When you refresh your résumé for the new year, why not also refresh (or create!) your online presence? An online portfolio highlights you in a whole new way. Portfolios aren’t just for artists — writers, teachers, architects, graphic designers, and more can use portfolios to share their work. If what you do can be visualized, you can represent it online.
WordPress.com makes it simple to create this 21st century calling card — dozens of themes are great foundations for a powerful, professional portfolio. Now, simply mention your URL to a potential client or partner and let them explore the very best of your work online.
Need inspiration to get started? Here are a few highlights…
To make it as easy as humanly possible, there’s a theme helpfully called Portfolio. Built-in custom colors and fonts make personalizing easy, a drag-and-drop interface neatly organizes multiple portfolios, and a slider shines the spotlight on your best work:
She’s able to highlight her illustration, kid-focused work, and general sketchbook in different portfolios, which visitors can easily access via a menu across the top of the page. Her bold lines and bright colors jump off a stark background, while simple and unobtrusive fonts provide information and help visitors navigate without ever detracting from Lucia’s artwork.
Building a beautiful portfolio doesn’t need to cost anything — there are free themes that do an equally good job making you the star, like Typo:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based writer Stewart O’Nan realized this when he chose Typo for his site, where fans can learn about his books, short stories, and essays; read interviews with him; and stay on top of his latest tour stops:
Typo’s default font and color scheme have an antique, typewriterly feel, instantly letting you know you’re on an author’s site. A simple header image made of the covers of Stewart’s books showcases the breadth of his work. Below, he uses a blog to share photos and keep readers up-to-date on his latest projects, but the bold header keeps his published work in constant focus.
Visually-oriented portfolio themes aren’t just for artists — even bold, photo-focused themes like Gridspace:
Just look at BBC presenter, lecturer, and broadcast journalist Kenan Malik’s personal site, Pandaemonium:
We love everything about Pandaemonium’s juxtapositions: the way Kenan uses shades of gray for his header and sidebar content, letting the bright hues of individual posts’ images stand out without competing for attention. His choice of the willowy Raleway font, in contrast to the blocky, graphic font he uses in his images. The mix of serious content and a somber facial expression with his helter-skelter header. His quirky combination of elements and personalities intrigues, encouraging visitors to click around and engage with him.
There are dozens of other themes that are either designed to create beautiful portfolios, or that can easily morph into one. Premium Profile puts you front and center, while free Hatch and Oxygen let you create clean galleries of your best work. Photo-oriented Autofocus is a natural for photographers, and versatile TwentyTwelve works for any personal site. A few of our favorites:
- Historical fiction author Julian Stockwin dresses up his Profile-based site with period artwork and a vintage map background.
- Graphic designer Trina Lambert takes the free Clean Home theme to new levels of sleek minimalism for her portfolio and résumé site.
- Scottish Dream Photography uses Autofocus‘ unique tiled gallery-style home page to help their images sing.
- Web developer and strategist Joel Hughes customizes TwentyTwelve to build a friendly, inviting site that makes his WordPress skill clear.
A home page for any theme
Turn any theme into a personal showcase – all our themes can be used to build a website with a home page, rather than a blog, like web strategy firm Creative Thunder. Rather than using Ryu’s standard blog layout, they’ve opted to create a home page that highlights their services and strengths; adding a blog to another page of the site lets them keep that important point of contact with potential clients.
To create a home page, head to the Settings >> Reading tab in your dashboard, check the box next to “A static page,” and specify which of your pages you’d like to show as the home page, and which should be used for your blog. You can also update this setting in the Customizer – just click on the “Front” tab.
2014 can be the year that your creative and career goals reach new heights — and a great online portfolio can help!
- Jan 7, 2014 @ 4:00 pm
Jan 7th at 8:39 pm
Thank you, Michelle, for including Creative Thunder within your article. Mufidah and I both really appreciate your having noted what we’ve done with the Ryu theme.
With warm regards,
Sean & Mufidah
Jan 7th at 8:59 pm
What I always wanted is to make available on my website links to websites i enjoy revisit (I created many under the “text” widgets (even though one’s interests can be so different than others’).
Zemanta was a great feature on WordPress.com, and it can be installed in the browser, to continue to augment the editing, and referencing on line). I will stick with it, for now.
I like your post, it gives a lot of insight for bloggers with “purpose” (focusing on a narrow array of topics)
I found “Caroline theme” in my blogging on multiple topics and interests.
Happy New Year 2014!
Jan 7th at 10:31 pm
There’s no WP theme really great for potfolios. Unfortunately! I think, for instance, that built-in social links modules should there be in every theme as an option.
Jan 8th at 12:24 am
Refreshing look. Great.
Jan 8th at 2:25 am
Great info. I am new to blogging so this is helping me to learn everything I can!
Jan 8th at 3:42 am
We are so excited. We just refreshed, not that little arrow click, but refreshed our website. It’s kind of our way of saying,”it’s a new year and we look good.” Cheery and blessing in 2014!!
Jan 8th at 5:48 am
Thank you for the helpful information!
Jan 8th at 10:30 am
my grandaughter & I love Typo for its single column, simple display of our weekly themed, wordless, shared pics
Jan 8th at 11:48 am
I found the bit at the end useful. I’ve always wanted a way of accessing my blog posts from the main menu and didn’t know how to do it. I used to look at that bit in ‘settings’ > ‘reading’ that you refer to, and I just didn’t understand what it meant! Easy when you know how!
Good comments about making galleries in pages for portfolios – I intend to try that out at some point as creating a portfolio is something I’ve never quite got the hang of.
Jan 8th at 4:51 pm
Great post. Love to see everything that is out there.
Jan 8th at 6:39 pm
Thanks for sharing , Michelle
Jan 8th at 9:19 pm
Great post, found it extremely useful. I’m currently using twenty fourteen and love it.
Jan 11th at 1:26 pm
I liked mostly the rid portfolio theme. has great things to offer, a clean space….Is perfect.
Thanks for the post.
Jan 11th at 5:42 pm
Thank you for the great tips!
Jan 11th at 9:53 pm
Truly a nice post! xxo
Jan 12th at 12:59 am
Thank you for sharing this great information! I’m new to blogging so always appreciate help with that — but I appreciate the helpful tips on raising a more professional presence as well. I really like the Typo theme and think it would be really useful for my organization.
Jan 15th at 2:36 pm
Thanks for the suggestions. You have helped me a lot in redoing my profile.
Jan 24th at 10:40 am
i forget my username, how can i do it ?