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10 Qualities of a Successful Online Portfolio

Tips & Tricks

March 27, 2017

Even if you very actively promote your work on social media, your online portfolio is still the mothership: the primary showcase of your talents, into which all other promotional streams will flow. But putting together a successful portfolio website can often seem like a daunting task. Where to begin?


Actually it's pretty simple, and the best portfolio sites all tend to share the same qualities. Follow our ten-point guide to creating an effective online portfolio and you'll soon be up and running.




1. Discretion Over Bling

A portfolio has one primary purpose: to show off your work in the best possible light. Therefore a good portfolio is invariably also a simple portfolio.


If all your portfolio demonstrates is that you spent a lot of money on a flashy design, then it's not doing its job. Never lose sight of the fact that a portfolio is there to present your work in a flattering manner, not steal the show.



2. Content Dictates Form

Choose a gallery template that is appropriate to the kind of work you want to show. This may seem obvious, but it's surprising the number of people who decide upon a gallery style without giving much thought to the most appropriate way to showcase their work.


For example, there's little point using a template that shows only one image at a time if your work makes most sense when viewed as a series. At the very least, you should opt for a template that allows thumbnail view.


Or perhaps your work needs extensive explanatory text or captions? In which case make sure to use the gallery and image description fields.



3. Spell It Out

It makes no sense to show off your talents to the world if visitors can't easily work out who was responsible for these masterpieces, or how to contact you. This means making all important information such as biographical info or geographical location quickly and easily accessible. For example, consider adding a footer to your website that prominently displays your contact information at the bottom of every page.


4. Foolproof It

Similarly, people don't have time to waste trying to figure out where the Back button is or how to view your work. Make your portfolio so it’s simple to use and logically structured. Endless menu subheadings or complex and frustrating navigation will quickly deter even the most patient of visitors. Don't give people an excuse to navigate away from your site.



5. Keep It Lean And Mean

Waiting for pixels to load row-by-row is the digital equivalent of watching paint dry. Sure, you'll want to upload images of a sufficiently high resolution for viewers to really appreciate the quality of your work, but there comes a point when any further increase in file-size will just translate into a decrease in the number of views - as impatient visitors click off elsewhere in frustration at your slow-loading pages. Upload photos that are no larger than 1920px on your Portfoliobox site.



6. First Impressions Count

Although it's tempting to believe that every visitor to your portfolio page already knows exactly who you are and what you do, the cruel reality is that this is probably the first they've ever heard of you and they could in fact care less.


You have literally a couple of seconds to hook new visitors before they go sauntering back off to where they came from. Keep your bounce-rate low and increase converts by making sure that the first thing anyone sees on your site is your absolute best and most representative work.


Or perhaps not your best, but the most attention grabbing and easily appreciated. You may have recently completed some exceptionally deep and complex work that you're just dying to share with the world, but if its subtle nuances can only be fully understood after reading a 3,000 word jargon-filled essay, it doesn't have any business being on your landing page.



7. Tell Your Story

So you've grabbed the visitor's attention and kept them hanging around. But are they getting the full picture? Does your portfolio create an accurate image of who you are and what you do? Are perhaps some important elements still missing?


Ask friends and colleagues who know your work well if they think your portfolio offers a comprehensive overview of your talents and skills. If not, change it.



8. Take No Prisoners

Everyone produces the occasional dud from time to time, even acknowledged masters. The difference between pros and wannabes? Knowing what not to show.


Whether your output is photography, architecture, graphic design, or any other creative endeavor, editing is an important part of your job description. Nowhere is this more essential than with your online portfolio: it's always better to show just a few absolutely killer pieces that leave people wanting more, than to make up the numbers with mediocre filler that drags the rest down.



9. Show Where You're Going, Not Where You've Been

Our creative interests and style of working develop over time. Perhaps you've made your name doing a certain kind of work but want to move away from that now? Yet clients keep coming back for more of the same, and it's hard to say no.


Consider removing this type of work from your portfolio, showing only the kind of projects you'd like to be commissioned to do. Don't have any projects like this yet? Time to make some!



10. The Only Constant Is Change

Your online portfolio is your store-front window display. Convincing potential clients of your skills and professionalism. It needs to be maintained: sun-faded posters and dead flies will not make a good impression on window-shoppers.


Sustain interest by regularly updating with new work. If viewers repeatedly return to your portfolio only to find tumbleweed blowing through it, they'll soon forget you in favor of more obviously active creatives.




