Every freelancer or creative needs a professional online portfolio that showcases their work and skills to acquire more clients and enhance brand visibility.
Knowing how to create a portfolio representing your brand will help you stand out from the competition and attract prospective clients who love your work.
While creating an online portfolio website may sound like a task requiring high-tech skills, this guide will teach you how to create a portfolio using a website builder without writing a single line of code.
Keep reading to learn how to create an online portfolio in eight steps:
Decide if you need a portfolio
Depending on your field of expertise, you should determine whether or not you need a portfolio to market your business.
If you’re a freelancer or in the creative industry (for example, an artist, photographer, graphic designer, copywriter, or developer), knowing how to create a portfolio for your business will impact your brand visibility and client acquisition rate.
Learning how to create an online portfolio will empower you to:
- Look more professional and distinct from everyone else
- Craft a smooth website experience for potential clients
- Build a brand that represents the value you propose
- Impress prospects who are looking to hire you
Create a website
You’ll need a website to display your portfolio.
Here are the steps to create a website that prospective clients will be impressed by:
Choose the right website builder technology
Choosing the right website builder is crucial in learning how to create a portfolio for your business.
We recommend WordPress as your website builder, as it’s the top choice for freelancers and creatives. The platform is free and highly customizable, with features that enable you to create a responsive website very quickly.
You can also use Bluehost’s innovative, AI-enhanced website builder. It empowers you to create a WordPress website without writing any code.
Select a Domain Name and WordPress Host
Select a domain name that represents your brand and what it stands for. Make it easy to remember, avoiding special characters that can complicate your URL. Check out our related post for more advice on how to choose a domain name.
Although you can buy your domain name separately, Bluehost offers a free domain name when you sign up for any of our WordPress hosting plans. We offer various website hosting and setup solutions depending on your budget and business needs.
Installing WordPress is one of the easiest parts of learning how to create a portfolio for your business.
Once you’ve chosen your hosting package, Bluehost empowers you to sign in to your cPanel and install your WordPress website in just one click.
Use WordPress themes
Your web design will either encourage potential clients to stay or bounce from your website.
Giving your newly installed WordPress website an attractive design is essential when creating a portfolio.
If you have a theme you like, you can upload it to WordPress and customize it to fit your taste.
If not, you’re in luck.
Besides the default theme that comes with this website builder, you can select your preferred choice from thousands of free WordPress themes. To narrow the selection a bit, check out some of our recommended WordPress themes.
To give your website a unique design, you should consider a premium theme option with more exclusive maintenance and design elements. We can help you decide between a free WordPress theme vs a paid WordPress theme.
Showcase your best work
Displaying samples of your work or past projects is what tells prospects you’ve got the creativity, skills, and experience to deliver an excellent job.
Create a dedicated page on your website and title it Case Studies, Projects, or Portfolio, and highlight your best work.
Now, don’t get confused. The entire website is your online portfolio, but naming a page “Portfolio” simply points clients quickly to your aggregated sample projects.
Upload a mix of different project types to give potential clients a feel for your creativity, scope, and skill power. You don’t want to bore them with a portfolio filled with similar or repetitive projects.
Decide on how many pieces to include
Choosing how many pieces to include when you learn how to create a portfolio can be tricky. Don’t hold back your proof of ability by not posting enough samples, and don’t go overboard with them either.
While you should set up an attractive and client-worthy portfolio, be more conscious of the quality of your projects than the number you plan to display. Showcase only the samples that truly and efficiently represent your ability.
Ensure you keep your portfolio up to date with your most recent — and best — samples.
Include the most important details
This is the strategic part of learning how to create a portfolio. Besides installing a website builder, going live, and setting up your past projects page, you need to sell your services.
Call potential clients to action with important details that include key pages and website elements, such as:
Your homepage is your website’s landing page. You should grab your prospects’ attention from the moment they land on your website.
A homepage that converts should include:
- A clear message and image in the hero section
- A short section about who you are
- What services you offer
- Social proof banners or client testimonials
- Resources you offer (for example, a blog, guide, or an email list)
The About page is where you talk about your brand and how you can help your audience. Explain in clear detail:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Whom you do it for
- Why you do it
With your About page, you have the chance to convert prospects into paying clients.
A Services page empowers you to explain more about what you offer, the process of working with you, and exactly what a client gets for their money.
You can decide whether or not to display your rates.
Social Proof and Client Testimonials
Credibility is not only a vital element when it comes to learning how to create a portfolio. It’s necessary for business marketing, as 79% of customers trust online reviews.
Displaying genuine social proof and client testimonials on your portfolio are quick ways to:
- Earn trust in your industry
- Land paying clients
- Know your worth and price your offers accordingly
One of the main points of learning how to create a portfolio for your business is getting prospects to look around, get impressed, and ultimately, pay you to help them.
- Create a Contact page and embed a contact form that leads to your email
- Leave your email address and ask visitors to email you directly
- Include your phone number
- Embed links to your active social media accounts
You can include your contact details on various pages of your website — preferably the About and Contact pages — and in the footer.
Ask for feedback
It’s often difficult to be objective about our creations. The best way to get an unbiased, critical, and constructive review is by asking others to take a look.
Ask your family, friends, colleagues, or past clients to give feedback on your online portfolio.
However, be objective when considering their varying feedback because your online portfolio should represent your brand regardless of critical suggestions.
Show your work to the world
Now that you’ve learned how to create an online portfolio for your business, it’s time to hit publish and share your new website with the world.
This is the part where you get to share your link with your family and friends and ask them to promote your website. You should also share with your social networks and colleagues. Also, add your website link to all your social profiles.
Related: How to drive traffic to your website.
Final thoughts on how to create an online portfolio website
While there are likely several similar businesses online, learning how to create a portfolio with the right website builder will speed up your growth as a freelancer or creative.
However, promoting your portfolio is as crucial as setting it up. You need to develop a marketing strategy to get your website in front of prospective clients who are interested in your services or products.
You can follow this guide to create your portfolio or let Bluehost design your website so you can get back to focusing on your projects and clients.
An online portfolio is a digital collection of your work samples, projects, and achievements, showcased on a website. It serves as a professional showcase of your skills, expertise, and accomplishments. Having an online portfolio allows you to present your work to potential clients, employers, or collaborators in a visually appealing and accessible way.
Your online portfolio should include a selection of your best and most relevant work. Consider the following elements:
High-quality images, videos, or other media showcasing your projects.
Descriptions or captions explaining each project’s context, objectives, and your role.
Contact information or a way for visitors to get in touch with you.
A brief bio or “About Me” section highlighting your background and expertise.
It depends on your technical skills, time, and budget. Website builders offer easy-to-use templates and require minimal coding knowledge. Building a custom website from scratch offers more control over the design and functionality, but it requires web development expertise and might be more time-consuming.
To make your online portfolio stand out:
Showcase your best work, but keep it well-organized and concise.
Use a clean and visually appealing design that complements your work without distracting from it.
Highlight your unique skills and contributions to each project in the descriptions.
Incorporate testimonials or feedback from previous clients or employers.
Regularly update your portfolio with new projects to demonstrate growth and ongoing activity.