A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Design Portfolio Website - Here's Everything to Know
Building a portfolio website can be a lengthy process, especially when you are doing it for the first time. Here are certain factors that will make things easy.
For designers nowadays, having a professional internet presence is a must. A contemporary-day version of a business card, resume, and project demonstration all rolled into one is an online portfolio with flawless website design. After all, it's where all potential clients and employers who want to hire you got to look for you.
Making a portfolio website allows you to showcase your skills and express your own voice, while also looking as sharp and professional as the rest of your work. With the correct tools, you can develop a compelling online presence that transcends technological limitations and aesthetic compromises.
1. Choose Your Theme
When creating an online portfolio, the first decision you'll make is what theme you want to use.
There's no need to feel rushed—you can change things around at any time if you don't like the theme you've chosen. The beauty of website builders is that they allow you to do exactly that. Your website and appearance should change as your job and life experiences change.
It's easy to put off launching your website because you're concerned about how it will look. Just keep in mind that once you've got your basic site up and running, you'll have plenty of time to tweak it to your liking. This is merely an introduction.
2. Showcase Your Best Projects
Make sure to highlight your genuine work as much as possible in your web portfolio. It should be noticeable and easily accessible from the homepage and/or website navigation. Create a special "projects" page on your website to showcase this effort.
Share only your best work with clients to show off your ingenuity and skill. In this manner, you'll draw their attention to your skills while maintaining a high level of quality across your whole portfolio.
In addition to showcasing your best work, update your website on a regular basis to ensure that you're always promoting your most recent creations. This will demonstrate to visitors that you are engaged, employed, and knowledgeable. Consider how you may develop an easy-to-update portfolio that allows you to add new work as you go when you're initially starting out with an online portfolio.
3. Create an About Page
Your “About” page is one of the most significant areas of your portfolio, and it's also the page that gets the most traffic. Select "Custom Pages" from the "Create New" menu to see a variety of “About” page templates to personalize.
Nobody expects you to write an essay—and no one has time to read one—so keep it short and sweet.
Make sure you tell them who you are, what you do, and where you live. Making your “About” page more personal by including a photo of yourself is a fantastic method to do it.
It's a good idea to keep your target reader in mind when writing and write about what you think they'd enjoy. This means that you won't have to relive your youth. Instead, use your portfolio to provide a complete summary of your professional work; you create ways add a detailed resume later, but for now, a basic bio will be enough.
4. Contact Information
Make sure people can simply contact you after they've been impressed by your site. Commissions won't magically appear in your inbox, so include a contact form, your email address, phone numbers, and social media links to guarantee you're approachable.
These can be included in your menu, on a separate contact page, or pinned to the side of the screen. It's also a good idea to provide your contact information at the bottom of your website, giving people one last chance to reach you.
5. Link to Social Media Accounts
You may add up to five icons that link visitors to your social media accounts under the "Social" page of the Design menu.
Linking to your social media accounts is a terrific method to promote your professional brand online, especially if you have a professional Facebook page for your creative firm, or if you publish work on Instagram or tweet updates.
It also gives visitors to your site a chance to learn more about you, view more of your work, and get updates on what you're up to.
6. Clients and Testimonials
A list of well-known clients who have decided to work with you will demonstrate your professionalism.Mention any projects that have been mentioned elsewhere or have gotten press attention.
You might also include a couple of customer testimonials. Testimonials can offer a lot of credibility to your online portfolio as long as the feedback is genuine and isn't exaggerated.Don't pass up this free and genuine publicity opportunity.
7. Incorporate Professional Features
If you're stuck on perfectionism, here's some advice: it'll never be perfect, but you need to get this website up and running if you want to find new clients or new job chances.
Give yourself a "passing grade" rather than strive for perfection. You can adjust your website indefinitely, but if you give it an 80 percent rating, consider it finished. Request that a trustworthy friend or colleague review it, make any required adjustments, and then proceed.
Remember that your portfolio will evolve as your style and career do, so don't let perfectionism keep you from getting started.
8. Improve the Website’s UX
It's time to put all the puzzle pieces together now that you've got your material. When it comes to developing a great UX, or user experience, for your website, there are a few things to consider.
Begin by making a list of all of the web pages you want to make. After that, decide which elements will be required on each page. A project page, for example, could have a featured image, header, description, and a few additional images or media assets. You can prioritize the contents on each page by listing them, deciding on their hierarchy, and designing a website layout that works for you.
You'll be able to decide on the navigation after you know which pages will comprise your online portfolio. What is the best way for your visitors to move from one page to the next? Will you use a hamburger menu that expands into a full-screen list, or will you use a fixed menu at the top of each page?
9. Make it Device Independent
People frequently overlook the large number of users who will be accessing their website on a smartphone. In fact, mobile devices are responsible for 52 percent of all web page views around the world. As a result, the greatest website designs should be equally attractive on mobile as they are on desktop.
When it comes to developing an online portfolio, one of the most difficult issues a designer faces is making sure it is mobile friendly. There are a few rules to remember when designing for mobile, as your mobile website is more than just a smaller version of your regular website.
You'll want to make the mobile version of your site as simple as possible on the small screen, displaying only the most important elements. Also, make sure your fonts and colors are legible. To make navigation easier, reduce the amount of text required and include a search box.
10. Always be Open to Criticism
We've all experienced the sense of getting immersed in a project until we lose sight of its true nature.That's why it's always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look through your website for feedback and new ideas. Inquire of your closest pals on the content and visuals of your portfolio.
Did they think there was something lacking from your portfolio? What did they think of the appearance of your site? Was it simple to find your way around? Critical criticism from your peers can help you fine-tune the aspects of your site, even if it means making revisions.
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