Need an online portfolio in a hurry? Not all of us have the time, energy, or skill to build something from scratch, or the resources to farm out the job to more capable hands. Happily, some great tools are available that make it a breeze to build a good-looking personal website without actually building much of anything at all.
Something simple that looks good can serve as a placeholder - and you might end up liking the it enough to keep it around. Whether you need a basic resume page, a photo portfolio, or a springboard to your (or your brand's) profiles on sites like Twitter and Facebook, these sites get the job done quickly and easily - and free of charge.
Fully Flexible and Socially Promiscuous: Flavors
Flavors has a lot in common with AOL-owned About.me, but the former was first and we've always been partial to it. Sign up for a free Flavors account and you'll get access to a social Swiss army knife's worth of webpage tools. It's dead simple to make an attractive site - particularly a sparse, modern one; less is more, after all. Add your essential info to a basic landing page and get to work tweaking the background image, fine-tuning the colors, fonts, and alignment, and you'll have a great looking result in no time.
If you spring for the premium version, you can mask the Flavors.me domain with a custom url and no one will be the wiser. Flavors connects to just about every social network we use (and some we don't), letting you display content from Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and many more. Since the content dynamically loads on your new profile page, this is a great way to feature portfolio fodder like writing or photos that you can host externally (and easily). Cherry-pick your best work, publish it on a (less versatile) site like 500px, plug it into Flavors and voilà.
Eminently Searchable in a Snap: Google+
Google+ is the quick and dirtiest of the quick-and-dirty options. Want to fast-track your name to great SEO? Invest a little time sprucing up your profile page on the social platform crafted by the search king itself. Google tweaks its search secret sauce regularly, but you can bet that putting in the time to flesh out and maintain a Google+ profile page will pay off in search rankings. In our casual testing, we searched for a handful of folks we know, from both within and without our G+ circles, and a Google+ profile popped up in the top five results every time. (If you're one of the John Smiths of the world, well . . . good luck to you.)
Beyond its SEO advantage, Google+ is a pretty solid - if uninspiring - way to funnel people to your links and social accounts. The About section of a Google+ user page includes a tagline, an introduction section (your bio can go here) and a section dedicated to any links you didn't sneak into your introduction. But be sure to enable the "Profile discovery" option toward the bottom of the Google+ profile edit page (found just above the "Other profiles" link section) to allow search engines to index your G+ profile - that's how the magic happens. If you've got some kind of author page floating around out there on the web, Google+ would be happy to link up your profile with what you publish. You'll have to jump through a few hoops, but the result is a little pic of you that pops up next to your links in search. Photographers in particular will appreciate Google+'s attractive lightbox view and well-implemented photo sharing and organization features.
Social Data Infused with Style: Vizify
Vizify is the newest tool on this list, the least traditional, and definitely the most fun. If you're interested in an eye-catching, ultra-modern spin on a traditional landing page, this one will be right up your alley. Vizify is so new on the scene that you'll need to request an invite. But once you're in, it couldn't be simpler to set up. Choose which social networks you'd like Vizify's engine to cull data from, pick a flattering color scheme and you'll quickly be met with an elegant array of brightly-colored data nodes arranged into a web of personal info.
You can drill down and get as granular as you want, adding individual images from Instagram or highlighting your pithiest moment on Twitter, or just see what Vizify comes up with organically. It's untraditional, sure, but that's the point - all of the important stuff is there, from the links you want to highlight to your current position and location . . . it's just arranged more playfully than you might be used to.
Whether you want something flexible, practical or fun, between Flavors, Google+ and Vizify, there's likely an option here to inspire you to landing page greatness. Got a Web profile creator that didn't make this list? Let us know and we'll take it for a spin.