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Getting started with web development: Behance stats & figures
The “portfolio website” term is most often applied to simple do-it-yourself (DIY) websites where designers and photographers showcase their works and interact with their followers and potential clients. Behance, on the contrary, is the LinkedIn for visual artists. It’s a fully-fledged social network which (unlike DeviantArt, its closest rival) requires users to prove their artistic skills before joining in and connects freelance designers to employers.
So, let’s get down to competitor analysis:
- Founded in 2006, the creative platform had been a bootstrapped enterprise for six years before nabbing $ 6.5 million from Amazon’s CEO, USV and Dave Morin;
- Behance is in fact a network of 15+ served websites where user projects are published (by category);
- The company also created ProSite – a DIY website builder similar to Weebly which allows designers to create hosted portfolio sites for $ 9.99/$ 49.99 per month. Since Adobe’s acquisition, it’s called Adobe Portfolio;
- Just in case we forgot to tell you, Behance was acquired by Adobe Systems for $ 150 million in cash and stock five years ago;
- The success didn’t come out of nowhere: Behance boasted over 2 million published projects (that’s 20 thousand projects shared each week) and had over 10 million unique monthly visits to its network;
- As of now, the Behance network makes money through ads (the good old banner placement never dies, right?), skillshare events and its website builder.
Ok, what have we got here?You probably shouldn’t copy its feature set and monetization strategy entirely: as a start-up, you cannot afford to organize dedicated events or build several websites at once to cross-promote your content. Instead, you should narrow down your target market to certain design skills (vector graphics and typography, for example), invest in SEO and content marketing to increase online visibility and monetize your platform through profile and storage upgrades.
Let’s get down to business then!
How to build a stunning portfolio website?We set down to talk with Zakhar Bessarab, Senior Web Developer at R-Style Lab, to discuss your website’s tech stack and optimum feature set.
- Public and private user profiles (supporting social media login and personal information management);
- Social features (including likes, comments and social sharing; the integration with Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram is a must);
- Company profile (businesses should be able to add company information and job offerings to the appropriate sections);
- Live chat (the feature requires extra storage and back-end coding);
- User and job search (the modules enable designers and companies to look for employees and job offerings using custom filters);
- Content management modules (which allow companies/individuals to publish and edit projects and tags, review comments and monitor post performance);
- Media storage (cloud-based storage where graphic content and user data – including chat history – will be stored).
How much does it cost to create a portfolio website?
The actual price of building a Behance-like website depends on its feature set, your growth strategy and the resources and time available. Since it’ll take you at least 6 months to get your website noticed by search engines and promote it across various media channels (including social networks and tech blogs), the r-stylelab.com team recommends that you start with the very basic version of your platform and continue to expand its feature set.
This, however, can only be achieved by working with a team of experienced web developers who will design software architecture with scalability in mind and define the interaction patterns between web app modules.
According to Zakhar, it will take up to 4 thousand man-hours to create a fully-fledged social networking website that features the modules listed above. Multiply the efforts by the median web developer hourly rate ($ 120 in the USA, $ 30-40 in Eastern Europe and $ 25-35 in Asia). Even if you choose the cheapest option (which isn’t always best!), you’ll still arrive at an impressive figure.