The Complete Guide To Useful Online Portfolios

A well-designed portfolio will make a lasting impression when it comes to creating an online portfolio.

What does a portfolio look like?

To inspire your portfolio website, I have gathered 9+ examples of online portfolios for professionals, students, and teachers. Let’s not go any further, but let’s discuss best practices.

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Portfolio Page Best Practices

What makes a portfolio website a great one? There are many ways to showcase your work online, but there are some best practices you can follow when creating your portfolio. These are the key components of an excellent online portfolio.

  • Clarity over Creativity. It is easy to get distracted by displaying your creativity in your portfolio. It’s fine to add some flair to make your portfolio stand out, but it can lead you to lose clarity. Your portfolio website should clearly display who you are, what your skills are, and what you have done.
  • Simple Navigation: You should find your portfolio easy to navigate. You should prioritize key pages such as Work, About, or Contact in your navigation.
  • Strong bio: Your online portfolio is more than just a collection of your work. It also tells visitors who you are. A strong About me page is an excellent way to share your bio with visitors and offer a glimpse into who you are.
  • Current Work: Your most recent work should be featured in your portfolio. You should choose a template that you are able to easily modify as you work on a project.
  • Next Steps: What actions do you expect people to take after they have reviewed your portfolio? Do they need to contact you? Follow you on social media Are you allowing potential clients to request a quote from you? Are you asking potential employers or hiring managers to view your resume? With a strong call-to-action, make it clear what the visitor should do next.
  • Demonstrate your talents: Your portfolio is the ideal place to demonstrate what you believe and practice what it preaches. If you are a graphic designer, your portfolio website can be used to showcase your work. Make sure that your UX portfolio showcases your UX design skills if you’re a UX designer.

Online Portfolio Examples

Once you have the basics down, it is time to get creative. These 9+ portfolios are great for inspiration.

Katrelle. Music Artist

Portfolios are not just about visual arts. It should include a wide range of your creative work. Katrelle’s website has elements that are typical of a “band” website, but it formats her work as a video portfolio site, with clips, downloads and bio.

Website created with Tailor Brands. (Read Tailor Brands Review).

Min Zhou, Product Designer

Portfolios don’t need to be complicated. Sometimes, a simple and straightforward approach is the best. Min Zhou’s portfolio shows this well.

You will be amazed at how simple the navigation is. There are two options available: Work or About. Min opens with a simple headline that immediately tells you who Min is and what he does. Min then showcases his work using a grid format. Click on each square to delve deeper.

Website created with (Squarespace Web Builder )

Sean Halpin, Web Designer

Portfolios are a great way to showcase your skills in action, especially for web-based industries such as design and development. Sean Halpin’s web design portfolio is a great example to show your style and skills within the portfolio.

Sean’s portfolio website is a great example of his web design style. It also showcases his design skills in the work section.

Website created with Self-hosted on VPS hosting account

Pascal van Gemert, Web Developer

Pascal van Gemert’s interactive portfolio is another example of how to integrate your work into your website, just like Sean. Pascal leverages his programming skills to create an interactive website that communicates information in unique ways, such as this star system that highlights his expertise in particular areas.

Website built using – minimally constructed & self-hosted from a VPS hosting account

Emma Kay, Creative Director + Stylist

Segmentation is what makes this portfolio stand out. Segmenting your portfolio by industry is a great way for visitors to find the most relevant projects, especially if you work in multiple industries like Emma Kay.

Emma uses a swipe scroll for visitors to easily navigate her work. It is simple and offers a great user experience. This is what makes a website great.

Website created with Format CMS at a shared website host

Brett Bergeron Designer, Developer, Creative Director

Portfolios do not always need to be all about visuals. Brett Bergeron’s portfolio uses large text to show you who he is and what he does. It occupies the entire homepage’s “above-the-fold” section (jargon for the whole screen before scrolling). You can scroll down to see the video and navigation to learn more about him. This adds an excellent balance to the text-heavy homepage.

Website created with minimally-built & web hosting account

Charlie Waite, Designer

Charlie’s portfolio is unique for two reasons. The color scheme is the first. His portfolio is pop with complementary colors. Your attention immediately goes to the yellow section and then down to the blue section that features another project.

His call to action is the second. Charlie uses a more personal “Contact” instead of something generic like “Contact”, which is not in keeping with the warm vibe of his portfolio page.

Remember that a strong CTA does not necessarily mean a boring CTA. It just needs to be clear!

Website created with minimally constructed & shared hosting account

Robert Brown Interior Design

This portfolio is a great example of how less is more. A portfolio filled with large-scale interior design projects and many photos can quickly become overwhelming. Robert Brown Interior Design’s approach makes it easier to manage. A simple grid layout displays individual projects and creates an overall style on the portfolio page. To see more photos of a project, visitors can click on the main image to open the gallery.

Website created with minimally-built & web hosting account

Sparkle Tafao, Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

Portfolio websites might not be appropriate for some industries like beauty or photography. You may instead rely more on social media channels like Instagram. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a website. You still need one. Sparkle Tafao’s portfolio is an excellent example of how you can leverage your website to redirect visitors to another channel. You have two options when you land on Sparkle’s homepage: either you can view her portfolio or check out her Instagram account.

Website created with (Squarespace Web Builder)

Kathryne Bevilacqua, Professor

Another example of how to balance creativity and clarity is the portfolio of this professor. Kathryne Bevilacqua adds an interactive menu to her website that allows you to navigate through it. The information is easy to find and consume. For those who wish to know more about her teaching, the portfolio includes a PDF download.

Your portfolio should be a place where people can learn more about you and your work. It doesn’t need to be all on one page. It can be used as an entry point to invite people deeper.

Website created with – IONOS Host

Next steps

It doesn’t matter what your job or purpose, having an online portfolio is crucial.

There are many options when it comes to how you can get your portfolio online. I have created a guide to the best website builders. However, the most popular options that I recommend include –

  • – A user-friendly option that offers good functionality, customer support, bundled hosting, and the possibility to migrate to a self hosted website in the future. View their Portfolios functionality.
  • Self-hosted WordPress allows maximum ownership and flexibility, but requires a little bit of learning. Learn how you can set up WordPress.
  • Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that offers a simple setup and a free plan. Refer to Wix.

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