From photographers and DIY bloggers, to advertising companies and freelancers, many professionals and businesses rely on online portfolios to promote their work.
If your site could benefit from an online portfolio, now might be the perfect time to create one. Often times, site visitors make first impressions after viewing online portfolios, so creating a powerful portfolio page can be extremely important to the future of your business.
Today, we’ll cover how to create an online portfolio with your self-hosted WordPress site and Jetpack.
Create your ideal portfolio with Jetpack
You can create an online portfolio using a regular website page or post, but it might require some manual effort. Since making a portfolio attractive, organized, and easy to maintain can be challenging, some site owners prefer to use a tool specifically designed to do the job for them.
Jetpack offers such a tool that comes equipped with special layouts for WordPress-based portfolios.
Portfolios are built on custom content types and work across any WordPress theme. As the Portfolio tool is part of Jetpack, you can manage all of your portfolio projects in one place. You don’t need to worry about losing any work if you decide to switch themes.
Jetpack’s Portfolio helps you to:
- Create appealing pages without needing to code custom templates or child themes.
- Provide your readers with engaging “social proof” of the quality of your work.
- Ensure that the effort you put into your portfolio is not lost if you need to change your WordPress theme.
Essentially, you can focus on showcasing your content and engaging potential customers instead of getting bogged down with the technicalities.
Portfolios are part of the Custom Content Types feature, which is enabled by default. If your WordPress theme doesn’t support it yet, go to Settings > Writing in your WordPress Dashboard, and select the Portfolio Projects option under Your Custom Content Types.
With Portfolios Projects activated, you can begin to add content.
Choose an intuitive theme
It’s best to avoid busy themes that might distract your visitors from the focal point of your work. Choose a theme with a simple design, allowing your work to take center stage. Don’t forget, a theme should be easy to navigate and user-friendly.
Professional plans offer access to more than 200 premium themes, in addition to more than 100 themes that come with free plans. Here is a showcase of every free and premium theme that Jetpack offers. With so many options to choose from, you’ll definitely find one that works well with your style and brand.
For more information about activating and customizing your selected theme, visit Jetpack’s theme support page.
Showcase your best work
Carefully evaluate your work to select projects for inclusion in your online portfolio. Consider including the following projects:
- Projects that you are especially proud of. Leave out any that you consider to be “just okay.”
- Projects that you want visitors to see first. Don’t forget that first impressions count!
- Pieces that are similar to the types of work you hope to complete in the future.
Organize your projects using categories and tags
You don’t want to display your projects in a disorganized way. Visitors should be able to easily find what they’re looking for.
Project Categories are used to sort portfolio projects into broader groups, while Project Tags are used to specifically describe what each portfolio project contains.
For example, if you have a photography studio, your categories might include events, portraits, landscapes, and animals. Possible tags for landscapes specifically might include: city, mountain, sea, forest, and wildlife. Keep in mind that tags can also be used across different categories.
This way, your visitors can quickly filter your projects to find samples similar to the finished products they have in mind.
If you have an extensive portfolio with a lot of variety, consider splitting it into multiple portfolios across separate pages of your site.
Provide context behind each project
Write a short description of each project. Include your end goal, the materials and techniques used, and other relevant information that might provide visitors a better look into your creative process.
With Jetpack Portfolios, add a Featured Image and a Custom Excerpt to each project to help visitors understand your work’s context at-a-glance.
Keep your portfolio updated
As you work on new projects and make improvements to your ongoing ones, be sure to add them to your portfolio. After all, it’s neither useful nor professional to have an outdated portfolio page on your site.
If you have a blog, it’s a good idea to promote your latest projects by writing new posts. With Jetpack, you have the ability to include custom content (such as online portfolios and testimonials) on any post or page by using shortcodes.
To include a portfolio into your post add the portfolio shortcode and customize the layout and content with the shortcode optional attributes.
Check the Portfolio Shortcode documentation for more details.
Create your portfolio to share with the world
By following these online portfolio best practices, you’ll be positioned to create a beautiful portfolio page that can attract new customers, and highlight your proudest creations.
Have any portfolio success tips of your own? Share with us in the comments below.
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