The street photographer Andreas Ott gave me the great tip to use Koken to create my portfolio page. Koken is a online photo library and site creator with blogging function. You can also add plugins to add comments, password protected albums (for your customers) etc. There is even a plugin to help you sell your stuff. The main modules and themes are free of charge and you can start in a short time. And it comes for free. It is not a cloud service. You have to install it on your personal webspace. But that is not the difficult. Maybe you can ask a more skilled friend to that if you are afraid of installing it by yourself.
InstallationInstalling Koken is easy if you have little skills in using a ftp-client and setting up or renting a webspace with PHP and a MySQL database (there are also some hosting-partners how have an out-of-the-box install). Everything you need to do is setting up an empty database and copy the Koken-installer to your webspace. After that you open up a browser and open the installer, tell Koken the name of the freshly created database and the rest is pure magic and will lead to a usable system.
Simple and greatWhen you open Koken you see a library that reminds you of Lightroom. You can manage your photos there and put them into albums or tag them etc. The best thing is, that you can sync lightroom with a free plugin directly with Koken. You can manage your originals straight from one source without doing all the work twice. This is one of my favorite features of this suite.
Building your portfolio website
Just chose a basic theme to go with (there are great paid and free templates to use) and configure your website in no time. You can also add a contact form and other nice things. The results look professional in minutes and you can focus more on doing photography than fiddling around with other complicated solutions. For more freedom there are plugins allowing you to customize the html output etc.
And if you are a paid photographer who is making a living out of his business you can easily create a customer area with password protected albums. There is a plugin that allows you to do that without any pain. You can also send unique links to photos and albums to share content like you know from dropbox or google fotos.
Under your control
The main difference is that with Koken you have the full control over your content. All images are lying on your personal webspace. There are no problems in dealing with a company that decides to upgrade your portfolio with new feature without informing you. There is no hidden catch and no extra fees or subscriptions. You control everything on your personal webspace.
And there is also a free blogging-engine included. So you are ready to set up a news-section in under five minutes. Even with comments if you install the free plugin.
For me Koken is a perfect companion to host my images without any nonsense.
Just give it a try!
My portfolio: www.robvisual.eu