5 reasons to encourage your student journalists to use Pressfolios for their online portfolios

Homepage of Pressfolios.com

I have students turn in portfolios each semester for their final grade. Students have the option of turning in a portfolio that is in a 3-ring binder or one that is web-based. I wrote a post a couple years ago about this here.

For their web-based portfolios, students have used a lot of different sites to showcase their work from WordPress and Weebly to Wix and 4ormat. However, Pressfolios is a new one that many turned to this semester and it’s a great option for students and professionals alike. Here are 5 reasons I like Pressfolios and encouraged my staff to use it for their portfolios this spring:

  1. It’s easy to use – One of the best features about Pressfolios is how simple it is. There is no coding required to setup a site and if published work is already online with a URL then the site will be up and running (and looking great) in less than an hour.
  2. It’s clean looking – The Pressfolio template is clean and professional looking and allows people you send to the site the ability to focus on your content. Too often when my students use other sites to create the portfolios, many don’t take the time or don’t have the technical knowledge to make the site look good from a design standpoint. As a result, their great content gets overshadowed by the look of the site.
  3. Many parts are customizable – While much of the site is templated, allowing few options for the creator, there are plenty of places to add individual touches. I really like how you can set your own story image if there is not one or if you don’t like the default image. I also like that you have some flexibility with what the excerpts and headlines say.
  4. It’s made for journalists – While many of these other options are nice, none are specifically made for journalists. Pressfolios works most smoothly for  journalists with written work published on the Web, however, my students who are designers and broadcast journalists found ways to make the site work for them as well. While something like Carbonmade might be a better alternative for designers, I had a couple staff members upload their PDF pages to Google Drive and then they linked to the public link of the page from Pressfolios. My broadcast students as well included an image and excerpt and then linked directly to their Youtube clip. Photographers, however,  may want to explore one of the other web options mentioned above.
  5. PDF backup of stories – Another great feature of Pressfolios is that when you create a clip, Pressfolios automatically creates an archived PDF backup of the webpage. So, even if the site you are linking to goes down or goes away, you don’t lose your work.

This latest release of Pressfolios came out a couple of months ago and more updates are on the way according to Co-founder Marc Samson and the site’s official blog. From the sounds of things, future releases will allow for sites to have the ability to use custom domain names and Samson said they are even working to add a feature where résumés can be uploaded as well. A premium version seems to be in the site’s future with expanded features, but Samson says there will always be a free basic version of the app.

If you’re interested in using the site, you can go to Pressfolios.com and put your name on the waiting list for access to the site or you can find someone who already has access (like me) and ask them for an invite. If you get an invite from someone who is already using Pressfolios you will get an additional 5 stories worth of space (to add to the 10 you start with) to use for clips on your site. If you’d like an invite, email me and I’ll shoot one to you.


Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

2 thoughts on “5 reasons to encourage your student journalists to use Pressfolios for their online portfolios

  • November 19, 2015 at 11:04 pm

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  • January 9, 2019 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for sharing in depth. It is very helpful to newbie.

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