Every freelancer or creative needs a professional online portfolio that showcases their past 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.
When you finish reading this article, you will confidently know how to make an online portfolio!
You can create a portfolio in 10 easy-to-follow steps:
- Step 1: Decide if you need a portfolio.
- Step 2: Create a website.
- Step 3: Use WordPress themes.
- Step 4: Showcase your best work.
- Step 5: Improve your portfolio’s UX.
- Step 6: Work on your site’s SEO.
- Step 7: Decide on how many pieces to include.
- Step 8: Include the most important details.
- Step 9: Ask for feedback.
- Step 10: Show your work to the world.
Keep reading to learn how to create an online portfolio in ten steps.
Step 1- Decide if you need a portfolio.
Depending on your field of expertise, you should determine whether you need a portfolio site 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 potential 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.
Step 2- 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 online portfolio builder is crucial in learning how to create a impressive digital presence for your business.
We recommend WordPress as your easy 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.
Now that you’ve chosen a website builder for your portfolio website, the next step in learning how to create a portfolio is to purchase a domain name and web hosting package.
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.
Step 3- 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 WordPress themes. To narrow the selection a bit, check out some of our recommended free WordPress themes.
To give your website a unique design, you should consider a premium theme option with more exclusive maintenance and design features and elements. We can help you decide between a free WordPress theme vs a paid WordPress theme.
Step 4- 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.
Step 5: Enhance your portfolio’s user experience (UX).
Crafting a user-friendly experience is crucial when you’re learning how to create a portfolio, especially if you want to know how to make a portfolio that truly stands out. To create a portfolio that impresses and retains potential clients, you’ll need to add user-friendly elements such as an intuitive interface for navigation and clear calls-to-action. These features guide visitors seamlessly through your work, making it easier for them to explore and engage with your portfolio.
Step 6: Optimize your site for search engines (SEO).
When you build a portfolio website, it’s not just about showcasing your skills; it’s also about being found by those searching for your talents. Incorporating relevant keywords like “portfolio maker,” “create a portfolio website,” or “make a portfolio online” is vital to ensure that your online portfolio ranks well on search engines. By understanding how to make a portfolio website with SEO in mind, you can expand your reach and attract potential clients actively seeking your creative expertise.
Step 7- 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.
Step 8- 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 your services..
- 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 do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- Why do 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 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.
So, make it easy for them to contact you.
Here are some ways to add your contact information to your website:
- 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.
Step 9- 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 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.
Step 10- 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.
Tips for making a portfolio website
Tip #1- Creating a consistent brand image:
To successfully build a portfolio that captivates your audience, maintain consistent branding throughout every aspect.
Whether you’re learning how to create a portfolio or using a portfolio maker tool, ensure that your logo, color schemes, fonts, and overall portfolio design align with your personal or business brand.
Consistency not only enhances recognition but also adds a professional touch, making your portfolio stand out.
Tip #2- Optimizing for mobile accessibility:
When you create a portfolio, it’s crucial to make it mobile-friendly.
Today many users browse on smartphones and tablets. Therefore, optimizing your portfolio for mobile devices is essential.
Use responsive design principles to ensure your portfolio looks and functions well on various screen sizes. This approach enhances user experience and accessibility.
Tip #3- Keeping your portfolio current:
Building a portfolio website is an ongoing process. Regularly update your portfolio with new projects, skills, and accomplishments.
An up-to-date portfolio not only showcases your growth but also demonstrates your commitment to staying relevant in your field.
Whether you’re using a portfolio maker or doing it manually, showcasing your most recent work and achievements ensures that potential clients or potential employers see your best and latest work.
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 own portfolio, or let Bluehost design your website so you can get back to focusing on your projects and clients.
Common questions about creating a portfolio website
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:
1) High-quality images, videos, or other media showcasing your projects.
2) Descriptions or captions explaining each project’s context, objectives, and your role.
3) Contact information or a way for visitors to get in touch with you.
4) 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 and impress potential clients or employers:
1) Showcase your best work, but keep it well-organized and concise.
2) Use a clean and visually appealing design that complements your work without distracting from it.
3) Highlight your unique skills and contributions to each project in the descriptions.
4) Incorporate testimonials or feedback from previous clients or employers.
5) Regularly update your portfolio with new projects to demonstrate growth and ongoing activity.