How to Create a Portfolio in WordPress

Creating the best possible portfolio website can’t be understated, and knowing how to do it gives you a significant competitive advantage.

In a 2017 study, 71% of employers stated that the quality of a portfolio website influences hiring decisions. A portfolio isn’t just a presentation of your professional or creative works; it is most people’s first impression of you. A portfolio may fail to do justice to everything you are, but you should try your best to create a portfolio that comes closest to it. 

The biggest obstacle for most people comes in the actual site creation process. You may suspect that website designers are asking for too much money from you when you just want something simple. Another thought could be that you could do it yourself with little cost and represent your vision better than anyone else.

It is in support of both these notions that we bring you this tutorial on creating a portfolio in WordPress. With this piece, you will find the process simple, cheap, and fulfilling. We will also cover some questions that most people in your position have posed so you can create your own portfolio in WordPress confidently.

Who Needs a Portfolio?

Who Needs a Portfolio

Answering this with “everyone” would be almost accurate, but to a greater degree, unhelpful. If your work is creative in nature, you will need to show people and organizations that want to work with you samples of what you can do. Creative professionals include writers, musicians, painters, photographers, comedians, dancers, architects, engineers, designers, and developers.

If you make things for a living, you should have a portfolio of your best works. In the digital age, you need to have an online portfolio whose link you can share on your social profiles, proposals, and applications. What’s more, having such a website means that potential clients may bump into it and end up working with you.

Portfolios attract attention to your work while keeping it orderly, updated, and available at a moment’s notice.

What is the Purpose of Your Portfolio?

What is the Purpose of Your Portfolio

Before creating an online portfolio in WordPress, you must have a firm grasp of some factors, including understanding why you want the portfolio. Knowing what you want it to achieve gives you ideas on what it should have and look like. This way, you can create something that realizes your envisioned purpose for it.

Here are the most common purposes of online portfolios:

  • Establishing professional credibility: When you showcase your creative works on an online portfolio, you accrue an air of credibility and professionalism. People also perceive you as being serious about your craft.
  • Evolving showcase: Your portfolio is a representation of what you do best that evolves and adapts as your body of work expands or even improves. It is a documentation of your professional and creative journey.
  • Job-seeking tool: When you include a link to your portfolio in email signatures and social profiles, it becomes a way to acquire new work opportunities.
  • Lead generation: When you have a portfolio website, visitors who land on it can increase exponentially, therefore, giving you new leads that may turn into valuable clients. You can also sell the leads.

What Defines a Good Portfolio Website?

An excellent portfolio can radically change your career for the better. It can be the perfect platform for drawing in new clients and getting you jobs. However, you need to craft it in a way that maximizes its chances of being such a companion as you want it to be. What better way to ensure its success than to consider the existing successful portfolios and compare them to see what elements they share?

Here are some of the common characteristics of the best portfolios:

  1. They display the best of your work. You would be surprised by how many people create portfolios that don’t reflect their actual up-to-date work. You should ensure that you keep updating your portfolio so that it does speak for who you are, rather than who you were, assuming you keep getting better. Another reason why many fail to do this is that they create flashy websites with unnecessary elements that draw attention from their actual work. Avoid having distracting ads and unnecessary elements on your pages.
  2. They are minimalistic and focused. Nobody will browse through hundreds of works, so you should be very meticulous when choosing what to upload. Ensure you choose works that tell a story or serve a specific purpose. Always highlight and start with those you are proudest of and don’t include anything substandard.
  3. They speak to the targeted audience. The works you display should be tailored to target your intended audience. If you are targeting a specific niche, ensure that the work you upload touches on it significantly. A jack of all trades can be better than a master of one if they are really good in all of them. If you cover different niches, you can create categories so that your visitors can focus on what resonates with them.
  4. They are easy to navigate. All top portfolios are fast-loading and have easy-to-use navigations. You can categorize your works if they cover a wide range of fields. You can also throw in conspicuous and flexible search and filter elements. Ensure that your site has straightforward menus and standard navigation. Your website must load fast or else visitors will get impatient and leave.
  5. They have call-to-action buttons and contact info. If visitors like what they see, you must leave a way for them to get in touch or take the action you want. Sometimes, they don’t want to call you yet but they may end up doing so if you leave calls-to-action like a request quote button.

