How to Build a Portfolio Website – The Ultimate Guide

Having a portfolio is obviously a benefit for people, who wish to showcase their talent and present their creativity in the most favorable light. Gone are those days, when printed portfolios were in demand. With the advent of the Internet epoch, the prevailing amount of creatives start giving preference to online portfolios. This is not surprising as web-based projects come with multiple advantages and notably simplify your work.

There is no need to take your printed portfolio or its digital variant with you to meetings. You don’t have to wait in the office until the potential clients will find you to have a look at your works. From now on, you can post your best works at the portfolio website to make them accessible to the target audience any time of the day.

Whether you are a photographer hoping to post your photos for clients or a model intending to present your skills to potential employers, you won’t go without having a professionally-designed portfolio website. What’s important, you don’t have to be a web designer to launch such a project. IM Creator have made this task possible even to newbies. Thus, we have decided to publish a detailed guide on how to build a portfolio website online with minimum time and effort investment. Read on to find out the reasons to get a portfolio, the must-have elements of this project and the steps you should complete to launch it.

Why Do I Need an Online Portfolio?

Having a portfolio is not a whim, but a crucial necessity for users, who have an idea to start popularizing their creativity and talent on the web. This is a perfect tool, when it comes to presenting your works of art or photos to the vast audience. You get a nice chance to spread the word about yourself and prove the information with actual works you have. Let’s point out the major reasons to get a portfolio:

  1. Portfolio is a surefire way to present your works to the target audience without the need to go somewhere, organize presentations, meetings with potential clients or invest much money into promotion;
  2. It is the project, where you can provide detailed data about yourself, your career, achievements, contacts and other info that might be interesting for your clients;
  3. Here you can collect your best works all in one place without taking them with you each time you need to have them at hand;
  4. Online portfolio is accessible 24/7 in any place of the world, which increases your client base and can potentially bring you higher profit;
  5. Portfolio can be updated even on the go and you don’t need much time or money to do that.

The aforementioned reasons speak for themselves. They let you realize the importance of launching a portfolio based on your real intentions and skills.

Who Needs a Portfolio Website and Why?

Even if you are a successful photographer or an artist, who has dozens of exhibitions per year, you need to keep your fans and clients interested in your creative life. If you suddenly stop appearing in public for some reason, your competitors will quickly take your place. If you don’t wish that to happen, you have to make your fans aware of what’s going on in your career. This concerns many representatives of creative professions. Take a look at several categories of users, who should be really encouraged to launch a portfolio website:

  • Photographers – it’s really complicated for a photographer to become well-known without web presence. Competition in the photography niche keeps growing with every passing month. A quality portfolio is your chance to stand out from the crowd, posting the best photos in different genres.
  • Artists – creating impressive pictures, sculptures or other works of art is only half of the business. Another notable part is to present it to the public in the most favorable light. A portfolio will help you do that with ease and efficacy.
  • Models – each professional model can boast a variety of photo sessions and hundreds of photos. Create a modeling portfolio website to post the works from your best shootings, runway walks, backstage environment. Don’t forget about videos – they often tell much more than photos!
  • Web Designers – whether you are a professional web designer or just a beginner, a portfolio will contribute to your career. This is where you’ll be able to post the samples of your work, information about yourself, contacts and other related info.
  • Freelancers – it doesn’t matter what area of specialization you have – a portfolio is what you need to grow your client base. A professional and detailed portfolio is the best chance to describe your personality, skills and goals to the advantage. How else a potential client will be able to find out more about you?

These are only a few categories of users, who may benefit from launching a quality and content-rich portfolio. Actually, any user, who is engaged into creative or customer-related business, should consider an opportunity to launch this type of project. Thus, it’s high time now to enlist the must-have elements of any portfolio website.

How Should a Professional Portfolio Look Like?

Regardless of the niche you work in, you have to be aware of the must-have features that are common for any portfolio website. They can give your project advanced design and functionality needed to make a positive impression upon your visitors.

