Every journalist needs an online portfolio to store their cuttings and show off to potential employees when looking for some new work. Few reporters are also trained Web designers though and adapting free blog platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr can be an arduous task.

Pressfolios is the latest site to offer reporters and budding bloggers a purpose-built platform for displaying their work. It’s emerging from a private beta today, enabling anyone to try out the free version of the site and see whether it’s worth ditching their current setup.

Users can upload new cuttings or stories through the browser-based dashboard, either by pasting in a Web page or uploading a file from a local drive. Pressfolios automatically converts online stories into a PDF, presumably to ensure that a copy is always available both to the reporter and a potential employer. Given the nature of journalism, where both online and print publications can close with little notice, that’s not a bad idea.

Screen Shot 2013 07 23 at 16.03.57 730x530 Pressfolios takes its journalism portfolio site out of beta, launches Pro tier with RSS auto uploads

Users can then choose a pressfolios.com url and customize their profile with a custom banner image, short bio and tag lines explaining both the industry they cover and their current location. Individual stories are shown in a horizontal grid underneath, separated into rows of four with a headline, publication title and opening line. Pressfolios will try to automatically source a photo from the piece as a thumbnail image too, although users also have the option of uploading their own.

A more expansive ‘About’ section resides at the very bottom of the page, giving users the ability to add a profile image, a more detailed biography and links to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Individual portfolios look polished and offer enough customization to help individual reporters stand out from their competition. The pale green color scheme is a little too reminiscent of Kickstarter for our liking, but it works well enough. In our tests, importing stories from The Next Web resulted in some rather odd-looking PDF documents  though – the ability to just link-through to the original Web page would be hugely beneficial here.

Screen Shot 2013 07 23 at 16.04.39 730x536 Pressfolios takes its journalism portfolio site out of beta, launches Pro tier with RSS auto uploads

Pressfolio users can upload a maximum of 25 stories for free, although the firm is launching a ‘Pro’ version today for $12 per month which supports an unlimited number of portfolio items. This premium tier also introduces the ability to automatically import stories through an RSS feed, both in bulk and when new items are added. It’s an incredibly useful tool which should benefit journalists who have a permanent author page online.

In a nod to services such as Evernote and Pocket, Pressfolios also offers a Chrome extension for adding articles around the Web. It’s not particularly innovative, but enables users to keep their online portfolio up-to-date without logging in to the dedicated dashboard every single time.

Pressfolios is a competent platform for journalists to create a professional and flexible online portfolio. The design options are fairly limited and the PDF processing could use a little work, but it’s an easy recommendation for reporters looking to create a new home for their most impressive articles.

Image Credit: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images