Your portfolio website is the best way to showcase your personal brand and your talent to a wider audience. It is also the quickest way to get your work accessible to a bigger client base. With that being said, an online portfolio has the potential to help you boost your career prospects especially when it is designed well. From the choice of website templates to design elements and content, all these contribute to the ability of your website to fulfill its objectives.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to plan your 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 have lowered the barrier to entry for building a professional-looking free portfolio website, arming beginners and startups with the right set of tools to start building their brand online.
To help you get started with your own portfolio website project, we have put together some of the best online portfolios powered by Strikingly. We highly recommend that you go through some of these examples and explore the many ways you can create a unique portfolio website for free.
Qualities of the Best Portfolio Websites
1. Simple and straightforward
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 a few seconds. Galu Design is a good example of a clean and streamlined portfolio website design. The message is not so difficult to digest and the portfolio gallery is visible as soon as the user lands on the page.
Choose a clean portfolio template to start and explore different layout options that allow you to showcase your best work effectively. Galu Design went for a simple grid layout so users can see at a glance what kind of projects they have worked on recently.
2. Quality and not quantity
The reality is that you’re only as good as your last project. Your portfolio website should lead with a handful of your best work instead of cramming it with every single project you have worked on. Give potential clients and employers a good idea of the scope of your talents by carefully selecting the projects that will go into your website.
Highlight your best projects to date with high quality photos. HVN Design is an interior design website that features a collection of images of the different spaces it has worked on. It brings the user on a virtual tour through high quality shots of the spaces in various angles.
3. Lead with 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. Squaircle Digital chose a simple header with a concise message that conveys the company’s value proposition.
4. Split your portfolio into categories
If you have to add multiple collections of work to your website, we recommend that you split them into categories to help users focus on the type of content that they are more interested in. Faneurope Lighting divided its portfolio into different collections according to the type of products and designs that they offer. You might also want to take it to the next level and give each collection an interesting headline or even a cover photo to represent each section.
5. Social proof works
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 comes highly recommended.
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.