fresh.li Review

23Dec08

A long time ago, I started taking note of a website called fresh.li. Being a student who is soon going into a graphically challenging college, I need some typefreshli of online portfolio, to display my photography and film work. Creating your own portfolio with your own web domain always best. But given, not many people are able to do so, or have the money to host such a site. The most profesional looking option until recently was uber.com, which was able to give advertising free and fully customizable WYSIWYG portfolios. Sadly, because of the economic recession, uber.com had to close.

On the other hand there is deviantART.com. I can say that dA has a very nice community some very great artists (but also some very crappy ones) and is great for getting critiques and help for your art. But ultimately, it does not look very professional. It is not convincing and advertisement ridden. The site recently incorporated more professional looking portfolios into their site, but they were never fully developed and are still in beta.

Then fresh.li came along, and for the sake of this post and for my own portfolio search, I shall create an account.

First off, there is three plans available. A student plan, which is free, a basic plan for 8 Euros a month, and a Pro plan for 16 dollars a month.

fresh1

I like free stuff, so I think I should start off with a free plan. But directly I was disappointed. The initial “Student Plan” said I could store “more than 100 images”, but then I went on to see that there is only 15 mB available? Sooo… that means they want 15 kB images?

Signing up was relatively  easy. All they need was a name, an email address, a password and some captcha action. This was nice.

I was now ready to go. The structure of fresh.li seems to be similar to wordpress. Under your username, you can create different portfolios (although just one with a student account), instead of directly “uploading to the username”.  I could now pick a subdomain, colors of the portfolio, and a custom logo. The uploading is then divided into sections and pages. Sections are where you add images, pages are where you add text. You then go naming the section>then naming the work. The weird thing is that the page confirms that the work has been added before any file is uploaded. You then have to go to your gallery, find the named but empty space and upload the file to it. This is kind of hasselling, and a big work around. Now that you’ve uploaded it, you can add tags and set an optional price for how much people could buy your artwork.

I now took a look at my portfolio with one piece in it. It did not look very convincing. Even though the layout was left on default, all I got was an empty page with a pink link to my photography gallery. In there was a thumbnail that expanded when clicked. This might be great for bare bones enthusiasts, but I needed a little more.  After playing a little with the options the page started to look better, but still very empty. This is good to an extent, because it looks clear and without any advertisements, but on the other hand it still looks pretty lonely.

In conclusion, fresh.li seems to be a nice alternative, but a 15 mB upload limit for a free account is simply not manageable  in any way. The website could go long ways with a little more user friendliness, and a lot more upload space. If you’re willing to spend the 8 Euros a month, fresh.li will present it slef as a nice alternative to other paid services.

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2 Responses to “fresh.li Review”

  1. Hi Pepper,

    Thanks for taking the time to review our service. Were always interested to hear of ways that could make our service more compelling so your notes are quite helpful. I’m glad you seem to like the site overall but let me see if i can address some of your issues here.

    I agree 15KB may be a little optimistic but thats what were seeing as the average file size for the images people upload. I’ll add the actual number of megabytes as well though and i’ll discuss putting the limit for student accounts a bit higher.

    The hassle with adding works that you mention is a result of the fact that we chose to allow more than one image per work. This way you can add images for multiple angles if your creations are installations or other 3D work for instance. I will look into this as well though perhaps we can make the process flow work a little smoother and at least easier to understand.

    Finally the bare bones design. This is a conscious decision since we found that most artists, our main clients, tend to appreciate simple design over flashy design. The less the website distracts from the work the better basically. Some of the themes available in our paid plans are slightly flashier but overall we strive for simplicity. We do offer a program that allows designers to submit their own design, if we like it we will convert it to HTML for free and implement it as an option in fresh.li and offer the submitter a free pro account. We’ll start advertising this program a bit more in the future but it might be an interesting option for designers just starting out as it will basically set them up with a free website including a management system. If you want i can let you know when we have more info available on this.

    This turned out rather long, sorry about that 🙂 Thanks for the tips anyway.

    Tijs
    – Fresh.li founder

  2. Looked up how we got to 100 images again and i see we used 150KB as our medium image size. 150×100 = 15.000 KB which equals 15 MB. No wonder that confused me a little 🙂 Will add the MB numbers as well though.


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