If you are purely a designer then a website might not be so useful, the developers you are designing for won't care too much about your website or the code behind it. It can however help with general marketing and make things look a little more professional.
If you do a website then use a static generator which will take your markdown files + your templates and compile them. This can then be served for free on Github pages and you then just pay for your domain name and point it to GH pages. This is how my blog is served and because there's no database or anything like that you have zero security concerns to care about.
I'd tend to stay away from the freelancing sites unless you fall on desperate times and focus more on building relationships with local agencies, developers and so on. Or even try and get a permanent role in the industry as a designer?
The freelancer sites pay virtually nothing and you will get those kinds of clients that don't value your work and just want the cheapest price.
Edited by rbrtsmith, 27 March 2017 - 07:24 AM.