In many careers, portfolios can be much more important than degrees, helping to showcase your work and sell your services more easily than anything else. But if you’re new to building an online portfolio, this can be quite a challenging process. Portfolio websites require plenty of time, effort, and dedication, and mistakes can easily be made during this process.
Things to Know Before Creating a Portfolio Website
To help you avoid the same errors and create the best portfolio website possible, here are some of the most important things you should know before you begin building your digital portfolio:
You must portray yourself well
People prefer working with people, and not portfolios. While your work is important, your portfolio should also represent who you are for this very reason. The “About me” page of your website is perfect for describing your skills and expertise, as well as providing more information about your interests and passions. It can also be a great method for humanizing your portfolio. However, don’t fall into the trap of writing your whole autobiography on this page. Your “About me” section should be concise, short, and to the point in order to achieve the desired effect, much like the rest of your portfolio.
Navigation has to be clear
Anyone who visits your portfolio website should be able to navigate it effortlessly. Selecting a one-page website layout can be a great solution for this, allowing visitors to rely on seamless scrolling to take in all the necessary information. If you do decide to divide your content across several pages, however, it’s crucial to ensure that the design is consistent and part of a cohesive whole. You might want to consider creating ‘Contact’ and ‘Social media’ sections on your website as well, to enable visitors to easily find more information about you and your work if needed.
A great domain name is key
Your domain name is likely the first contact your audience will have with your website, which is why it’s crucial for it to be impactful. Choose a unique and memorable name that represents your personal brand in the best way possible, while also showcasing who you are and what you do. Consider selecting the more personal .me domain extension as well. Its distinctive style makes it ideal for a portfolio website, not to mention that such an extension helps to accelerate success due to its safe, trustworthy, and SEO-friendly nature.
Writing should be the focus
It’s clear that websites are important for showcasing your work, but it shouldn’t all be about displaying your projects to your visitors. Although letting your work speak for itself is perfectly fine, most visitors would also like to read something interesting about the person who created it. For that reason, it might be beneficial to put your writing on your landing page even before your projects. This could be a simple introduction, an engaging story, testimonials from happy clients, or even a glimpse of your personality baked into your work. No matter what you choose, remember that you are the product as much as your work.
Your work needs to be curated
When creating a portfolio website, it’s easy to think visitors will spend plenty of time going through your entire work history, and would therefore like to put every project you’ve ever completed on your site. However, the average visitor will only spend a couple of seconds looking at portfolios, and can easily become overwhelmed if presented with too many examples of your work. That is why you should aim to follow the classic ‘less is more rule. Emphasize only your best, most relevant, and most appealing work on your website, and think of ways to present your projects to maximize their value. This will be key to success.
Above all, remember that your portfolio is a work in progress. As long as you keep revisiting and adjusting your website, showcasing your best work, and following the tips above, you can easily achieve professional success.