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How to Build a Killer WordPress Portfolio Website

In today's digital landscape everyone needs a portfolio. Until recently, portfolios were mostly used by web designers and developers, but these days anyone who creates things for life needs a portfolio to stand out from the competition.

It doesn't matter if you are a freelance web designer or a small business owner, you will be better able to achieve your business goals if you can have a good looking portfolio. And the best way to build an online portfolio is with WordPress.

WordPress is often viewed as just a blogging platform, but it's capable of a lot more. Since WordPress is such an easy platform to use, it makes sense to use it to build all kinds of websites, including a portfolio website.

Building a good portfolio is easier than you think. Focus on simplicity, usability, and engaging visual design and you will have a successful portfolio. Before you start building your online portfolio, however, you need to decide what the purpose of your portfolio is.

Define the purpose of your portfolio

As with building a website, you need to define your purpose and goals before you begin. Once you know your goals, you can start building your portfolio website.

You have to ask yourself what you want to achieve with your portfolio. Once you figure out what the purpose of your portfolio is, the better your chances that you will actually get it.

Here are some common portfolio goals:

  1. Try to get a job: If you are actively looking for a job then your portfolio's current goal is to be hired. This type of portfolio allows you to align the work you show with the type of company you want to work for.
  2. Sales / lead generation: The goal of this portfolio is to generate leads. It focuses on establishing a steady workflow for your company.
  3. Reputation / branding. It focuses on building your brand in the industry and online. You can also combine it with your blog to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
  4. Networking. This portfolio focuses on relationship building and online communities.
You can choose one or more goals for your portfolio. What is important is what goals you focus on so that you design and create your portfolio accordingly.

Your portfolio should look up limit to the best workthat you promote as part of your goals. If you are doing website redesigns, your portfolio should only consist of this one, not any logo designs or print work that you have done. If it's not the work you want, don't add it. You will be more successful.

What all successful portfolio websites have in common

Portfolio websites can be very effective at generating you a job (if you are a freelancer) or bringing you new leads (if you are a business owner).

Every portfolio is different, however all good things have some things in common. Here are some examples.
  • It shows your best work. Your portfolio should showcase your best work in a way that creates interest in you and your services. This may seem obvious, but many portfolio websites fail this basic step, usually because the owner chooses a website layout that will distract visitors from the work being presented. Your work should do the presentation and the website is simply a framework for that.
  • It's focused. There's no need to add every single job you've ever done to your portfolio. Focus on your best work and keep track of what goal you want to achieve with the specific portfolio.
  • Clear, straightforward navigation. Your portfolio website should be easy to use, intuitive to navigate. Whatever you do, don't make visitors work to find what they're looking for.
  • Call to action. All good portfolios have some sort of call-to-action form to get prospects to connect with the owner quickly. If someone has to crawl your website to find your email address or other contact information, don't do yourself any favors. Try to put your contact information all over your website and create a website of your own for that purpose.
All of these characteristics can be found in well-made portfolio websites. If you implement it yourself, you are well on your way to building a great WordPress portfolio website.

How to create a portfolio website with WordPress

Now that you have a purpose for your portfolio in mind and the elements of a good portfolio are known, it is time for you to build a portfolio website with WordPress. I've already talked about how to create a website using WordPress, so I'm assuming you've already done that.

There are two ways to create a WordPress portfolio website:
  • Use a custom theme to create a website specifically designed for a portfolio
  • or you can add a Portfolio Page to an existing site.
Both paths are good and depend on your goals.

Suppose you already have a website and want to add a portfolio to showcase your work to your potential clients. It's very easy: First select a Portfolio plugin that you want to use (two good ones are Envira Gallery and Nimble Portfolio) and install the plugin.

After that, it's an easy way to build your portfolio. After you've added all of the work you want, you can create a new page, name it a Portfolio (or something similar), and that's it!


A good looking portfolio on a WordPress website canbe a great way to attract potential customers. Whether you are a freelancer or a small business owner, it can showcase your best work to the world and set you apart from the competition.

If you need help building your portfolio or designing your website, contact us today and we will help.

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