  • About Me. This section is a must for a portfolio as it lets users find out more about your personality, biography, career advancement and major achievements. This info creates the feeling of being acquainted with you as the website owner and boosts your credibility.
  • Gallery. There is no professional portfolio without a gallery. This is a collection of your best works that may be subcategorized into numerous sections based on your needs and portfolio structure. You are free to experiment with the gallery until it becomes perfect. Make sure to upload only the best works – those that tell much about your talent, but don’t overload it with too many photos or videos. This may be too much for some users.
  • Blog. Adding a blog will help enhance your portfolio popularity, giving you a chance to communicate with your fans and partners. You can also post interesting articles or news about your career or creative life. Your fans will be pleased to read them and post their comments.
  • Social Media Integration. Social networks have become an indispensable part of our life. Their integration can increase your client base, enabling your fans to look through your post updates and take active participation in group discussions.
  • Testimonials and Reviews. Customer testimonials may prove to be a powerful tool for client engagement. Let’s face it – many of us look through customer reviews, when shopping online, for example. The same is about portfolio websites. The more detailed and interesting testimonials are – the more encouraged users will be to browse your works.
  • Contacts. This page or section is a must if you have local business presence or just wish to provide your clients with an opportunity to get in touch with you when needed. This is a helpful tool for building your credibility.

The elements listed above should be included into any portfolio website. You can analyze their relevance to your actual goals to select the most useful sections.

What Makes Website Builders the Best Portfolio Design Solution?

Suppose, you have realized the importance of launching a portfolio website. What’s next? What web building tool should you use to cope with the task in the best way possible? This depends upon your web design skills, amount of free time you are ready to invest into the project and, of course, the budget. Proficient web designers won’t face any problems, when building a portfolio website. Newbies, on the contrary, may have multiple questions and nuances to handle. This is where website builders will be the best choice and here is why.

  • Ease of Use and Convenience. Website builders are specially designed for inexperienced users and come with intuitive dashboards, tips, tutorials and numerous support options to simplify the web building process.
  • Niche Templates. The systems usually comes with pre-designed portfolio templates, customization of which will result in the development of a professional website. Generally, website builders offer numerous tools to give portfolios impressive design and required functionality.
  • Editing Options. When using website builders, you get access to visual editing options. Whatever actions you make, the result is frequently displayed on a screen so that you could have control over the web design process. That’s a notable benefit for beginners.
  • Time and Effort Economy. Website builders simplify the process of portfolio creation. By following easy tips and mastering the web design tools, you will easily cope with the task. Some website builders allow building a quality portfolio during several hours.
  • Affordability. These systems offer free or affordable pricing plans, which encompass a variety of features and tools based on the type of project you work on and your own requirements.

When it comes to creating a professional portfolio, IM Creator is the best service to use. Take your time to find out the steps that will help you create a project with this website builder.

Building a Portfolio Site with IM Creator

IM Creator is a free website builder, which serves several tasks at a time. You can use the service to launch a business website, but it also works great for the development of advanced portfolios. The website builder has everything a newbie or a web design pro might need to run a portfolio – the range of design customization tools and features it encompasses is more than enough to come up to this task. Here are the major steps to follow to create a portfolio with IM Creator:

  1. Sign Up. To start working with IM Creator, you have to sign up for it first. This doesn’t take much time as all you need is to provide your email and make up the password to get access to the dashboard.
  2. Select a Template. IM Creator has a unique collection of portfolio templates. All of them are responsive. You can select the one, which come up to your specialization most of all. In case you can’t find a suitable theme, you can select a blank template to start building your website from scratch.
    IM Creator Portfolio Templates
  3. Edit the Template. As soon are you are done with template selection, you can proceed to its customization. Browse the set of elements, pages and design customization tools to choose and arrange them in the required order. Experiment with positions and applications of website elements to present your content to the advantage. Create and customize as many portfolio pages as you need to get the most out of the project.
    IM Creator Portfolio Editor
  4. Customize the Home Page. The homepage is the very first page your visitors will see, when getting to your website. We recommend to provide detailed information about yourself and the collection of your best works. Keep it simple, concise yet informative. To choose the element, just click the corresponding “Add Element” section and select the “Text” element first. Take your time to choose and adjust text parameters (styles, fonts etc.). Then you can choose videos or images (or both types of media files) to give your home page more attractive and engaging look.
    IM Creator Portfolio Home Page Customize
  5. Integrate Widgets. Look through the collection of widgets to add them to your website. These include user comments, contact forms and other widgets that may add functionality to your portfolio.

As you see, building a portfolio website with IM Creator is easy and fast. There is no need to be a web design pro to cope with the task in the best way possible. The entire process of website development doesn’t take it longer than a couple of hours. What’s more, it is free for non-commercial organizations, students and artists. These users may enjoy the ultimate feature set of the platform at no cost to design a portfolio that will stand out from the crowd. Good luck!

Howard Steele

I'm a webmaster and a blogger with over 15 years of website building experience. I'm also the owner and the editor-in-chief of Feel free to ask any questions about DIY website creation.

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