Who Needs a Portfolio and Why?
First of all, the portfolio is in my opinion necessary for representatives of the following creative professions:
- graphic designers
- layout designers
- web developers
- Copywriters, etc.
What your portfolio and its content will look like depends on the type of your business. The main thing is that it can represent the owner better than any word.
Requirements to Create Your Own Website
The fundamentals for creating a website like a portfolio.
Register a Domain Name
Each website has a unique domain name, an address that users can use to access it. Many domain names are already taken, so you will need to register your domain name as soon as possible.
Keep names short and easy to remember. A long URL is always prone to error when shared.
Choose a Hosting Provider
Hosting is the next big step towards your own website. With different hosting providers, you reserve your storage space on the internet so to speak, so that your website can be delivered to all interested parties.
You should prioritize a high quality hosting plan to get enough performance for a fast loading website.
The Most Popular Domain and Hosting Services Are:
- Bluehost is a domain registrar and web hosting provider that stands out for its affordability, as well as many additions. Starting at $ 2.95 per month, Bluehost offers domain, domain security and privacy, website hosting, corporate email accounts, and impressive storage capacity.
NameCheap is primarily a domain registrar, but also offers web hosting. They are renowned for their exceptional customer service, knowledgeable, engaging and friendly demeanor.
GoDaddy is a domain name registrar and web hosting provider. He specializes in helping businesses with areas that are currently owned by another person or business.
HostGator is a domain registrar and web hosting provider. They partner with domain.com to provide the latest and only domain enhancements at affordable prices.
1 & 1 IONOS is a domain registrar and web hosting provider offering $ 1 .com domains for the first year.
SiteGround is the largest hosting company offering virtual and cloud hosting services, dedicated servers, and email hosting and domain name registration.
Pay Attention to The SSL Certificate
An encrypted HTTPS connection is a must for today – just as people send their personal information or passwords through your website.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force in mid-2018. As the website operator, you are responsible for setting up an HTTPS (also known as “SSL”) connection. Therefore, you should definitely choose a hosting provider that offers SSL certificates.
Besides hosting provider, you can try paid SSL certificate provider that offers a range of SSL certificates starting from regular SSL to cheap wildcard SSL and many more types that brings strong security to the website. A secure website with SSL brings more customers to the website and increases conversions on the website.
Choose a System For Your Own Website
Ultimately, you have to choose a system or a way to create a home page. There are different options:
- Website Builders or Web Builder: The best known are WiX , Novi Builder , Jimbo or Site123 .
- CMS: Content Managers: The most prominent representatives of the CMS category include:
WordPress : The ideal CMS for creating blogs, business card sites, business sites and for creating a portfolio. By the way, the site you are reading now works on the basis of this CMS. There are many guides online that explain how to build a portfolio site with WordPress.
Joomla : Another multi-functional content CMS that allows you to build a simple website with a business card or corporate website as well as a full online store. Be sure to read our guide on how to build a site on Joomla.
Drupal : A popular and secure CMS, ideal for building corporate sites, business card sites, as well as portfolio sites, social networks, and online stores.
OpenCart : This content manager is mainly intended for the creation of online stores. However, it should be considered that it is easy to use, but at the same time quite complicated in terms of development. As practice shows, developing a full-fledged online store based on this engine requires the intervention of an experienced PHP programmer.
- Get Your Hands in the Code: With this method, you are completely independent of assembly kits or CMSs, but you will need to have extensive programming knowledge in different coding languages.
- Professional Services to Develop The Website
Everything is great, if you choose this option except the price. It can cost you a fortune.
If you want to build your own portfolio website, I recommend using the WordPress content management system. With WordPress, you can implement much more sophisticated and custom designs and functions. Mainly because WordPress offers a steep learning curve. So you can expand and widen your homepage over time, while you quickly run into technical limitations at a kit supplier.
Install The WordPress CMS
While we have presented several options previously, in the rest of this online portfolio building guide, we will focus on WordPress.
This is simply because it is the most practical option, which also offers many solutions specific to WordPress portfolio sites.
There are two methods to install WordPress.
1 – Manually
2 – Using hosting tools (if the hosting provider offers such an option).
After installing WordPress, you will need to think about the design of your future website.
Choose a WordPress Theme For Portfolio
Let’s start by choosing a theme. You can find many marketplaces online with ready-made websites. You can find these solutions in a different price range, even for free.
In the case of a portfolio site, I suggest starting with free WordPress themes . They have everything you will need to create a great portfolio website.
