Like Behance, Cargo Collective, Squarespace and so on... Tell me what you think!
The further you get into your career, and thus the more work you have to show, the less you need a homemade site. Early in someones career, when they lack a large range of work, having an eye-catching site to make up for it goes a long way. It's a way to show that you can make exciting and innovative work when your portfolio might lack enough examples of that. Later on, when you can show off that you've made tons of impressive stuff, how your site acts and looks becomes secondary, as you no longer need to use it as a crutch to get noticed.
I agree with all of the above. I think, though, that it feels like a bit of a let-down when experienced designers do rely on just their previous work and present themselves in a stock site. It likely matters less to clients than to peers, but I get the impression that what a designer puts into their folio is an expression of their passion for the work they do and so it makes me sad to see great designers seemingly losing passion for presenting their work. There are decidedly some advantages to those sites, mainly that they're networked and give you some cross-traffic from people not already familiar with your work(if you're lucky). I say, do both.
I couldn't disagree more.
Especially when you're doing design for more than a few years you need to have a portfolio you've designed and preferably coded yourself. Choosing for services like Cargo and Squarespace feels like an easy way out. Show that you've got the skills to make something yourself. Besides that it's also important from a branding perspective. Most themes are generic and dull, making the site yourself makes sure it's personal and allows you to go nuts with design and interaction and create something unique that stands out and people will remember.
If I was to hire an experienced (web or interface) designer having a self made portfolio is a must. It's got nothing to do with getting noticed, it's about showing your skill and having the passion to create things yourself instead of letting services do the job for you.
i feel like you're speaking mostly from a freelancer's perspective, where a portfolio is more about sales and branding. in the agency/in-house world, portfolios are more about your work speaking for itself.
I'm not speaking from a freelancers perspective and the work should always speak for itself, no matter if you're at an agency, start-up, big company or freelancing.
You make a ton of good points but maybe I should have clarified my first post. When I was talking about more experienced designers, I actually meant people that would be going in for jobs as Creative Directors (and their equivalents in the product design world), basically designers who are no longer going in for a job as a designer, but rather a leader among the team.
Now don't get me wrong, I know MANY people at that level who still make some of the best portfolio sites out there, I just meant as someone goes further in their career it becomes more OK to not spend a ton of time creating something from scratch and they are still hirable for the best positions out there, simply because their past work is that good.
Also, I mostly agree with you on your point about a designer-level hire having to have a self-made site. I have also many times passed on many great applicants because of this, but i wouldn't call it a "must", as I've seen my fair share of kids who even right out of school who have such solid work that it already proves to me that they have the skills and the passion needed for the job. But obviously that's rare, and in most cases a hosted site will definitely hurt the chances of a designer-level hire.
I don't think a hosted site should count against you because, it's all about what you do with it. Personally, I like to see how people have customized and hacked themes/platforms like tumblr, Wordpress, squarespace and indexexhibit to make it their own. As a designer, creative directors aren't looking at my code, they're looking at my ideas.
I like homemade portfolios. They usually are more interesting and creative than sites like Behance.
You also have designers who have a single page just to present themselves with links to hosted services (like dribbble, behance ...) This way you can have a beautiful personified home without all the backend stuffs.
If you just want to show your work and you're getting enough traction, then hosted service is fine. BUT would recommend homemade portfolio if you know a bit of coding knowledge. Adds that flair and character.
Another thing is the visibility you have with services like Dribbble or Behance that you cannot have with your homemade portfolio (unless you're a web star)
Both, depends on what you're trying to achieve.
If you're looking to really differentiate yourself, then you can design and code (or have someone else do it) a very creative page that represents precisely who you are. Take a look at http://kerem.co or http://www.marcsdesign.com/ for example. Those guys know what they want to show, how and why. Their brand is chiseled deep in the heart of their portfolios.
On the other hand, If all you want to do is to showcase your work online, in case you need to point a potential client over to a collection of your work, then a hosted service can do. After all, your clients come to look at your work, and your personal website is just one piece in your portfolio.
Of course, you can (and maybe should) have both. I am biased, but judging by designers on https://www.scoutzie.com, most have their own portfolios; whether it's a one-pager or a full-blown website, it doesn't matter. But, these same designers list with scoutzie because that's where the clients are.
If you're a novice, you can start simple with a hosted solution and expand later, when you've accumulated enough experience and understanding of your personal brand. If you're a pro, then you already know the answer to this question.