Portfolio Platform Review – Part V: Behance
This is a guest post by Tara Hornor, if you want to guest post on this blog, please contact us.
To continue with the portfolio platform review series, we now take a look at Behance.net. The focus of Behance is on the broad field of “creative professionals,” which ranges from photography, to web design, to copywriting, and everything in between. No matter if your portfolio consists of icons for websites, animation for a film, hand-drawn or hand-painted art, fashion photography, sculptures, or a design for your latest online printing project, your portfolio will find a creative community within this platform.
Instead of being stripped down, Behance offers a rich set of features for putting your portfolio on display. It comes the closest to WordPress in terms of your ability to control the content on a page. You have a great deal of flexibility in how your projects are displayed — you’re not limited to a single image per page, as an example. You can put an entire portfolio on a single page with as much text for context as you want. Overall, Behance is a powerful tool for anybody in the creative community looking for a way to display complex projects.
Ease of Use
Because Behance offers so many features, you naturally may experience a bit of a learning curve. But the site has many tools for coaching you through how to use their tools. Don’t expect to be able to quickly upload all your graphics and move on. You will need to set some time aside to work on each page of your portfolio.
Behance uses the concept of a “Project” for organizing your portfolio. These are like folders, but with a lot of flexibilty. You can set up templates to display your work, based upon your medium. Each project gets a title, cover photo, and description. Then you begin building the project, much like working with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get web page editor.
The point is that Behance has a powerful set of tools and lots of options. It takes time to build a portfolio and projects, but the end results can be quite stunning.
Like other sites, the key is to use low-resolution images and watermarks if you want to discourage images from being used without your permission. No built in security is available other than limiting who can access your project.
Professionalism/Quality of Presentation
The professionalism of presentation on Behance is top-notch. Short of a fully-customized WordPress site, Behance gives you plenty of tools for making sure your portfolio looks amazing. You can control most of the elements within the page, with the exception of sidebars and header graphics specific to Behance. Other than that, your imagination is the limit.
The community generally keeps comments professional. Expect reviews of your works, not just friendly comments. Users who comment must be members of the community, so you can directly connect with commentors, giving you the opportunity to build a network.
Behance is one of the top portfolio sites for customization of your actual projects but has limited the options for your main portfolio page where your contact information and the like is displayed. You can control just about everything on your Behance projects, from colors to graphic placement to link colors.
Bottom-line: only WordPress or self-hosting your own site is better than Behance for customized portfolios. You can also upgrade to a professional account that gives you a lot more customization options and even uses your domain name.
The contact options on Behance is the greatest area of weakness. You can only put your website and Twitter username in the contact field. No phone or email address is available. This means potential clients have to make one more click off of this page to find your information. Ideally, Behance will allow for a direct contact form or an email address at some point, at least for other Behance Network users. For now, the contact section of the page is weak compared to other portfolio websites.
Overall, Behance is a powerful portfolio tool — one of the best yet in terms of customization and professionalism. The weakness is in the lack of ability to customize the main portfolio page where your contact information is displayed. Further, this lack means potential clients have to keep clicking and looking for your information. Otherwise, if you want a robust portfolio platform with lots of options but one that is not quite as involved as self-hosting or running a WordPress site, Behance is your best bet.
About the Author!
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers business cards, posters, brochure printing, postcard printing, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Behance is pretty good, I’m using it myself. It’s hard to stand out of the crowd though, there’s a lot of great talent there!
Thanks for the great review Tara! Just to clarify, while you can’t customize the main portfolio page on Behance, all users have the ability to upgrade to ProSite (prosite.com) our completely customizable option and create a landing page of their choosing. Check out some of the innovative examples here: http://prosite.com/home/examples
For anyone who’s thinking about joining Behance or has any questions about how it works feel free to reach out to me at jenn[at]behance.com.
Thank you Tara,
so do you think that if one already has a personal site it is still useful to use Behance? I found that one extremely time consuming thing in internet marketing for illustrator is upload and mantain portfolios here and there (Website, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, …)
what do you think?
[…] Portfolio Platform Review Part V: Behance (on ibrandstudio.com) […]