to build your own online portfolio. 

Designed for creatives, such as photographers, designers, artists, stylists, models, architects etc., Portfoliobox claims it can aid you in creating an online portfolio that works for you. With features including galleries, blogs, an e-commerce facility and the ability to embed video, everything you could possibly want is at your fingertips. Here, we find out how easy it is to set up and create a Pro Portfoliobox website. 

Portfoliobox pricing

Portfoliobox PRO Website Features

There are two account options:

Free:

  • Customizable design
  • Commercial free
  • Limited hosting of 50 images, 10 products and 10 pages
  • Access to pro templates for 30 days. 

$6.90 per month (if paid in a lump sum for the year): 

  • Domain name and hosting
  • Unlimited pages, products and blog posts
  • 1000 images
  • All design templates
  • Flickr pages
  • Instagram pages
  • Parallax pages
  • Custom CSS/JS
  • Easy Google Analytics integration
  • Free support

 

Portfoliobox PRO Website Handling & Performance

Portfoliobox learn screen

We were given login details to create a PRO website. Upon login, you are presented with a 'Learn' box and handy numbers on the page to show you where to click to get started. The 'learn' box is interactive and you can click on any aspect of the design, content or settings and red numbers will appear to show you where to click to make the desired action happen. When you are ready to continue you can click the big blue 'Continue' at the bottom. 'Learn' can be re-opened at any time by clicking on the 'Learn' button at the bottom of the page. This is a great way to introduce absolute beginners to the site. 

At the bottom right of the page, you'll see a collection of symbols. The one that looks like an eye inside a square lets you see the site as if you were a viewer of the website, allowing you to make sure the viewer can navigate the site well. This is shown below, and when you're done you can click on the round Portfoliobox symbol in the bottom right to go back to the editing desktop. 

Portfoliobox website viewer

The 'Learn' and 'Support' buttons are pretty self-explanatory, with the 'Learn' button bringing up the white box mentioned above, and the 'Support' button allowing you to contact someone at Portfoliobox if you have problems or questions. 

The magnifying glass allows you to search your site and also brings up a scroll bar of all your pages, and accessible features. The shopping basket brings up services you can purchase including an extra year's Pro account, extra image space and a new domain name. The world button allows you to change the language of the page and there are 22 options. 

Editing

Clicking on 'Create Page' in the top right gives you a menu drop down for all the different types of pages there are and clicking on one shows you the templates, horizontals, verticals and slideshows available for it.

portfoliobox photos

Down the right-hand side of the page there are always 4 options:

Layout

Clicking on this lets you choose the layout of the menu on the page and the mobile menu which presents the menu in a mobile friendly format. 

Menu

Clicking on this option lets you add links and places to go to the menu on your page. There are options to create menu links to pages, custom links, spacing options and the ability to add characters in between your links. 

Colors & Fonts

Here you can choose the colour schemes and font combo for your page. There are 6 different colour schemes to choose from, and 10 default fonts. You can also custom colour the background and menu, with all sorts of options ranging from font colour and font hover colour to letter spacing. 

Logo

This area allows you to customise the wording at the top of your page and gives you lots more font options. There is also an option to place a logo above your title and adjust the size. 

gallery menu layout

Gallery

We selected the gallery and chose 'Grid' for the thumbs style. You're then presented with the ability to name the page and upload images. You can upload multiple images at a time. 

Once your images are uploaded they will appear in your chosen thumb style. 

 Text page

Text

This creates a plain text page and you can double click to add your text with basic word document edition options available. The page can be fully customised to be formatted exactly how you want it but being code-savvy to an extent will probably help here. There is, however, an 'add content' drop down, allowing you to insert images, videos, iframes, maps, a contact form, horizontal line and spacing easily.

collection

Collection

Collection can be used as a page to access all the pages on your site, a bit like a site map but nicer looking. Clicking on 'Add Page' will allow you to add any and all the pages you like that you've created into one easy to reach area. 

Blog

Blog

Portfoliobox has a built in blog facility and there are 3 core designs to choose from - vertical, tags left, or centered. The page here works much the same as the 'Text' one, except that all your posts here will be ordered into title and date and will be kept in a list of entries. There are the same options to add images, videos and maps etc as in 'Text'.

Products

Products

If you are looking to use the Portfoliobox website to sell your wares then 'Products' is where you set this up. For each product, you an input a title, price, description and any variations on the product that are available, for example in a silver frame, in a wooden frame, etc. Clicking on 'Product Viewer' allows you to choose what visitors see when they click in the product. This is a really quick and easy way to add your photos for sale, even for a complete novice in the area of website designing, like I am. 

 

One Pager 

One pager allows you to place several blocks on a page, be it images or text. When you scroll, the background will move too. Portfoliobox allows you to create these pages really easily by creating a One Pager then adding blocks. You can change the background colour and add a background image to all blocks. It's ideal to use as a start page for your website and as Portfoliobox isn't theme based you can choose to have any template on any page. Portfoliobox provides an explanation here if you're still a little confused. 

 

Cover 

Create a cover, that will be the first thing people see when they come to your website. 

 

Other

Under the 'Other' tab are options to add Flickr and Instagram integration. 

Portfoliobox marketing

Settings

Click on the cog next to the tools at the top right and you can find all the settings and behind the scenes options for your site. You can add social media integration, customize the footer/CSS/Javascript of your site if you are Tech savvy, set up your e-commerce information, communication, billing information and marketing. 

The e-commerce section makes it really simple to set up payments via PayPal and keep an eye on any orders coming in. 

You can also look at statistics and change the language of the site. The marketing feature of the site is actually really useful for someone who is new to marketing their work and selling images. There are steps to follow in order to get your site registered with Google, make your site SEO friendly plus much more. 

 

Value For Money

Portfoliobox PRO is available for $82.80 per year if you pay in one lump sum. This is equivalent to around £58 at current exchange rates. Website builders that offer similar services for photographers and creatives include foliopic, at £79 for the year however, there are less customisable options. For £19 you can get a really basic foliopic lite website but this will lack the ability to sell your work or create custom web pages. 

 

Portfoliobox PRO Website Verdict

Portfoliobox differs from the other main competitors in the portfolio builder market as it is specifically aimed at photographers, designers and creatives whereas many of the others can be used for many other generic purposes. While this could be seen as a good thing, it can mean that some of the features and the way the site is set-up isn't ideal for photographers. 

With Portfoliobox, from the word go you can see that the site is geared up to showcase your work and be easy to navigate for those who visit looking for imagery. There is a really easy work through process to let you create a good looking website simply, with very minimal coding and technical experience needed.

Plus there are handy marketing tips so those new to marketing online can pick the basics up quite easily. 

Portfoliobox PRO Website Pros

Very customisable
Helps with marketing
Simply laid out and easy to edit
E-Commerce integration

Portfoliobox PRO Website Cons

Could be daunting for those new to portfolio designing
 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

Portfoliobox will be a great choice for the photographer who wants to showcase their work and sell products stylishly and effectively.

 

 

 

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