If you’re a creative professional or aspiring artist, having a portfolio website is key to finding work and establishing a reputation. If you’ve ever worked in a creative field, you know having samples to show is just as important, if not more important, than simply having a resume. The work itself is also only part of the story. How you display that work also signals to employers how serious you are. Creative work extends to every aspect of design. That’s why the platform you choose to host your portfolio on should be reliable, adaptable, and aesthetically appealing. Of course, WordPress is more than up to the task. While everyone knows the benefits of WordPress when it comes to running a business, its capabilities as a portfolio platform shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’ve been looking to update your web presence and don’t know where to begin, here are some ways creatives can use WordPress to quickly establish a killer online portfolio. Be sure to find a reliable web hosting provider that will keep your portfolio site running 24/7 regardless of how much multimedia you’re uploading to your site.
Pick the Perfect Theme
One of the most attractive qualities of WordPress is the ability to have nearly any look you want for your site thanks to easily installable themes. Of course, with so many choices, you’re going to need to narrow down your search a bit. The first question you want to ask yourself is, “What am I looking to accomplish with this portfolio?” If it’s simply a repository of your work, you want a clean theme that won’t take away from the work itself. For photographers, a theme like Oshine or Uncode could be what you need. Oshine is minimalist while Uncode offers a wide range of features that you can use (or choose not to use) depending on your specific goals. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose a theme that applies to what your actual field is. If you’re a writer, you have more wiggle room. Any clean theme with a white background and a focus on one piece of writing at a time should work for you. Get creative. Just avoid overcrowding because then you’ll lose reader focus. Guide your visitors to the pieces you want them to read by establishing order.
Choose a Plugin Instead
Suppose you already have a site established for some other purpose or you don’t want to choose a whole theme dedicated to just a portfolio. A portfolio plugin can add a portfolio section to nearly any theme for quick installation (or removal, if you so choose). Some portfolio plugins include Essential Grid, which adds grid layouts to your site for both text and image samples of your work. You can include as many rows and columns as you’d like, custom colors, content sources, layouts, and more. Media Grid is another solid choice if you’re looking to arrange photos, videos, or audio in a fully customizable grid layout. There are more portfolio plugins out there, so check them out. They’re a convenient way to turn an existing site into a showcase of your work
Carefully Select Your Content
Now we’re getting to the part you’ll probably spend quite a bit of time on. After all, this is what you’re going to be building your brand on. It’s time to choose the samples of your work that best represent you. You’re not going to want to throw everything you’ve ever done on your site. It’s important to choose work that is relevant, recent, and high quality. Show off what you’re most proud of. Also remember that context is everything. Whether you’re a writer, artist, engineer, or developer, you have to tell a story with your portfolio. Work presented without context isn’t as effective as work samples provided with an explanation as to how it fits into your overall body of work. Write short contextual descriptions for each work you present in your portfolio so potential employers can better understand your process and the way you work. Generally, a single page of your very best work is enough when it comes to a portfolio. Just like with a resume, few people will spend time combing through your entire history. Put your best foot forward.
Establish a Method of Contact
This is a small (and obvious) point to make, but it is important. Now that you’ve spent all this time presenting your work, having a way for visitors to reach you for employment opportunities wraps the whole thing up. After all, what good is a portfolio if it doesn’t get you more work? Consider installing a contact form plugin so you can collect pertinent information from visitors at the initial point of contact. Alternatively, you could just provide an email address, but then you have no real filter or introductory information. Whatever you choose, make sure your preferred method of contact is prominently displayed on your site.
Set up your portfolio site today. With WordPress, it’s easy and you’ll be up and running in no time.