8 Crucial Tips for Making a Highly-Efficient and Awesome Portfolio Website

The best way to “sell” yourself as a specialist, primarily in the digital and other creative industries, is by creating a quality online portfolio. This is by far one of the best ways to share your works online and hereby attract more clients.

If you clicked on this article, then most likely, you need a high-efficient portfolio. Hopefully, making one takes way fewer efforts and time than you think, even for a non-professional in web design.

“An online portfolio should maximize your brand and a level of professionalism”

In this article, I’ll try to give some 8 crucial tips for creating a killer portfolio website and by providing some cool examples, I’ll tell you how to do it effortlessly in the shortest time.

Use navigation if needed:

  1. Specify Who You Are Up Front
  2. Visuals First
  3. Design With a Personal Touch
  4. Make It Simple to Reach You
  5. Show Creativity and Stand Out
  6. Remove Extra – Go Minimalist
  7. Add Call-to-Action
  8. Promote via Social Media and Blog

Specify Who You Are Up Front

It’s always about selling yourself first and your product second. Instead of emphasizing on impressive design elements, do not forget that people are willing to know who you are and what your job is. After all, they can get seriously confused if they are not aware of your particular job title or work specification.

It will be a great idea to write a couple of sentences about you and your job up front on the homepage of your website. Knowing this information would help users form a better understanding of your works and a job in general.

Take a look at the two examples below. These are portfolio templates that you can actually purchase and use one of them as a core for your own website.

Defrozo Photographer Portfolio Moto CMS 3 Template


Demo

In the Defrozo Moto CMS theme, you have a chance to place an image of your strongest pieces of work (photos, images, video) right on the main homepage of your portfolio website, as well as specify your work area.

Tommy Artistico – Photographer Gallery Elementor WordPress Theme


Demo

With the Tommy Artistico template, you’ll have a powerful main page with a clear identification of who you are, what your job is and even how you look like. Users will no longer need to search for the “About Me” page to learn more about the website owner since all the necessary information is displayed upfront. No extra elements – just a strong focus on yourself!

Take a look at the Collection of Free Portfolio & Gallery WordPress Plugins to enhance the opportunities of your WordPress theme.

Along with some WP freebies, you might need to splurge on some web design & web development interns, like additional fonts, patterns, ready-made logo etc. Here is one tip from me on how to buy such items very cheap. I personally prefer buying those products in bundles as they are way cheaper than paying for just one. Use MasterBundles – they have everything you need for a very discounted price!

Visuals First

Visuals are the second most significant element of content after the text. In many cases, though, visual content is even more perceivable than text. Those involved in the creative industry will definitely have to deal a lot with it – either web designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, etc. Even if you’re from the non-typical niche like acting, you have a lot of options to go for. For example, you can include photos or video fragments from your performances, or clips for your audition. Or it can be scripted The fact is, visuals are more fun to watch. And the super important aspect for users today os that visual information is less time-consuming.

As an example, let’s take the Aromacafe WordPress theme. Definitely looks cute and appetizing!

Aromacafe – Coffee Shop Elementor WordPress Theme


Demo

Design With a Personal Touch

Okay, let’s say, this tip works far for not every website and niche. For instance, large corporations and other big companies usually avoid using this strategy. If you are not the CEO of any large corporation, and I suppose you are not, this trick works more than efficiently.

The secret is when there is a small team of individual freelancers or you are just all by yourself, it’s important to establish that personal connection with users before they even realize it. Every person wants to know who stands behind the product or service they choose to buy. This awareness can only increase their trustworthiness to what you do. How to give your website a “personal touch”? The easiest way would be including your own photo on the homepage header of your website – just like in a Richard Gore WP theme:

Richard Gore – Writer Portfolio Elementor WordPress Theme


Demo

If you’re interested in WordPress themes for affiliate marketing, just follow the link below!

Make It Simple to Reach You

Surprisingly or not, building a correct contacts page is one of the most important aspects of any online portfolio. All your efforts to create a stunning portfolio full of masterpieces and scans of your certificates, and awards, are just useless unless there is clear contacts data available.

If your customers fail to reach you, they will most likely leave you – remember that!

The contacts page doesn’t need to look fancy at all. Don’t include abundant details unless they are a part of your contacts info. This is how a contacts page can look like (taken from Alexey Tretina’s website):

You can go further and place the link to your preferred communication channel on each of the pages, as well as specify all contact information, primarily a phone number. Some customers will better call you right away rather than spend time browsing a website.

