Let your website speak about you. Create professional websites with WordPress and let it introduce you to your prospect clients. Having your personal portfolio website is a way you can establish yourself as a professional writer, artist, photographer, performer, etc.
Creating a professional portfolio website is different than creating a business, e-commerce or blog website. It’s different because it’s intention is different from the general websites. An eCommerce website intends to sell online, a business website intends to attract clients, but a portfolio website is just there to introduce an individual or a firm. It’s simpler and easier to create.
Besides, there are so many advantages of having an online portfolio website. With so many technologies, you can create your website on your own, without hiring programmers and paying them a fortune. How? Here are the steps.
- WordPress for your online portfolio website
- Choosing the host and domain name
- Multi page or a One-page portfolio website?
- Choosing a portfolio WordPress theme
- Customizing your professional portfolio website
- Creating pages and adding information
- Promoting your online portfolio website
- Maintaining online portfolios
Before you get started with the process to create your online portfolios, you should
Why creating an online portfolio website is a right decision
If you are an artist, designer, model, architect or makeup artist, you can have a portfolio website through which you can describe some of your personal details, tell your visitors about your passion, profession. You can use your portfolio website to showcase your work.
With your professional portfolios, you can allow your visitors to connect with you, very easily. Also, you can provide your social media links so that the interested audience can start following you.
How is WordPress ideal for your creative portfolio websites?
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS. It is widely used and because it is open source, there’s no limit to what you can create with it.
WordPress enables you to create extremely feature rich website with the availability of various plugins. Plugins can be looked upon as new features that you can add into your website with just one click. Install the plugins for the features you want. For instance: Need a gallery, there are abundant gallery plugins. Want to show a responsive slider at the banner area of your site, just choose from the slider plugins available.
WordPress is a lot better than looking around for professionals, paying them huge, and them waiting on them to get your website created. Instead, you can do it yourself, create and manage your own professional portfolios, with WordPress and this quick guide.
Hosting and Domain name
For creating any website, you will need some server space to host your website and the domain name which is the permanent address of your website.
For hosting and domain, I recommend Bluehost. Bluehost is ideal for start-ups as well as small business websites. Navigate to their website and you will find that there are different plans that are very much affordable.
Choose the “WordPress optimized hosting”. The WP Standard plan is good enough for your online portfolios. When you “select” the plan, you will be taken to the page that allows you to choose the domain name.
Here, if you already have a domain name, you can just key it in. If you don’t you can choose a domain name. Domain names are unique, so if the domain name you choose is already taken, you will have to go for another variant of the name.
If you don’t want to go for Bluehost’s services, you can opt for any of the other hosting services. But always remember, the quality of your hosting service directly impacts the efficiency of your website. So choose a host wisely. Read reviews, ask friends and acquaintances and choose the best host based on your location, the expected traffic, and website requirements.
However, regardless of the host you choose, the selection and check out the process for the hosts remain almost identical. Just follow the instructions and you will receive a mail regarding the domain registration and hosting space.
One page portfolio websites VS multi-page websites?
When it comes to creating and maintaining online portfolios, you can opt for both – a multipage or a one-page portfolio website, based on your requirements.
Go for a multi-page website if
- you want to maintain blogs
- you want to display details that won’t fit on a single page
- you wish to attract more traffic by using different keywords
And go for a single page website
- you want to create a simple website with limited information
- you want your site to be very easy to manage
However, the downside of using a one pager theme for your website is SEO. With just one page, you can target limited keywords. While when you go for a multiple page website, you can aim for different keywords with different pages.
Anyways, if you have only limited information to display on your portfolio website than themes like one pager are the best. Such websites are really easier to create and manage. However, their ability to express is limited to one page. If you have plenty of work accomplished to show, you should go for a multi-page website like Specialist.
Choose a design for your professional portfolio website
In the previous section, I mentioned WordPress themes for creating online portfolios, crafted to make your life easier. Now is the time we find out an ideal Portfolio WordPress theme for your website.
You will easily find a theme that fits your requirements. The options are many. You can browse through these best WordPress themes’ lists.
For this article, I’ve chosen the specialist theme, that is a theme that anyone, regardless of their profession, can use to create online portfolios with WordPress. If you want to create a one-page portfolio website, you can go for the OnePager Portfolio WordPress theme to create an eye-catching online portfolio.
On installing the sample data (With just one click), your WordPress website will start looking like a fully functional website with some dummy data. All you are required to do next is to replace this dummy data with your actual data.
Customize as per your requirement
The themes are fully designed and come with ready to use features, but a little bit of personalization is all it needs to represent who you are.
This personalization can be in the form of design, branding, and content. In this phase of your website duration, you can apply your imagination and make your website as fabulous as you want it to.
Modern WordPress themes are flexible and easy to use. The provide you abundant customization options to set colors, choose fonts and write down details about yourself.
Logo and Site Title
The first step of personalizing a website is to get your logo loaded or the site title changed. Generally, medium to large sized businesses has their logo. You can upload a logo if you have it, or if you want to get your logo created, you can use the online tools for creating a logo, or have a designer design it for.
For a professional portfolio website, however, you can go for a site title instead. It is very easy to set a site title with the Specialist WordPress theme. Just key in the title you want and it will be displayed with stylish bold fonts as your site title.
Don’t like the default color of your theme? No problem. Every WordPress theme allows you to change the color of your site. Because no shoe fits all. There has to be a way through which you can change how your website looks and the flexibility to make color changes is a must.