Why Use WordPress to Create Your Portfolio?

Why not use some other free platforms out there instead of WordPress?

There are a few answers to this question and you can start by appreciating that it is the most popular site creation and management system. It is user and beginner-friendly, which negates the need for hiring a coder or having coding experience. This is mostly aided by the abundance of WordPress, which are products that give you a comprehensive website at the click of a mouse.

WordPress boasts a vast repository of plugins that add and enhance different functions and features to your website. This content management system is also SEO-friendly right off the bat, leaving you little to no work in making your site more visible on search engines.

Since you want to have a website that is easily visible on all devices, WordPress should be your first choice because of its exceptional responsiveness. It also offers extensive customization options, letting you edit layouts, fonts, and colors. It is outfitted with a default block builder and accommodates other page builder plugins for this purpose. What’s more, it has a vast and active community that offers help with all the problems you could encounter.

Should You Use a WordPress Theme or Plugin to Build Your Portfolio?

Both plugins and themes can give you excellent results, but their processes and outcomes differ in several ways. We prefer that you go with a portfolio plugin since themes rarely come with an inbuilt portfolio functionality. We recommend Portfolio, which is the best portfolio plugin. You can start with the free version or go for the PRO version if you prefer to start on the front foot. This plugin enables you to showcase your portfolio items easily with widgets and a carousel slider.

This top-notch plugin is customizable with the Elementor page builder but also gives you the option to use Gutenberg, the WordPress default block builder. You can choose to add a profile image, and Portfolio lets you select the image size so you can keep your site as light and fast as you want. The filters it offers let you showcase items by whichever criteria you like.

You can choose the primary color of your portfolio as you take advantage of the 4 layouts in the free version. The PRO version takes things to the next level with 50+ layouts. The layouts include a carousel slider, masonry isotope, masonry grid, even grid, and even isotope. This premium version lets you order your items by drag & drop. It boasts 4 pagination types, including AJAX number pagination, normal number pagination, AJAX load more, and autoload on scroll.

Portfolio has many more features that you can explore in its demo

Steps to Creating a Portfolio in WordPress with the Portfolio Plugin

If you have a ready website, you can skip to step 4; if you don’t, do the following:

Step 1: Choose a Domain Name

Choose what you want your site to be called. Most people go with their name before adding the extension .com at the end. Make the name brief.

Step 2: Choose a Hosting Provider

Hosting providers like HostGator and BlueHost help you register your domain name as you get their hosting plan. Choose the most affordable plan for you but go for a good bandwidth and excellent customer support.

Step 3: Choose a WordPress theme

You can go with one of the themes we mentioned above if you want to go premium, but there are free themes that you can use to create a website as well. Just go to your WordPress admin dashboard, search for one, select, install, and activate it.

Step 4: Choose the Portfolio Plugin

On your admin dashboard, go to Plugins 🡪 Add New and search for Portfolio on the search bar. Click on Portfolio by RadiusTheme. If you want the premium version, purchase it here, then go to your WordPress dashboard, choose Plugins 🡪 Add New 🡪 Upload Plugin 🡪 Choose File. Browse and choose the zip file you downloaded and click on Install Now 🡪 Activate Plugin. Look at its documentation for help using it.

Step 5: Add Your Work

Choose the best of your work and upload it. Ensure that you use images and documents of the highest quality if you need them.

Conclusion

Professionals are always striving to be better and get results for it; getting those results depends on people taking you with a deserved seriousness. A portfolio builds people’s perception of you and your craft. If you put everything into it, you can elevate yourself stratospherically within your field. All the best!

Editorial Staff

editor
Editorial Staff at RadiusTheme is a team of WordPress experts lead by Mamunur Rashid. We have been developing WordPress Themes and Plugins from 2016, Also creating various WordPress tutorials.