Whether you’re a freelancer looking to land new clients or a creative individual looking for a place to show off your work, a portfolio website is a must-have for every professional.
Sure, you can still use a site like Behance or Dribbble to create a portfolio for showing your creative work. But, to show true professionalism, you need to have your own website under your own domain name.
No, you don’t need web design experience or a thousand dollars to setup a great-looking portfolio website either. Setting up a WordPress site will cost you less than $100. And it will be a long-term investment you’ll be making for your career.
Getting the domain name and web hosting for the website is easy. Finding the perfect WordPress theme that’s suitable for a portfolio website is the hard part.
In this article, we’ll give you a few tips on what kind of features you need to look for to find a great portfolio WordPress theme.
#1: A Header Section To Introduce Yourself
When a potential client or someone interested in your work visits your website, the first thing they’ll want to know about is who you really are and what kind of work you do.
(Example: Argenta WordPress Theme)
You should make things easier for those people to know about you by introducing yourself in the top-half of your homepage. So, find a theme that allows you to include a short brief about yourself, possibly with a headshot of yourself on the homepage to present yourself and describe what you do.
#2: Clean And Minimal Layout
Your website design will say a lot about yourself and the way you work. A theme with a cluttered and an outdated design will not help convince your visitors that you’re a modern professional who stays up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends.
On the other hand, you can’t afford to update your theme whenever a new design trend comes along. It could cost you a lot of money.
(Example: Deck WordPress Theme)
(Example: Oncanvas WordPress Theme – our own free theme which is available on WordPress.org)
The minimal web design, however, is a timeless design approach. You can’t go wrong with a WordPress theme with a minimal design. Your website will stay relevant for a long time when it has a clean and a minimal look.
#3: Services And Skills Sections
Another important feature you should have on your portfolio website is including a section where you can describe in detail your services and qualifications. Whether you’re a web designer or a copywriter, you should clearly explain what type of services you offer on your website so that your potential clients can decide if you’re the right person for their project.
(Example: Xeon WordPress Theme)
Most WordPress portfolio themes, like the Xeon WordPress Theme, features clear sections for easily describing what you do through your portfolio website.
#4: An Image Gallery To Showcase Your Work
Image galleries aren’t just made for photographers. A portfolio site should also have an image gallery where you can visualize your past projects and show your best work.
The Argenta WordPress theme comes with an impressive portfolio gallery section where you can not only showcase your work in a clean layout, but also let people easily learn more about each of your project by clicking on each portfolio item in the gallery.
Then the portfolio item quickly opens in the same window to show more information, without any loading delays. That’s brilliant user experience design.
#5: A Testimonials Section
Just telling your visitors about your skills and experience will never help convince them of your abilities. People will need to see proof. This is why you need a testimonials section on your portfolio website to share what your previous clients had to say about your work.
Of course, if your favorite WordPress theme doesn’t have a section for testimonials, you can always use a third-party plugin to get that job done. You can find plenty of testimonials plugins on CodeCanyon marketplace.
#6: Easy-To-Use Contact Page
Last, but not least, provide a way for your visitors to easily get in touch with you. Don’t be lazy and include an icon of an envelope on your website with a “mailto:” link. Instead, add a functional contact form in your portfolio website where clients can instantly write a message and get in contact.
Again, if your theme doesn’t have this function, use a plugin like Contact Form 7 to get that job done.
You’re now all set to go exploring and find a great theme for your brand new portfolio website. All you have to do is take action.
If you’re not certain about where to look, you can start by browsing our own collection of WordPress portfolio themes. We’ve included both free and premium themes in our collection.