Building an online journalism portfolio: Where to start?

By Bridgit Bowden
A screen shot of my portfolio, made using Wix free version.
Employers today will likely Google you before even looking at your resume. For journalism students, this means it's crucial to have a thorough, easy-to-navigate online portfolio that shows up in the search results -- something that highlights your best work and proves your digital savvy.

Most students are quite comfortable working online, but creating a portfolio website still has its challenges. First, you have to hunt down all your clips. Then, you have to find the platform that's going to best show off your stuff.

There are dozens of choices, so to make your life easier, we've compiled a list of 10 choices with pros and cons of each.


  • Price: The basic version with ads is free. If you upgrade to the unlimited version, it’ll cost you between $12 and $15 per month.
  • Pros: Ready-made design templates that look great and are easy to put together.  It's easy to add multimedia clips, too.  You can embed videos and audio clips onto the page.
  • Cons: Wix is popular for creating journalism portfolios. If you use one of the templates, don’t be surprised if someone else’s portfolio looks like yours. Also, the free version has ads all over the page.


  • Price: The basic version is free, but you can get added features like expended site statistics for between $4 and $8 per month. 
  • Pros: There are plenty of design themes to choose from, and it’s fairly easy to organize your content into tabs.
  • Cons: Weebly is also a popular portfolio-building tool, so you'll face the same problem as you would with Wix.


  • Price: Free for a basic blog, but there are some added featured and plugins that you might have to pay for.  You can also pay for WordPress hosting and use their platform instead of just a blog.  It costs money, but it's much more flexible and you can have your own URL.
  • Pros: It has a user-friendly interface and allows for plenty of customization. Plus, there's a vast selection of slick-looking templates. The popularity of WordPress also means there's an active online community that can answer any technical questions you have.
  • Cons: Most WordPress templates work best for blogs, not portfolios, which tend to have relatively static pages. However, if you want your blog and clips to exist on the same site, WordPress is a good option. 


  • Price: The basic version is free, but that only includes 12 stories. The pro version is $12 per month.
  • Pros: It’s built specifically for journalists and media, so posting stories is a breeze.
  • Cons: There aren’t design options to choose from. Also, if you want to post more than 12 stories, you’ll have to pay.

  • Price: The basic version is free, but the professional version has more features for $4.99 per month.
  • Pros: is made for writers and journalists, so adding content is easy.
  • Cons: The free version doesn’t have many features, including the ability to add a downloadable resume. For that, you have to upgrade to the professional version.


  • Price: Free
  • Pros: The “Designbot” has tons of design templates, and they’re all customizable.
  • Cons: Breezi has bells and whistles that significantly slow down the site. Building your portfolio might take more time than you’re willing to put in.


  • Price: Free
  • Pros: Entering your contact information and adding your content into Zerply is easy. 
  • Cons: Zerply doesn't come with many free templates. You have to pay for some of the unique designs.

Muck Rack

  • Price: The basic version is free, but some of the better features only come with the pro version, which starts at $99 per month.
  • Pros: Muck Rack allows you to connect with other journalists and send them pitches. This is especially helpful for freelancers.  It's a portfolio site and a networking site all in one.  
  • Cons: The price tag can be overwhelming. The pro versions cost between $99 and $299 per month.


  • Price: The basic version (called “Meh.”) is free, but you can only post five projects. The unlimited version (called “Whoo!”) is $12 per month.
  • Pros: Carbonmade is great for highlighting visual work in galleries. If you’re a photographer or designer, this is a great option.
  • Cons: You can't post text stories, video, or audio alongside your photos and graphics.


  • Price: Free
  • Pros: When you sign up, you enter the websites of publications you’ve written for. Then, Contently automatically detects your clips. It doesn't get much easier than that.
  • Cons: The design is not customizable.
Of course, there's always the option to code your own site.  It's a great way to show off your technical skills and make your site stand out from template-based portfolios.  

What's your favorite portfolio-building tool? Let us know in the comments.

Also, check out our previous post on how journalism students can humbly promote themselves online.

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