There are several online portfolio services which require little to no technical knowledge to quickly set up and get going. Most I've listed here are free but have a 'premium' paid option. They're loosely listed in suitability order.
Probably all of you know deviantArt and, rightly so, wouldn't want to link a potential client to a deviantArt account! However, their new portfolio service looks promising, lightweight and ad-free.
Just add '/frame' after your profile URL to get just your portfolio, without all the other behance website navigation etc.
Mainly a photography community, but some people use it as an illustration portfolio.
For several reasons, perhaps you don't want a URL such as 'http://yourname.carbonmade.com' as your website address. Maybe you'll decide to change to a different web portfolio service in the future or possibly the service you choose to use will start charging too much or close down altogether - resulting in peoples bookmarks and links to your website no longer being correct. Aside from that, a www.yourname.co.uk domain looks more professional printed on your business cards or other promotional material.
You can buy .co.uk domains for around £3.00 per year and 'mask' it to your portfolio URL. It's easy to set up so when a visitor visits www.yourname.co.uk it instantly forwards them through to your portfolio URL. You can either have it so the URL in the address bar changes (to the actual portfolio URL) when the visitor is (re)directed or you can choose to keep www.yourname.co.uk in the address bar of the browser. The latter is referred to as 'domain masking'.
If you prefer a .com (maybe you plan on working in different countries, or just like that international esteem to a .com) the same thing can be set up. Two registrars I recommend are 123-reg (http://www.123-reg.co.uk/)or 1&1 (http://www.oneandone.co.uk/). Their prices are competitive, ranging from £2.49 - £2.99 per year for a .co.uk depending on various offers etc. and a .com is typically around £10.00 per year.
I use 123-reg, so here is instructions on setting up domain masking: Once logging in to the control panel, select your domain from the drop-down and click 'manage'. From here click on 'web-forwarding' then check the radio button next to 'non-framed web-forwarding' (this is effectively domain masking). Then just paste or type the full URL of your domain, including the 'http://' prefix, in the text field below. From this page you also have some basic control over meta tag information for your domain, so you can enter keyword(s) for search engines to pick up on.
The principle will be similar in other control panels and shouldn't be difficult to figure out.
Additionally, it gives an air of professionalism to have a matching email with your domain, both for the 'contact' section of your portfolio site and printed (self)promotional material. E.G. 'firstname.lastname@example.org' or 'email@example.com' rather than 'firstname.lastname@example.org' or whatever other strange personal email you thought of when you were 14.
You don't have to fuss about with POP3 mailboxes & a software mailclient. You can do a similar thing to domain masking with your emails and even have it catch 'email@example.com' and skip it straight on to your webmail or student email, or whatever you like.
Again, instructions for 123-reg are as follows: Once logging in to the control panel, select your domain from the drop-down and click 'manage'. From here click on 'e-mail management' then click on 'create your email addresses'. In the first field input an asterisk wildcard (*) to setup a CATCHALL. Select 'forward to another address' from the drop-down then paste or type your personal email address in the final field (double check it's correct, else you may end up never seeing the emails). Lastly click 'save'.
For all of the above you do not need a web hosting package. There are disadvantages to domain masking: as www.yourname.co.uk stays in the address bar, it's difficult for your visitors to bookmark or copy&paste an individual page or a permalink to an image of yours. So you may decide on domain forwarding instead. Some of the portfolio services or website builders (see below) allow you to use your own domains instead of their regular subdomain ('yourname.thierdomain.com'). Though often, but not always, this is only feature of the premium packages.
Another option, if you want a little more control over your website design, but you don't want to be wading knee-high in markup is to use 'drag & drop' website builders.
Alternatively, there are frameworks you can design upon. However, you'll need a hosting package.
is well-known, with thousands of themes available. Arguably overkill for a simple portfolio website and if you want to start customising themes or building one from scratch for Wordpress, it gets a bit more complicated. But Wordpress is powerful and can make a great CMS (content management system).
is another option - lightweight, straightforward with plenty of simple instructions on how to set it up.
Lastly, I highly recommend Google Analytics (it's free). It will enable you to find out all kinds of information about your traffic. Things like: what search terms people use to find your website, where your visitors come from (referring sites as well as geographical location), the browser they use, their connection speed, how long they spend on your website, etc. and of course, a hitcounter. A lot of these portfolio services and website builders mentioned above will have an html edit where you can paste in the Analytics code snippet or sometimes they'll have a specific function to incorporate Google Analitics.