Show Yourself Off in 2014: Profiles, Portfolios, and Personal Pages

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…

Portfolio

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:

Portfolio_Showcase

Slovakian artist Lucia Lukáčová takes advantage Portfolio’s blank slate for her portfolio, Delulu Illustration:

Lulu

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.

Portfolio is a premium theme. Learn more or preview it in the Theme Showcase.

Typo

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:

Typo_Showcase

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:

StewartONan

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.

Typo is a free theme. Learn more or preview it in the Theme Showcase.

Gridspace

Visually-oriented portfolio themes aren’t just for artists — even bold, photo-focused themes like Gridspace:

Gridspace_Showcase

Just look at BBC presenter, lecturer, and broadcast journalist Kenan Malik’s personal site, Pandaemonium:

Pandemonium

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.

(Of course, Gridspace is a perfect choice for artists too, like Erin Hill and David Zinn.)

Gridspace is a premium theme. Learn more or preview it in the Theme Showcase.

Profile, Hatch, and Oxygen, oh my!

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!


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Michelle W.

29 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Silje Therese

    Great post! :)

  2. HipsterApproved.net

    Nice!
    I especially like the Gridspace theme.
    I’ll have to keep that in mind when it comes time to make a portfolio.
    Thanks!

  3. kathyclem

    Thank you very much for this great suggestions. I plan to redo my Websites in the near future.

  4. Jeff Branch

    I use the Porfolio theme and really like it.

  5. Ron Scubadiver

    I think it is relatively easy to add a portfolio section to many themes. Just create additional pages for the portfolio section with each page limited to a particular subject. Then go through the media library and create a gallery.

  6. Sean M. Madden

    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
    http://CreativeThunder.co

  7. george-b

    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.
    Thank you,
    Happy New Year 2014!

    George (euzicasa)

  8. Júlio César Coelho (Ebrael)

    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.

  9. Ismail Omar

    Refreshing look. Great.

  10. mindyehmer

    Great info. I am new to blogging so this is helping me to learn everything I can!

  11. girlfriendshub

    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!!

  12. Sarah B.

    Thank you for the helpful information!

  13. Laura Bloomsbury

    my grandaughter & I love Typo for its single column, simple display of our weekly themed, wordless, shared pics :)

  14. Sue Fenton

    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.

  15. Joe Hernandez

    Great post. Love to see everything that is out there.

  16. jollof

    Thanks for sharing , Michelle :)

  17. thepoetx

    Great post, found it extremely useful. I’m currently using twenty fourteen and love it.

  18. carlostorneropando

    I liked mostly the rid portfolio theme. has great things to offer, a clean space….Is perfect.
    Thanks for the post.

  19. justhomestay

    Thank you for the great tips!

  20. Amanda Lindsay

    Truly a nice post! xxo

  21. Musings from a Tangled Mind

    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.

  22. amalurnair

    Thanks for the suggestions. You have helped me a lot in redoing my profile.

  23. jofswong

    i forget my username, how can i do it ?

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