The specialist theme is thoroughly customizable. If you don’t like the dark background, you can easily change it and make it look soft. Whatever suits your subject!
The Specialist theme comes with the real time color customizer for WordPress. So you can implement the colors you want and check how they’ll look even before saving it. Try out different combinations and settle for the one that you like the best.
Create all the pages you need
Now is the time you focus on the content of your website. You should now delete the example text provided with the theme and replace it with your original details. We’ll mainly focus on three pages – the home page, the about page, contact form. Besides that, you can create any pages you want.
Introduce yourself subtly and professionally on the home page
We are creating this website to introduce and display your skills as a professional. The homepage should reflect all that your website contains.
Now comes the main part, and you can evoke the writer inside of you (Or you can take help from a friend or acquaintance with good communication skills).
The introduction section, or the about page, that is most important on a portfolio website. It essentially tells your story to your website audience. The website is about you, so introduce yourself professionally. Tell your visitors about your skills/expertise and what your aim is.
Use your communicative skills for presenting yourself in the best way possible. Write down the facts, the kind of work you’ve done, your accomplishments. Keep it short, but descriptive, humble and honest.
Contact information on your online portfolios
There has to be some way through which your visitors can contact you. Your viewers can contact you either to know more about you/your services or to provide feedback, to ask their questions, etc. So a contact for on your portfolio website is highly recommended.
When you are creating a portfolio website, there is no reason not to have a contact form. Moreover, contact form can be added to your website very easily. You just have to choose the fields that you want to appear on the form.
The About page
The homepage contains a brief introduction. Now on the about page, you can jot down all the details about yourself as a professional. The about page on the online portfolio website is just like the service page on the business website.
You can describe what you do, how you do, who your clients are, show the work done by you, etc. Alternately, a multi-page website allows you to have different pages for each of them. However, it’s for you to decide what and how you want to show on your site.
The three pages mentioned above are the most important pages of your online portfolios. The homepage reflects the content of your site and works to attract users’ attention, the contact page makes it easy for your prospective customers to get in touch with you. And the About page describes you and your work in detail.
Besides these pages, you can have any number of pages on your website. WordPress lets you create new pages just with a button click. However, using a one pager theme will impose a restriction on what amount of content you can put on your website.
Displaying your work by creating portfolios
Along with all those pages, you need to display the work accomplished on your online portfolio website. With the specialist Portfolio theme, you can choose how you want to display your work.
With Specialist, you can show each of your accomplished project on a different page. Classify your project based on their types. For instance – A designer can have work types in form of web design, logo design, art, creative design, etc. A writer can have the work categories like Novels, articles, and blogs, technical guides, etc.
As shown in the image below, you can show your work very easily using this theme. Once you have all of your work projects listed you can choose to display them all using the portfolio page. You can choose from the one column, two column, three or four columned portfolio page.
Promoting your online portfolios
Generally, Online portfolios are for reference, they don’t need to be promoted. Make sure that you target proper keywords and rank well. Because ranking through organic traffic never hurts. But if you wish to get more people on your website, here are two simplest ways through which you can promote your professional introductory websites.
Leveraging social media for promotions
Social media has become an integral part of our day to day life. And when you want to promote something, it is the best platform, the easiest way to convey your ideas to masses of people.
There are a lot of social media marketing tools, commonly known as SMM tools, that you can promote your website. There are firms that help you with SMM. If you are ready to invest, you can search the internet and hire someone to promote your site.
Promoting through other websites
You can display advertisements on your website with the available widgets. Similarly, you can get advertised on other’s website.
The kind of website you should advertise your portfolio on solely depends on your profession.
For instance: If you are a writer and wish to attract people to your website, you can opt for submitting guest posts on authority websites. If you are a web designer, you can submit your work to an online marketplace, etc.
Maintaining your online portfolio
Managing and maintaining online portfolios is really easy compared to all the hard-work you have to put into managing business or eCommerce website. Just a little routine checks to ensure that your data is not outdated and updating your “Accomplishes/work” section whenever the need arises.
Eliminate outdated data and update new information
Firstly, The first thing about maintenance is to get rid of old, outdated content. Delete all the data that goes obsolete with time.
For instance- You had a slider banner displaying the dates and venue to a seminar you were holding. Now that the data has passed and the seminar is done, you should immediately get rid of the banner, update a new banner.
Secondly, whenever you get a chance, you should update your website with new fresh data. Anything worth sharing with your visitors must be expressed.
Maintaining blogs is a good idea too
Some of the professionals maintain their blogs on their website. The blogs can be a way through which you can share your experience and stories with your visitors. If you are a pro at what you do, you can even write tutorials or informative articles.
In short, you can write about plenty of things. This way you can keep interacting with your visitors. Moreover, blogs and comments on blogs, ensure that your site is regularly loaded with fresh and unique content. This even helps SEO.
Ready to launch your career as a professional??
With the advanced technology and the tools and techniques available to create your website. A website is better than the physical portfolios. With a website, you can use multimedia like images, videos, charts, etc to express your ideas and represent your work. With an online portfolio website, you open doors for more and more people to know you, your work and to contact you easily.
Therefore, a professional portfolio website can be advantageous in more than one ways. Moreover, it is really easy to create and maintain. You just have to pick up the right theme and get started with your own website.