Web Design Tips

Create the Job Landing Portfolio Website: 6 pro tips

how to design your own portfolio website
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how to design your own portfolio website

how to design your own portfolio website

It’s been a while I talked about portfolio websites. Literally after this New Year you have been mining for the opportunities around the web and you know better than me that how much a clean and mouth-watering portfolio website is important for a clinical dream job. I as a freelancer think that you couldn’t get your first job until and unless you are having a huge portfolio website items.

Today, I will share some of my personal and high authority freelancer tips on how to build or design a portfolio website so you could get your first dream job right away. Here are a few ideas on how to present your portfolio website in the best way possible.

CONTEXT MATTERS

Context in portfolio websites

Context in portfolio websites

The number one tip that I can give you is context, context, and context. I was talking to someone who was applying for jobs, and I looked at her portfolio website, and it had really nice pictures of her projects, but no information about what the projects were actually about. So let’s say you’re including this T-shirt design, and you only upload this picture with no other information. I mean, it’s a nice design, but I know nothing about it. Was it a school project, a commission? Were there any restrictions? Could you only use a certain number of colors? How many revisions did you go through? Is it part of a series? But then, let’s say that you uploaded all of these photos, and explained that it was a self-motivated design that you sketched out a year ago and finally produced one and then somehow it became your best-selling merchandise item. Then the second tip will work ->

BLOG SPEAKS

For every single project that you post, your audience cannot judge your ability to solve the problem if they don’t know what the problem was to begin with. There might be some projects where you have a ton to say and you don’t necessarily want a crowded portfolio website page with tons of text. In that case, I suggest you keep a portfolio website blog where you can ramble off about your projects as much as you like. And then, also, have a separate portfolio website page with a one or two-sentence description that links to the blog post for more information. Along the same lines, put together a substantial about page. This is your chance to really show off your personality, so include a picture or even a video. If you’re looking for a job, plainly state what your goals are, where you’re located, your e-mail address, and a link to your resume. If you’re active on Twitter and Tumblr and Instagram, include links to those, because employers love to see that you know how to use social media.

AVOID GIVING YOUR PHONE NUMBER

I would advise against including your phone number in your portfolio website. Think it through. Why does anyone really need it, in this day and age? E-mail is so much more convenient, because you can reply to it on your own time, and if it’s someone you don’t want to talk to, you’re not forced to be sitting there on the phone with them. If you need to give someone your phone number after talking over e-mail a couple times, it’s totally fine, but no one really needs it up front. Overall, though, the main thing to keep in mind is, “If I didn’t know me, and I was looking at this site “for the first time, would I hire me?” slash accept into college, slash whatever your situation is.” Do I get a complete picture of who this person is “and what their skills are?” If not, you may have a little bit more work to do fleshing out all of the details that you want to share.

SIMPLE NAVIGATION

Simple navigation of portfolio website

Simple navigation of portfolio website

Okay, so when it comes to the actual navigation of your portfolio website, don’t get too fancy. Keep it simple. The design of your portfolio site is basically another portfolio website piece, and you want to make it easy for people to find your work. Don’t make your visitors chase the navigation around the screen or make it a code that you have to break before you’re allowed to enter the portfolio website. Just keep it simple. As for the portfolio website page, there is nothing that I hate more than having to click a tiny little thumbnail to see the whole piece for every single photo that’s on the site.

IMAGE DO’S AND DON’TS

Bad portfolio website images

Bad portfolio website images

And yes, that is a screenshot of a bad portfolio having small thumbnails and lack of UI. Don’t do this and Instead, I suggest what is currently on my own portfolio website. I know that my portfolio website page has multiple box rows and I have crowded the stuff but well it’s your choice and think of what will work for you? Do you like box thing or just a plain masonry or listing images. One more thing is that your images should be pixel perfect and of high resolution. Clients often vote down people who doesn’t bother to put some nice, clean pixel perfect and high resolution pictures. So make sure to provide quality instead of quantity. This applies to everything including from your portfolio website content to your images.

