In today’s post we are focusing on the advantages of building an online portfolio with WordPress. Traditionally we may think that a portfolio website is only necessary for visual artists or those in the creative field. This includes photographers, web designers, animators, videographers etc.
It’s a given that people who work in creative fields should have an online portfolio to showcase their work. The truth is that portfolio websites are useful for people in many different professions. Anyone who has a web presence and wants to show off their work can benefit from creating a portfolio on their website. The right presentation can make a big difference in the clients you attract and the people you connect with.
In fact, I think everyone should have an online portfolio. If you have a resume, having a portfolio can be a great addition. After all, the proof is in the pudding and your online portfolio will contain pictures of your most delicious pudding (that’s right, even chefs should have online portfolios). Plus you can do some things that you aren’t able to with a resume. Create a multimedia presentation that speaks volumes. Optimize your portfolio for mobile devices, display photos dynamically or add videos, gifs and audio.
If you are looking to move up or excel in your career, building a portfolio will help you do so. You don’t have to be the creative type to have a killer portfolio that will show off your skills. Seriously consider getting one up if you are looking to network with others in your niche.
Why Create an Online Portfolio With WordPress?
For starters, if you build your own portfolio, that can also go in your portfolio, like an infinity mirror that gets you leads, contacts and exposure. In all seriousness WordPress is a great platform for any sort of website. Many people think that WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, but those who have worked with it and understand its power know better. WordPress is a full-fledged CMS capable of building any website you can dream up. This includes portfolio themes.
I’m not sure about the exact figure, but I’ve heard people throw around numbers like 60% for the amount of WordPress websites. Why is this good for you? Because there are so many reputable developers who have built tools for WordPress. You have access to a huge selection of plugins, themes, tutorials and professionals waiting to help you build a killer portfolio.
Why do you need an online portfolio in general? I covered this in the intro briefly, but there are more benefits to having an online portfolio I didn’t mention. With the ubiquity of the internet and the advancement of IT (mostly the software), more people are opting to save electronic copies of their portfolios and resumes. Having an online portfolio is a great way to start a new career, give your old career a face lift or showcase anything you are interested in sharing.
Online portfolios can boost your presence on the web. Including links to your social media profiles can make it even easier for people to find you.
Everyone has access to the internet, at least anyone who has a reason to lookup your online portfolio. It’s very easy to provide a link to your website and even easier for people to view your portfolio online. Adding a link to your online portfolio on your resume can make it easier for people to see your work.
Having an WordPress online portfolio can show potential employers that you are tech savvy. At the least you can show that you understand how to use a CMS and understand websites. This can give you an edge over the competition, especially since digital media is everywhere.
What should you include in your online portfolio?
While you may want to regularly update your portfolio with your recent projects, there are certain things you want to include. The website should showcase you and your work in the most appealing way possible. Make it easy for people to get a feel for your style, learn about your accomplishments, understand your skillset and get in touch with you. The following points should all be addressed when creating your portfolio.
Showcase Your Best Work
Naturally you want your online portfolio website to showcase your work. Many people make the mistake of adding too much work. Carefully select the best pieces to include. If you are looking to move break into a new career or move up in your current one, show the work that you would like to be doing.
Basically you want to let the work speak for you. Showcase the projects that you are truly proud of.
Have a Clear Goal
As much as I hate phrases like this, they stick and in this case, Benjamin Franklin was very insightful when he said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” What is the overall result you want to achieve from this portfolio? Are you looking to find clients? Meet other artists?
If you have multiple skills, such as a photographer/web developer, there’s nothing wrong with adding work from both niches to your portfolio. You could also build multiple portfolios on your site. Try to keep things consistent and clear.
Creating a Porfolio Website with WordPress
Now that your gears are turning let’s get started. Once you have a clear plan of action you need the right tools. With WordPress, creating an online portfolio is easy. More experienced developers can simply create their own themes or plugins to build a portfolio. The rest of us can use WordPress Plugins or WordPress Themes to get the job done.
Using a Plugin
Plugins are what makes the WordPress world go round. You can use a plugin for anything you can imagine, because chances are, someone else has already imagined it and solved your problem. There are lots of amazing plugins to help you create a portfolio quickly. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend lots of time on your portfolio, it means that creating, editing and managing it is as easy as making a few clicks.
One of the best things about using a plugin is that you can integrate your portfolio into an already established website. This is useful if you don’t want to change themes or write your own plugin. Check out our previous post for tips on choosing a good plugin. For much more information than you ever needed on plugins, check out
Essential Grid WordPress Plugin
Essential grid makes things very easy. Simply install, choose a premade skin and start customizing your portfolio. There are several premade skins that you can change to fit your purpose. Control the display to build beautiful layouts. Get the functionality you need from Essential Grid to display your items with style.Learn More
Go Portfolio — WordPress Responsive Portfolio
It’s simple and fast to build beautiful portfolios for your WordPress site with this plugin. There are lots of features to manage and create multiple portfolios. It’s a great choice for eCommerce businesses and bloggers. Showcase your WooCommerce products, dynamically populate sliders, showcase custom post types and more.Learn More
Media Grid — Wordpress Responsive Portfolio
Media grid is fast and very flexible. It is suitable for building any type of portfolio. The unique visual builder gives you endless ammo to outlet your creativity. You can see your changes in real time to create at the speed of inspiration. Customize anything including colors, margins, borders, padding, icons and more.Learn More
Using a Theme
If you already have a billion plugins installed on your WordPress website, you may not want to add another one. Consult your theme’s documentation before adding any new plugin to check for compatibility. If you are worried about this, try using a Portfolio Theme.
It may be easier, especially for beginners to use a theme specifically for building portfolios. WordPress portfolio themes are a dime a dozen. The themes below can help you build a very nice portfolio. Checkout our guide on choosing a WordPress theme for more info on finding the right one for you.
Salient — Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme
This theme is very clean and modern looking. If you are creative and have a refined style, Salient is a good choice. This theme is tailored for creative professionals. You can easily get the look you want and add impressive features. Building is easy and there lots of premade portfolio styles to choose from.Learn More
Bridge — Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme
There are tons of demos for Bridge. Artists, designers, photographers and other creative professionals will love the demo content. Currently there are over 156+ available to choose from. It’s not hard to find something that suits your style. In a few clicks you canLearn More
Avada is a great option for any kind of professional portfolio. Architects, industrial companies and artists alike can all make good use of this theme. Avada is perhaps one of the most user friendly and powerful themes created to date. You get lots of flexibility and options when it comes to building your online portfolio. The demo content has plenty of premade portfolio sites ready to install with one click.Learn More