Creating a landing page to showcase your video business is easier than you might think. The following website builders are simple and affordable options for presenting your video portfolio.
Whether you’re a freelance video professional or leading the marketing effort for a production company, it’s imperative that your online presence positively reflect your brand. Don’t send your potential clients a link to your work on YouTube or Vimeo. It’s easy to create a polished website with a custom URL (vanity URL), thereby elevating your brand… and your work.
Below are a few of my favorite options for creating a simple website to host your video portfolio or demo reel. There are certainly more complex options available, but for video pros looking to create a simple website to share their projects, you can’t go wrong with any of these services.
In the last few years, Squarespace has emerged as a leader in simple website creation. With a wide range of beautifully designed templates, you can quickly add your own branding and content to any Squarespace hosted site. Pricing ranges from $5/month USD for a simple one page design (cover page) to $18/month for a full business website. The Squarespace cover page option is a great way to go for showcasing a demo reel, as the video-centric templates have top notch design and are fully responsive, meaning they look great on mobile (examples below).
Like Squarespace, Carbonmade is a content management system that provides well-designed templates, simple customization, and an easy-to-use interface. The site templates are all portfolio based, making the service a good choice for creative professionals (photographers, graphic designers, video editors, and the like). The grid layouts (example below) are a nice way to showcase your portfolio of video projects. Pricing ranges from $6 USD to $24 USD a month, depending on the level of options. The service requires zero HTML knowledge, and other reviewers have touted simplicity as its winning feature.
Portfolio site by motion designer Lydia Lee using Carbonmade
One of the longtime leaders in DIY website creation is Wix, a simple site building service. At its launch in 2007, all templates were Flash based. After the deprecation of Flash sites on the web, Wix launched support for HTML5 based templates in 2012.
Template styles include photography and portfolio sites, but other website types are represented as well, including business, fashion, events, and more. Pricing tiers go from free (ad-supported) up to ~$25 USD/month for the full feature set. In general, the templates are not as well designed as other options (Squarespace and Carbonmade) and all videos must be hosted externally, on Vimeo or YouTube for instance, and embedded… an extra step for users creating video portfolios.
Video Production template on Wix
WordPress is the undisputed content management system leader – nearly half of all websites today are built using this platform. With this vast userbase comes the benefits of countless theme options, tens of thousands of plugins, and detailed documentation online for common features and functions.
WordPress is open source, so you can install it on a server and host it with any number of hosting providers. Setup can be a bit more intensive than with some of these other options and will require some prior web development knowledge to make extensive customizations. To get started, try out one of these free WordPress themes that are geared specifically toward video websites.
Focus theme on WordPress
Vimeo Pro is the paid version of the popular video sharing service. At $199 USD a year, it’s designed for the pro user and comes with a few benefits not included with a free account — namely increased video storage and detailed viewer analytics. Vimeo Pro also allows for the creation of a Portfolio, a white labeled page that includes your logo and uploaded videos. The Portfolio theme options are limited and advanced changes to the page must be done with custom CSS (requiring a bit of web coding experience). You can direct a vanity URL to a Vimeo portfolio page for a more professional web address. Although a Vimeo portfolio may not be the most slick option for a demo reel website, it is a quick way to create a custom page for a client, showcasing all of the videos you’ve created for them on one page.
Daily Press Portfolio page on Vimeo Pro
Cargo is a FREE website service for creative pros. Although the majority of users are photographers and graphic designers, many of the Cargo templates work equally as well for video editors and motion designers. There is no video hosting, so video projects must be embedded on Cargo pages from external sites (YouTube and Vimeo). If you own your own URL with a service like 1&1 or GoDaddy, you can point it to your Cargo domain. Cargo features their favorite sites and projects on CargoCollective.com for extra visibility.
Kurtis Chow portfolio site on Cargo
Are you a photographer looking for a way to share your portfolio? Check out this post from RocketStock showcasing a curated list of After Effects templates well suited for photography portfolios.
How do you host your online video portfolio? Share your thoughts about these services and others in the comments!