You might have created a personal website for your web design portfolio.
If you are a freelancer, then you will obviously need a website where you can display your past work and experience and have a contact page so that potential clients will have a way to contact you.
If you are a student looking for a job then you might need a website where you can show off your skills, qualities, what services you can provide, etc. so that any company or individual can hire you.
Or if you love pets, singing, dancing, etc. and want to explore your skills and share your thoughts, then you can start a blog to express your views and share them with a global audience.
Having a good portfolio website simply means you are promoting yourself in the online world. The brand is you and the brand name is your name.
The only way people around the world will know about you and your services is if you have an online presence. Doesn’t matter if you are a developer, gamer, painter, dancer, singer, or any other creative person, a good-looking portfolio website is a must if you want to promote yourself.
It is not hard to do, as there are so many intuitive platforms available to use that require no web design or coding knowledge.
If you are a freelancer of any kind and don’t currently have one, I recommend creating a free online portfolio as soon as possible, so that you can start reaping the benefits and stop missing out on opportunities.
What are the important factors that you need to consider when making a good portfolio website?
The very first thing that a user sees is your website logo. Usually, in the western world, we start reading from left to right and then top to bottom.
So, it is important to ensure your logo is visible on the top left side of your website. By adding a logo on the top left side, your users will identify it immediately.
It is not important to add your name to the logo, but if you are looking to market yourself then you might want to add your name. And make sure that you provide a link to your logo that will redirect it to the homepage itself.
Once your users know the person behind the website, they will be more eager to know about what you do. Here comes the role of the tagline.
The tagline can be added to explain what you do. Something to keep in mind is that taglines should always be short and catchy while outlining your work.
Some questions that you need to ask yourself while adding a tagline
1) Who are you? A Dancer, A writer, A Developer?
2) What do you do? Dancing? Modeling? Content Writing? Development?
3) Where do you stay? City? Country?
4) Are you? A Solo Developer/Designer/ Dancer? Or do you work for an agency?
Your portfolio is an important part of your site, as we are talking about portfolio websites. People will search for your past work while trying to decide whether or not to hire you and if you would be a good fit for their needs.
Make sure you are adding active links to your past work. For example, if you are a web designer, add links to the sites you have designed. Or you can simply add a screenshot of the live version.
If you are an interior designer, you might want to add images of rooms you have worked on. Remember that everything on your site should be visually appealing and professional, so make sure the images are of the highest quality.
While listing the projects, make sure to add a description below every project and add skills and technologies you used to complete those projects.
Another great trick is to add client testimonials. This will highly increase your chances of being hired, as people are more willing to hire someone that has positive reviews form others.
Think of it like buying something expensive on Amazon- if the product has great reviews then you trust that it works well and is good quality, but if it doesn’t, you are probably not going to buy it.
The tagline on the website will determine what you actually do but you does not go into detail about all the specific services you offer.
Therefore, your portfolio website should have a service section or a separate service page where you can add detailed descriptions of everything you offer.
Make sure that your services are easy to understand by every type of user. If you are a developer then you can add services like theme development, plugin development, customization, etc. If you are an agency then you can add services like copywriting, development, branding, designing, etc.
Here you should be able to elaborate on your services in more detail. For example, a marketing freelancer can specify services like social media marketing, search engine optimization, etc. and provide detailed descriptions on each one.
5. About Me
Let your users know about you. You need to share some information on yourself like your background, how many years of experience you have, where you came from, etc.
People are more willing to trust you of they feel like they know who you are, and therefore will be more likely to hire you. You should also add your picture so that people can feel like they know you even better.
It is hard to trust someone without seeing their face, so simply adding a picture can make a huge difference and will most likely result in more clients.
You should add any awards and recognitions that you have received, and don’t be shy! The purpose of your portfolio website is to showcase your skills and prove your worth. Adding these things can also increase trust, and as mentioned before, higher trust results in more clients.
Another crucial element of an online portfolio is the contact page. Suppose one of your potential customers finds your website and is impressed with your work. That person will likely start looking for a way to contact you.
If your contact information is easy to access, your potential customers will be able to get in touch with you easily and eventually hire you, but if the contact form is not visible or accessible, they will probably leave your site and give up.
If that happens, you are missing out on many opportunities. Rather than hiding contact information in the footer make sure you have a clear contact page, preferably with multiple contact options such as a phone number, email, and contact form.
A contact form should be short and should include important fields like email address, name, URL of a website, and an extra field for the person’s inquiry. Avoid adding unnecessary fields in order to make it as simple as possible to get in touch with you.
Starting a blog can be a great idea, especially for freelancers. Start blogging about your area of expertise in order to establish yourself as an expert in the field and gain a following.
People will trust you more if you have a good reputation in your niche, and you will also attract more traffic to your website if you have a blog.
The more website visitors you have, the more clients you are likely to land. A blog is great for taking your online presence to the next level, reaching a larger audience, and improving your professional reputation as an expert in your field.
8. Call to Action
The next step is to add call-to-action buttons on every page. It is important for your call to action buttons to stand out and be clear on each page.
The call to action button should have proper text like request a quote, hire me, view my portfolio, etc. and should include a link to the relevant page.
9. Make use of social networking sites
If people are interested in you, they will probably want to read more about you. You should encourage them to follow you on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc.
10.Communication and language
We are talking about an online portfolio, so make sure your website is for personal use. You do not need to appear like a corporate brand that is emotionless.
Be personal and friendly with your clients so that they can trust you, and make sure that your website properly represents who you are.
Once you are finished creating your website’s content, make sure to read it out loud and even ask friends to go over it. You want to make sure that it is clear and easy to understand for your website visitors. Also, make sure the texts are not too long.