Print Shop Moto CMS 3 Template


Demo

Show Creativity and Stand Out

No matter what job you do – whether it’s web design, painting or making pottery – what I know is that you’re 100% a creative person. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need a portfolio. But as good as it may sound for the first time, adding a creative touch might not always play for your favor. Artistic people tend to often ignore the demands of masses, which means artists rarely manage to convey their thoughts to a wide audience.

Music Online Moto CMS 3 Template


Demo

It is a pity that we are not living in a perfect world where creativity is the only that matters. It’s wonderful if you can bring your cool ideas to reality and make your portfolio unique, but just know where to stop.

Before adding any abstract or super creative element, you better ask yourself, “What goals does it serve?” Or “Will it help convey my idea to the target audience?”. If the answers are no, then it’s simply not worth your efforts.

Flydance – Dance Classes Elementor WordPress Theme


Demo

Remove Extra – Go Minimalist!

By adding new projects, your website content will keep on growing, so you might end up with a lot of page data. The more information there is – the harder it gets to perceive it. If you don’t want users to get confused with so much content, there is a great solution – going minimalist! And by this, I, first of all, mean “hiding” information in different sections using tabs, lists, additional menus are “Recommended”.

As you select and structure the site content, always think of how it’s going to be perceived by search engines and your target audience. To improve the overall impression of the site, remove all irrelevant and “water” content, as well as change the structure of the presentation.

The prime reason why you should categorize the information in such a way is that nothing should distract users from the main content of your portfolio. The effectiveness of perception decreases mainly because of:

  • Irrelevant portfolio components;
  • Some odd marketing tricks that don’t follow or match your major goals;
  • Outdated portfolio items that do not reflect the quality of your current professional level;

Lack of logical structure and categories of the portfolio. This responsive MotoCMS template is a clear example of how a minimalistic approach looks awesome and on point for portfolios. Basic layouts and a black-and-white color scheme help users focus on the content rather than staring at distracting site elements placed for no particular purpose.

Actress Website Builder | Responsive Moto CMS 3 Template


Demo

Despite the possible fears of looking “boring” and “typical”, the minimalistic approach has always worked, is working and will keep on working!

Magnifix – Creative Minimal Elementor WordPress Theme


Demo

Add Call to Action

Forgetting to add Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons literally means making a huge mistake in sales. These buttons are responsible for transferring the user’s attention to target landing pages where users can finally make an order or use your service.

A call-to-action button is a mandatory attribute of the portfolio site!

Long story short, links of this kind make a quick move from your project examples viewed by a potential client to either a contacts page, application form for adding a technical task, booking form, etc. This way, users are being conveniently transferred to the final sales stage.

But do not overdo with calls to actions. Make them sound brief and clear by using a noticeable text. It’s always a good idea to use such simple phrases, like “Contact Us Today” when attaching a feedback form, or “Order Now” when redirecting them to an ordering form. By offering people to do perform an action, the chances that any random customer will choose you over others increase in time.

The “Order Now” call-to-action button works perfectly for any business homepage because it significantly reduces the number of actions needed to make an order. The easier – the better! Just like in the following Elegacy WP template example:

Elegacy – Creative Elementor WordPress Theme

Demo

Promote via Social Media and Blog

We all know there are no direct ways to great success. In our case, this means you better start promoting your works with the maximal number of available resources. Consider whether you should join professional online communities and start your professional social media accounts. A good idea would be starting a thematic blog right on your website portfolio. Fortunately, almost all themes that work perfectly for crafting portfolios include the ready-made blog page layout.

Technically, anything suitable for a website promo can be used to promote your portfolio. The more visitors you can attract – the better of an advertiser you are.

One more efficient way to spread a word about your site is by becoming an active social media user. By the way, I recommend adding links to your social network profiles on a website just because it’s a great way to showcase your presence on the network.

FrameMe is just one of the thousand examples of templates with the included blog page and social media links. Note down that links and contacts are always visible for the users no matter what page they will be browsing at the moment.

FrameMe – Photography Studio WordPress Theme

Demo

Gravitas is a multipurpose theme providing several highly-functional templates most of which can work well for the portfolios too. You just can’t help looking through!

Gravitas Multipurpose Business Moto CMS 3 Template

Demo

NOT a Summary

“Portfolio is a great source of creativity – it shows what you are capable of,” says graphic designer Jacob Cass from Just Creative.

I can’t help but agree. A portfolio is a showcase of your blood, sweat, talent, and triumphs. This is your brand, be proud of it. So, let the world know it!

Wish you some great results in website conversions!

Digiprove sealThis content has been Digiproved © 2019 Antonie Potgieter

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