The Internet is huge and full of billions of websites. There are also many different types of websites that can accomplish many different things. Before designing your site, your first step is to determine what it is you want to accomplish. Then design the site around your goal to reflect your purpose.
One powerful category of websites is the portfolio site. It is typically used for but not limited to people in creative fields like designers, artists, and photographers. The emphasis is on visuals where you can literally show samples of your work and share some of your personality with your website visitors.
For instance, if you are designing a website about how to lose weight, there is nothing more powerful than before and after pictures to help motivate someone to take your advice.
The most important reason to create an online portfolio website for a graphic designer is the ability to showcase the eye-catching samples of your work in one location. Don’t forget that your purpose for creating your website will determine how you set it up (like hosting options) and what information you include. For instance, are you trying to sell some of your artwork or your design services or are you looking for a job in graphic design? Your online portfolio website functions as your resume in the digital age.
Looking for a Job?
If you are looking for a job, you want to do whatever you can to stand out from others competing for the same job. Having a well-constructed and powerful resume and cover letter will certainly help, but you might be overlooking another powerful tool. That tool is an online portfolio.
Most potential employers will put a candidate’s name into a search engine to see what pops up. Finding a visually-attractive, engaging, and dynamic portfolio website that shows off what you have done will go a long way to getting them interested in you. Collect all your best samples of the work you have done, articles you have written, or anything else that represents your skills and expertise and showcase them on your site. Having the sum total of you in one place makes it easier for hiring managers or recruiters to evaluate your qualifications for a job.
If you are a freelancer in fields such as writing, marketing, and design, you are vying for clients in a highly competitive world. By creating an online portfolio website, you are able to present your best self and persuade others to hire you. A dazzling, compelling, and well-designed portfolio website will:
- Present all your best work and important information in one easy-to-view place
- Set you apart from others by showcasing your unique skills, experience, and strengths with stunning examples of your work
- Demonstrate the value of your work that can translate into higher prices
If you aren’t showing samples of your work you are missing the point of a portfolio website – a visual representation of you. Make sure you show your best work and make sure it is easy to find. The presentation of your work is just as important as the actual work itself. Keep your navigation simple and clear. Don’t overload your site with too many examples. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors Rather than including everything you have ever done, choose the ones that are the best representations of your work.
Your homepage or landing page of your website is the most important part of your site. It is the first page a visitor lands on and depending upon their user experience, will be a significant determining factor in whether or not they stay and look around or leave. You have about 3 seconds to grab their attention so be sure to use eye-catching visuals and be clear and concise about what the purpose is of your site. Include a call-to-action which is a link or button that directs your visitors to do something. They should be easy-to-find, visually-appealing, persuasive, and create a sense of urgency.
Sample calls to action are:
- Join free for one month
- Download now
- Enter to win
- Free trial
- Join the conversation
- Contact me
Show Your Personality
Let your website tell the story of who you are by showing what you have done. People like to hire or work with people they know, like, and trust so be sure to show the real person behind the website. Many people like to use an “About Me” page for this purpose.
Creating an effective, dynamic, and engaging portfolio website requires a lot of planning and time. Use it to demonstrate your abilities, experience, projects, and expertise in your field.