Before you start building a portfolio, it is a good idea to learn what the strengths and limitations of Adobe Portfolio are. This is helpful so you know exactly how to use the software and how it can best work with your work. In this video, instructor Richard Harrington discusses the strengths and limitations of Adobe Portfolio.
- Before we go down the path of building a portfolio, let's start by having a frank discussion about what Adobe Portfolio is great at, and what it's not so great at. Well first up, Adobe Portfolio is designed to be easy to use. That means that if you don't have a lot of experience with web programming, or server management, you shouldn't have a problem. It's very much a WYSIWYG tool, so if you've every used something like WordPress it's far easier. It's pretty much as simple as using a tool like PowerPoint or Microsoft Word to edit documents.
Everything you do is updated right there on the screen as you work. It's designed so you can build a website in very little time. If you've already got your assets gathered, you can really be up and running in about an hour with a website that you can use to showcase your work. So if you're a student or somebody who is in the middle of job seeking, or you just want to really update your work to drive in some more business, well this is a very simple solution that you should be able to really complete in very little time.
Even if you have to gather your assets, it probably won't take you more than half a day to get a basic portfolio up and running. Another thing that I like is that the themes or the templates are very elegant. Adobe has done a great job working with some designers to create very attractive layouts. They just look good, and while you can customize them and ultimately make them not looks so good if you're not comfortable with design, those of you who are less experienced with graphic design should find a template that's easy to use that you can quickly customize or use as is to get great results.
I also like the fact that the entire Adobe Portfolio platform is built upon responsive design. This means that your portfolio is going to look great, not just on a computer but also on tablets and mobile phones. In fact, as you design, it's very easy to simulate those different screens so you can make decisions. But, there's intelligence built in so your website automatically adjusts to the right size layout for the particular screen that it's being viewed on. What's also great is the WYSIWYG approach, so as you make a change, it instantly updates on screen.
Swap a color, change a background, pick a new font, well you'll see it. And this means that you don't have to really worry about publishing pages and previews, and having things running on a test server. You can easily make changes right in the web browser, and when you're comfortable, click the Publish button and your site updates. And, if you are already using Adobe's ecosystem, your content might already be uploaded. You can see synchronized albums from Lightroom. If you're using the new Lightroom CC, well many of your photos may already be online.
Or even the traditional Lightroom Classic or Lightroom 6 had the ability to synchronize to lightroom.com, and you'll find those. Maybe you partake in Adobe's Behance community, which is really aimed at graphic designers. If so, you can easily access those albums and portfolios that you've published and re-share them on your portfolio website. But, everything's not perfect. There are a couple things to know about. First, you are only allowed to have one website on Adobe Portfolio.
Now this means one website per ID. So if you've got different purposes or perhaps more than one career, you're going to have to setup another Adobe ID in order to create that portfolio website. However, Portfolio is tied to having a paid membership on adobe.com. So the lowest end plan that you can get is the Adobe Photographers plan at $10 a month. So maybe you want to setup a photography portfolio, and a graphic design portfolio as two separate items.
In that case, you would need to have two Creative Cloud memberships to do so. There is also no offline backup, so you are at the whim of Adobe's servers. This means that if something goes wrong on Adobe's end, your work could be lost. Now, Adobe assures me that they take steps to backup content, and in fact even if your Creative Cloud membership were to lapse, or the credit card expired, they do hold onto your content for a bit of time so you can reactivate it. Now, they're not specific about how long, but in talking to other engineering groups it sounds like it's at least three months, so hopefully you'll notice that there's a problem with your website, or that your software wasn't running, before then.
One last drawback, because it's WYSIWYG, if you start to experiment and then you click a Reset button, it's possible that you might discard your work. Each of the themes or templates can be customized, and you can switch between them, but if you reset the theme, all of that customization work that you've done will go back to the default layout. Which means that you might have lost an hour or so worth of work as you customize things. You won't lose the content of your portfolio, but the branding, colors, fonts and styles might get reset back to the default.
All right, now that you know what's great and what you need to be aware of, let's go ahead on to our next step.
- Choosing your template
- Customizing your portfolio
- Saving photos for the web
- Adding items to a portfolio
- Organizing portfolio content
- Creating About and Contact pages
- Publishing your portfolio