The 7 Elements of A Great Portfolio Website

A portfolio website is an essential tool to getting more business and building your professional brand. In today’s digital world, a portfolio is arguably more important than a resume, no matter what industry you work in. Whether you are a freelance journalist, a recent college grad looking for a job, or even an accountant, when people Google your name, your portfolio will provide the most powerful and comprehensive perspective on you.

A portfolio is particularly relevant if you work in design, both if you are an independent web designer or part of an agency. The purpose of an online portfolio is to give a prospective client, like an art director, a sense of who you are, what you can do and whether you are the person they should hire to execute their project.

So what elements create a portfolio that will not only be noticed but also bookmarked by a potential client?

1. Make your mission clear

What is the purpose of this site? It is essentially a showcase of your work and skills. Your landing page needs to say who you are and explain what you do. You should also have a detailed About page that provides your educational background, profile, goals, interests and online resume. Also be sure to include a photo. People like to know who they are talking to!

2. Design for your audience

According to web designer John Furness, the design of your portfolio should reflect your work and share a similar look and feel to rest of your site. “Continuity between the different areas of your site is essential to keep users aware that the are on the same website. It’s also important that your portfolio’s design doesn’t take away from or overpower the work that’s being showcased.” Use colors, typefaces and design to connect with your target audience: if you are a wedding photographer, feel free to play with whimsical, romantic fonts or if you design for children, be open to using bright, primary colors.

3. Integrate social media

People who visit your web site need to be able to easily interact with social media. Connect your existing (or setup new) Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts for the site. These can all act as major drivers and bring new exposure to your site when you add the web address of your portfolio site to your bio on social media platforms, too.

If you add a blog to your site or include a gallery of your work, explore implementing a share button such as a “share this” widget which covers the vast majority of popular social networks for your users to share the images in your portfolio and posts in your blog.

4. Write strong, succinct copy

What you write on your site will help the potential client get a sense of you as a person. Make sure you have the right tone and also keep everything short, simple and to the point. You are not writing a novel. Also, make sure to use your HTML headings effectively. Try using HTML5 outliner to help you with this.

5. Make sure it navigates well

Remember, pay attention to the user experience (UX) of your site. Keep it simple. Here are several of great examples of portfolio websites with strong UX. You don’t want to waste a prospective client’s time getting lost on your site. Also make sure your site works and looks good on all different search engines and across different browsers!

6. Categorize your work (for designers)

Divide your work into categories like web, illustration, print, personal and branding so users can easily find what they are looking for. Furness noted it is very important to keep your most current work on the site. According to a blog post from Treehouse, you may want to consider turning each portfolio piece into a case study.

“If website visitors want to know more, allow them to click through to additional detail for each piece. Tell them about the needs of each client, what problems each client tried to overcome, and how the solutions you provided worked. Carry visitors’ interest by telling a short story that has a beginning and a conclusion, and be sure to underscore how you played the role of a problem-solver.”

7. Provide your contact info

The whole purpose of the portfolio is to get more work and connect with people! Don’t just rely on a contact form. Make sure to include your email on every page and on your social networks.

Interested in making your own portfolio? Check out Skillcrush classes – choose your program today!
Click to Tweet:

Your email address will not be published.



  1. smutstone cheats Replied

    Thanks for the points you have provided here. Yet another thing I would like to convey is that computer system memory specifications generally rise along with other improvements in the technologies. For instance, as soon as new generations of processors are made in the market, there is usually a related increase in the size and style demands of both laptop or computer memory as well as hard drive space. This is because the program operated through these cpus will inevitably rise in power to make new know-how.

  2. DMC5 Replied

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own blog now ;)

  3. Dominique Westland Replied

    I picture this could be various upon the written content material? then again I still believe that it can be suitable for just about any type of subject material, as a result of it would incessantly be pleasant to resolve a warm and pleasant face or maybe listen a voice while initial landing.

  4. Julianne Kartes Replied

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  5. furtdsolinopv Replied

    This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

  6. Corporate Web Design Westchester Replied

    AJ Ross is your full service Corporate Web Design Agency in Westchester NY serving NYC and NJ. AJ Ross Specializes in Corporate Web Design and Custom Web Development, creating powerful imagery and enticing responsive websites that drive action.

  7. pulse spot welding machine Replied

    Fantastic goods from you, man. Ive study your stuff ahead of and youre just as well amazing. I enjoy what youve got right here, adore what youre stating and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you even now manage to help keep it wise. I cant wait to go through additional from you. That is really an incredible weblog.

  8. Brianna Soloski Replied

    This is really helpful. I’m getting ready to re-brand and re-do my website, so having these tips in my arsenal will be really helpful.

Want more articles like this?

Sign up to get the most recent tech news, tips and career advice.