Here are a few of the primary reasons you might decide to build a portfolio site:

  • You want to create an online resume for your job search – something to impress potential employers with.
  • You need a way to generate new sales and leads as a freelancer or small business owner.
  • You’re trying to build a stronger reputation or brand for yourself or your company.
  • You’re looking for a better way to network online and form valuable connections.

Start by figuring out which of the above is your primary purpose. It’s okay if you want to focus on more than one, or something not on our list. The important thing is to know exactly why you are creating your site.

During the design and creation process, keep a close eye on your goal and make sure that everything you do supports it. When you’re thinking about whether to add a certain page or feature, ask yourself: “Does this addition further my main goal, or distract from it?” Then make a decision based on your honest answer to that question.

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No matter what purpose you decide on for your site, it is very likely that you will want to focus on emphasizing content over form. An effective portfolio site is a showcase: it displays who you are and what you can do. The spotlight should be on your work examples, skills, accomplishments, and so on

One of the easiest ways to ensure this base is covered is to select the right theme. Your chosen theme should ideally be designed specifically for portfolios, and should be customizable enough that it enables you to draw visitor focus towards what matters most.

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Put yourself in your audience’s shoes for a moment. If you were an employee or a client looking for someone new to work with, would you spend hours combing though each portfolio you find? It’s not likely. There are too many freelancers, job seekers, and small businesses out there competing for attention.

This is why your portfolio site needs to impress visitors, and do so quickly. If you don’t catch their attention right away, chances are potential clients will leave in search of a better prospect. All the content in the world won’t help you if your audience never sees it. So prioritise the quality of your site and everything in it over the quantity.

True quality takes some time and effort, but is well worth it. Simply using WordPress for your site will make your job easier, as will choosing a supportive theme like Uncode. And remember: if your portfolio site and its contents don’t strike you as impressive, they probably won’t wow your audience either.

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Put yourself in your audience’s shoes for a moment. If you were an employee or a client looking for someone new to work with, would you spend hours combing though each portfolio you find? It’s not likely. There are too many freelancers, job seekers, and small businesses out there competing for attention.

This is why your portfolio site needs to impress visitors, and do so quickly. If you don’t catch their attention right away, chances are potential clients will leave in search of a better prospect. All the content in the world won’t help you if your audience never sees it. So prioritize the quality of your site and everything in it over the quantity.

Give special consideration to the areas where quality matters most:

  • Work samples. Instead of including every project you’ve ever completed, deliberately choose the best or most representative samples – the ones most likely to impress.
  • Text. Less is more when it comes to many things, including text. The dreaded ‘wall of text’ will turn a lot of readers away, so try to convey important information as concisely as possible and avoid rambling.
  • Images. Large, high-quality images are essential, especially when showing off your work. People pay more attention when text is supported by images, but your credibility will suffer if your images are too small or not well optimised.
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The best way to approach this issue is to create a standalone contact page for your portfolio site. It should be comprehensive, containing all the information visitors might need: email address, phone number, and physical address (if relevant). It’s also a good idea to include links to your social media profiles, which you can do using a WordPress plugin (such as Social Media). In short, you want to make it easy for people to get in contact with you using whatever method they prefer.

In addition, you might consider including a contact form so visitors can get in touch directly via your site. Contact Form 7 is a simple plugin that can enable you to do this, and it comes integrated with Uncode to boot. Either way, make sure your contact page is prominent and obvious, and include plenty of links to it throughout the rest of your portfolio site.

I will remember and consider each of these top tips when creating my portfolio website. 

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