A few decades ago, sharing a portfolio would usually lead to a lot of printing, compiling and binding so you can hand over samples of your work to clients, friends, or other interested parties. But now that we live in the digital era, sharing a portfolio is as easy as sending a link or a QR Code to your website portfolio.
A portfolio website is the best way to showcase your personal brand, your skills, and your talent to a wider audience in the most efficient way possible. It is the quickest way to get your work accessible to a bigger client base. Portfolio websites are especially essential to any form of art - may it be visual like photography and digital painting or even handicrafts like sculpting or sewing.
A website portfolio is easily one of the best tools to help boost your career prospects especially when it is designed well - from the choice of website templates and design elements to choosing the right domain name and extension. With that being said, it is very essential and important to plan your portfolio website carefully.
Strikingly understands how important solid beginnings are in building your brand. This is why our website builder was designed with the aspiring entrepreneur and budding professional in mind. We made it more accessible to make a professional-looking free portfolio website, arming beginners and startups with the right set of tools to start building their brand online.
Before you get started in building your own portfolio, we have put together some of the best online portfolios powered by Strikingly. Some are art blogs, and some photography portfolios. We selected a diverse collection of examples and pointed out different elements and qualities that make these portfolio website examples stand out. We highly recommend that you go through these portfolio website examples and explore the many ways you can create a unique portfolio website for free.
Qualities of the Best Portfolio Websites
1. Simplicity and Straightforwardness
When it comes to portfolio websites, it’s best to keep things simple and straight to the point - be it in design or in website content. Users should be able to scan your page easily and understand what it is about in just a few seconds.
Galu Design is a good example of a clean and streamlined website portfolio. The message is straightforward and not difficult to digest. Site visitors immediately see the portfolio gallery as soon as they land on the page. They get a feel of the kind of work Galu Design does. The cleanliness of the manner of presenting the works brings a sense of unity between form and function.
Ashmith is another one of the portfolio website examples that use simplicity through minimalism. Immediately welcoming us on the landing page are text lines that tell us exactly what he does, who he is, and what you can expect from him. The navigation bar is offset towards the center, making it easy to navigate through his website. Any potential client can immediately navigate to his web design portfolio or contact him through buttons with good call to actions.
Choose a clean website portfolio template to start and explore different layout options that allow you to showcase your best work effectively and efficiently. Galu Design went for a simple grid layout so users can see at a glance what kind of projects they have worked on recently. Ashmith chose a very minimal and straightforward approach with his landing page to tell users who he is and what he does.. Both portfolio website examples keep a sense of cleanliness that makes their content attractive and appealing.
2. Quality over Quantity
In most project-based industries, the reality is you are only as good as your last project. If you don’t have a portfolio to present, potential clients will only be talking about your most recent work through word of mouth. To make sure that this would not limit you and your art, product, or service, presenting older but high quality work is a must. This is why having good quality posts in your website portfolio helps bring more positive attention to you and your work. However, cramming the entire website portfolio with every single project you have worked on is going to be counterproductive. Good portfolio website examples typically lead with a handful of the best work, including the most recent one. A carefully selected gallery of project samples will give potential clients and employers a better idea of the scope of your talents.
Highlight your best projects to date with high quality photos. The next website of the portfolio website examples is HVN Design. They are an interior design firm that offers a variety of design services for both residential and commercial clients. Their website features a collection of images of the different spaces they have worked on. It brings the user on a virtual tour through high quality shots of the spaces in various angles. With its best and most recent work out for viewing, clients would immediately have a better sense of security of the quality of work of the design firm.
3. A Magnetic Headline
Put your best foot forward with an engaging header and an elevator pitch that gives the potential client a good overview of what you can do for him or her. With the average user spending about 7-10 seconds on a website, you want to make a good first impression and reel him in quickly with an attention grabbing headline. Clearly communicate what kind of services you offer and how you can help him with the concern that he came to the site for.
Strikingly lets you create engaging headers with its intuitive website editor. You have the option to go for a full-width background image with a text overlay where your message and call to action can go, or you can lead with a video or animated graphic. One of these portfolio website examples - Squaircle Digital, representing a group of designers, chose a simple header with a concise message that conveys who they are, what they do, and what the company’s value proposition is.
We live in a very fast paced and diverse world. Nowadays, people don’t just focus on one medium, but engage in multiple fields of any industry they belong to. Photographers now also tend to work on videography; digital painters also do graphic design; and game developers also work in visual illustration. A single person can have a diverse collection of his work in different fields.
Adding all of your best works to your website portfolio is a must. But if you engage in multiple fields and have a diverse collection of your work, then we recommend that you split your works into categories to help users and potential clients focus on the type of content that they are more interested in.
Almost all portfolio website examples given so far have some sort of categorization going on in each of their website portfolios. Anne Sigismund, a game artist, illustrator, and background artist, divided her portfolio into different categories according to the field or type of work she’s done. The floating header makes it easy to go to each category and browse their respective galleries. This will make it easier for clients to look at her work and potentially make a deal with her for any of her fields of mastery.
Did you know that the online gaming industry is growing so massively in such little time, many people become influencers just by playing games? You can make your own clan website to represent your team, guild, or just you yourself for any online games you play!
5. Testimonials and Proof of Quality of Service
Introducing yourself and advertising your talents is good, but having somebody else tell everyone just how great you are is even better. The best portfolio websites feature client testimonials that show proof of the quality of their services. Clients are more likely to work with a professional who is highly recommended by peers.
Adam Cochrane is a service designer that has worked with a number of high profile clients and partners throughout the course of his professional career. Aside from providing an outline of his services and how they help businesses create user-centric operations, he also included testimonials from partners and colleagues that can vouch for his work. This immediately gives new site visitors and potential clients a feeling of trust towards Adam’s work.
In our modern era, no matter what field you belong to professionally or creatively, a portfolio is almost always a must. When applying for jobs, it is very common to be asked for a portfolio together with your resume. Now that society has grown tightly knit with technology, everything is digitized and a website portfolio might as well be a requirement. Don’t waste opportunities because you weren’t prepared. Create your own portfolios now. The best part about today’s web design templates, you can easily integrate your portfolio to your personal blog and make your website a front page about you. With Strikingly’s intuitive web designer portfolio websites are easy to make.
Now that you have all the tips and tricks from portfolio website examples, learn how to optimize your website for mobile phones here.