CODING YOUR PORTFOLIO WEBSITE

Coding of portfolio website

Coding of portfolio website

So when it comes to actually creating your portfolio website, we’re all designers here. We’re not necessarily the best at code. There is no shame in having somebody else code your portfolio website. I paid one of my friends to code, and he did a great job and did it in way less time than it would have taken me. If you don’t have any friends who know how to code, there’s this site called PSD2HTML, which Hankering uses all the time, they do really good work. But, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, or you just don’t want to design a custom layout, there are plenty of template portfolio websites out there where you just upload your images, and then, you’re done.

I have personally never used any of these portfolio websites, but based on the popular suggestions were BehanceProSite, which seemed really easy to use, and the results are just beautiful. Plus, they let you build your portfolio website without paying anything, so it’s easy to see if it works for you and your work before handing over any money.

  • Carbonmade is also a great one, and their portfolio website interface is so cute. Their sites are a little simpler, but maybe your work is really complex and you don’t want it competing with other things on the screen, so simple can be really good. If you don’t have a lot of work to upload, you can get your side for free. But, if you want the more robust package, it comes to $12/month.
  • SQUARESPACE is another good one, and they have a lot of really professional-looking templates to choose from. They are either $8/m or $16/m, depending on how much storage space and how many pages you need
  • Or, if you want to stick with something you’re already familiar with, apparently deviantART also does portfolio website hosting, and they have both free and paid options. Or, you could just set up a new Tumblr to use as your portfolio website.

You can get professional-looking Tumblr themes on this blog post Stunning Tumblr Portfolio Themes that you can use specifically to make a portfolio site. So I know you’re going to ask, but I cannot tell you, objectively, which portfolio website provider is the best since, number one, I have never used any of them personally, and number two, they all have their pros and their cons. So you guys just have to do your own research and figure out which one is the best one for you.

So, I hope that helped you guys out, at least a bit. So, let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have any more suggestions for template portfolio websites that you can suggest to all of us. If you’re new here, I have worked on plenty of blog posts like this throughout the months, all about web design tips, popular designing resources, and much more. God bless you!

Abrar Ahmed
Abrar Ahmed is the co-founder of HowFreelance and ProDollars. He helps companies like Flexicom, Zero Defects, Kliir and Blue Artists grow their revenue by his unique web designs. He has also worked for crowd sourcing companies including Odesk, Freelancer and Fiverr. His web design and web development services are most affordable and is dedicated to teach web design beginners and professionals the quality web design tips and business effectively. You can contact through his Google+ page, Facebook Page or through Twitter
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14 Comments
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  • Ayisha Price Mar 16,2015 at 9:34 am

    These were some great tips!

  • […] online freelance graphic design competitions. This surely helped me a lot to build a nice looking extensive portfolio. Just keep in mind, that quality is what the clients are looking for so just bring out the quality […]

  • bela quintin Feb 22,2015 at 9:46 pm

    I searched for a lot of Tumblr themes. It isn’t wasy to find the right one.. Feeling a little confused

  • iomanIP Feb 22,2015 at 9:45 pm

    My first job was landed when I got 1 thing in my portfolio. Glad that job was $2/hr but it looked as if I got started the core cracked.

    • Abrar Ahmed Mar 17,2015 at 10:58 am

      Yeh. Make sure to remain consistent.

  • Dr. D Feb 22,2015 at 9:43 pm

    Well taught Abrar. Yeh, today a freelancer cannot live without 2 things! Air and portfolio 😀

  • Curlly Feb 22,2015 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks for advice. I’m in urgent need of coding my portfolio website idea. Could anyone help me???

  • Races Gambriela Feb 22,2015 at 9:41 pm

    I wonder carbonmade.com good for professionals?

    • Abrar Ahmed Mar 17,2015 at 10:39 am

      Yes, it is. Just make sure to follow the guidelines mentioned. It would pull out some great things for you to land a dream job.

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