Putting together a stylish and persuasive online portfolio needn't be a struggle. Consider these ten key points and you'll soon have a great looking portfolio ready to showcase your work to a new audience. And it makes no sense to put off the task, thinking it needs to be perfect right from the start: by its very nature a portfolio is always a work in progress. Get it online and you can tweak as you go.



SEO —  Using Google Search Console

Tips & Tricks

September 19, 2016


Besides On-site optimisation & Off-site optimisation, you can use tools like Google Search Console to improve the indexation of your site. Start by creating a Google Search Console account and follow the steps below: 




• Click on Add a property, submit the url of your portfolio (for example: http://www.delphinelinder.com) and click Add.
• Choose the HTML tag verification method and copy the code provided — it looks like this: 

<meta name="google-site-verification" content="rs_HqdF17XT0e01f6L1yYH-g4OC14_XetyVVagSuRY8" />
• Paste this code in your admin panel under Settings → General → Website → Meta verification snippet
• Wait a few minutes, go back to the Search Console and click Verify
• When the verification is successful, click Continue.

Please note that when your site is verified, you may have to wait a few days before being able to use the Search Console. The delay depends on Google not Portfoliobox.

As Google explains it: 

"When you add your site to Search Console, it may take some time before diagnostic and other data is available. This is normal; it can take some time for Search Console to gather and process data for your site. In general, if you see a "No data yet" message, check back later. Once Google starts crawling your site more often, you'll notice that Search Console will begin to show more detailed data, and that this data is updated more often."




Go to Crawl → Fetch as Google and choose Fetch and Render. When the status is complete, click "Submit to index". Confirm that you are not a robot and choose "Crawl this URL and its direct links".

"Once you submit your URL, you might need to wait some time for Google to process your request as well as crawl and index the page. Also, understand that we can't guarantee that Google will index all your changes as Google relies on a complex algorithm to update indexed materials."




Under Crawl → Crawl errors, you'll get the lists of errors detected by the Search Console. You may get the following error codes: 

   – 410 (Permanent Delete): for deleted pages or a change of url
   – 403 (Forbidden): for password protected pages
   – 404 (Not Found): for unpublished pages

You can "mark as fixed" all these errors. The URLs will be removed from Google index after a few weeks. If you receive any other error code, kindly contact Portfoliobox support team.





A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site. Also, your sitemap can provide valuable metadata associated with the pages you list in that sitemap: Metadata is information about a webpage, such as when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and the importance of the page relative to other URLs in the site.

• Under Crawl → Sitemaps, click on Add/Test Sitemap.
• Submit your sitemap and refresh the page (you can choose to test it before submitting it). 

Google's advices:

"Using a sitemap doesn't guarantee that all the items in your sitemap will be crawled and indexed, as Google processes rely on complex algorithms to schedule crawling. However, in most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap, and you'll never be penalized for having one."​

There are two types of sitemaps available in Portfoliobox: html and xml. 
You find your sitemap by adding: /sitemap.xml or /sitematp.html at the end of your url. 
For the site: delphinelinder.com, the sitemaps are:  delphinelinder.com/sitemap.xml and delphinelinder.com/sitemap.html




You can also use the Google Search Console to:
→ Fetch your page everytime it's needed 
→ Check the search traffic
→ Temporarily remove URLs
→ Etc.

6 tips to improve your off-site seo

Tips & Tricks

September 06, 2016

As explained before, there are three aspects of SEO to consider: on-site optimisation, off-site optimisation and the technical factors such as Google Search Console. You'll find below 6 tips about off-site optimisation. 




→ Content Marketing & Outreach
Get in touch with companies & bloggers with relevant (but non-competing) websites. Publish content on their websites which links back to your own, with for example a guest blog post. 

→ Press Releases & Newsletter
Write press releases to share news and opinions about developments in your industry. Distribute them via online channels and include links back to your website.

→ Pay Per Click
Use Google Adwords & Facebook Advertising to gain new visitors. Constantly review and adjust ads to improve click through rates and reduce the cost per click.

→ Comment & Forum Marketing
Be active on relevant websites, blogs & forums. Leave insightful comments and include links back to your website.

→ Social Media
Create a Facebook, Google+ profile, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Everything that is relevant to your website. Add the link of your online portfolio in the profile, be active and share your news there. Create content that appeals to social media users. Encourage people to ‘like’ your content and share it with their friends and family.

→ Creative communities
Join creative communities. There are a lot to choose from. Portfoliobox recently launched Findcreatives.com, a community that helps people find, discover and hire creative talent. As a Portfoliobox user, you can easily create your profile and import your work on
Find Creatives

(source: SEOmark)

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