If you think that someday you might want to develop your website into something more like an online store, I would recommend a versatile theme – Monstroid2 . It offers more than 20 skins for different purposes.
It is user friendly and easy to customize with Elementor Page Builder. This WordPress theme is a great start for beginners and developers. If you want your WordPress portfolio website to look different, just choose a different theme and voila!
Once you have chosen a theme that you like, you need to install and activate it.
Create Pages and Content
The next step is to create pages and content for your website / portfolio. On the WordPress administration panel on the left and in the upper part, you will find 2 distinct functions: create pages (Pages) and publish articles (Articles).
The Difference is as Follows:
- If you want to blog and post news regularly, use the relevant articles.
- Articles have the advantage of being able to be better sorted by categories and keywords.
- For a typical subpage, for example on your business, use pages.
Creating new pages and posts is self-explanatory and shouldn’t be a major obstacle. Simply move your mouse over “Articles” or “Pages” and click “Create”.
Now, a simple text editor will open where you can type and format your content. The command bar is reminiscent of Microsoft Word. Thus, you can format blocks as headers or define accents with passages of text in italics.
Now you need to create the most important subpages of your homepage or add some important elements. Think about what people want to find when they visit a website.
- Welcome / Home
- Offer / Performance / Products
- Contacts page
- About / Team
Introduce Yourself with a Gallery
Image galleries can now be found all over the web. In fact, most of the sites you visit probably have at least one gallery, and for good reason. A gallery is the easiest way to show off your work.
Here are some great gallery plugins you can use to show off your services and work:
- FooGalleryis a great WordPress gallery plugin. Has the ability to add a video. It has an excellent user rating.
- WP Social Feed Galleryis a plugin for creating Instagram galleries on WordPress. This is a gallery for WordPress which has a lot of settings and features for displaying images from Instagram.
- Gallery by Envirais a plugin for creating WordPress galleries that will allow you to very quickly create photo galleries and video galleries.
- Photo Galleryis a WordPress gallery plugin. With this plugin, you can easily create galleries and albums that can be used in posts, pages and widgets.
- NextGEN Galleryis a free WordPress gallery. Over a million active installations.
Even More Plugins
Initially, WordPress is not properly configured to promote and complement the site with the necessary functionality.
To adapt the site to our needs, we will add a list of necessary plugins. There are many, many plugins for WordPress, tens of thousands. They are developed by enthusiasts, users, companies…
How to Install a Plugin?
On the left side administration panel select:
- Then choose from the WordPress library or upload your own.
Here are the most popular and necessary tools for your portfolio success:
- Yoast SEO Plugin: The main plugin to improve SEO. By using it, you will define the title and the Meta description of each article, page, and section … This plugin is essential for SEO.
- MailChimp: Create your newsletter. You will need to register with the mailing service to start collecting your subscriber base.
- Sassy Social Share: A plugin to share your content on social networks.
- Popup Maker: Popup manager with which you can suggest something or redirect the visitor to a specific page, for example a page with an offer or an interesting new article. You can also add an application / subscription form within the popup.
- All In One WP Security: a plugin to fight against intruders. The main plugin for piracy protection. It has a lot of useful features.
- Akismet: anti-spam plugin. I use the Akismet plugin to fight spam.
- Cache plugin: (WP Super Cacheor W3 Total Cache ). You might need it to configure caching. Also, it will make the page load faster.
- Contact Form 7: Form You will need to install this plugin to create your contact form in order to receive messages.
Customizing The Portfolio to Your Needs
I’m pretty sure you want to change some details of your WordPress portfolio theme. That’s why I’ve created a list of useful resources. This selection of tools will help you customize your Website / Portfolio quickly and efficiently.
- Elementor Popup Builder: With this tool, you can create a unique pop-up window for free. They also offer over 100 out of the box configurations.
- JetBlog plugin for Elementor: The best blog plugin for Elementor. Use JetBlog’s widgets to create engaging blog pages. 9 article tile layouts, advanced styling settings, list creation from external YouTube or Vimeo videos.
- Paletton: A tool for creating color combinations.
- Google Fonts: Make your portfolio more attractive with great Google Fonts.
- Font Awesome: Open source web icons.
- Pexels: An image bank with many free photographic resources for websites and commercial use.
And The Basic Structure of Your Own Website is Already There!
Congratulations! If you have followed the five steps outlined above, the basic framework for your website already exists. As you can see, the path to personal internet presence is not that difficult.
Fortunately, learning how to create a portfolio in WordPress is not as difficult as you might think.
If you have any questions, ask them in the comments section below!