A good portfolio website fully reveals the facets of your talent but remains professional, functional, and easy to navigate. Even a beginner can create such a site; the main thing is to have the necessary tools at hand.
See examples for inspiration.
Before starting your portfolio website from scratch, check out examples of successful art portfolios online. There you can borrow good ideas such as page structure, graphics, or content blocks. It is especially useful to study the sites of people who work in the same field as you.
After reading the examples, think about the concept of your art portfolio. Do you want your site to be strict and professional or flamboyant and provocative? Are you planning to stick to minimalism or amaze your visitor with an abundance of details? Will you write a long introduction or let the projects do the talking for you?
Think carefully about fonts, color palette, and site structure to create a picture of the future online art portfolio in your head.
Choose a template for your art portfolio
Having decided on the concept, think over the structure of your portfolio to the smallest detail. Do you want to put information on one landing page or create a multi-page portfolio website? Choose a neat Instagram feed-style grid or an asymmetrical layout to emphasize certain images?
Find the most suitable template for your tasks, customize it for yourself, select the background and the number of pages, add photos, videos, and text, and connect the necessary applications.
Focus on the best projects. The most important part of a portfolio site is your projects. High-quality visual and text presentation of case studies will help visitors evaluate your skills and experience in just a couple of minutes. It is best to place a section with works at the top of the landing page or create a separate page.
An important tip that is often overlooked does not include all completed projects in the art portfolio. Leave only those you are truly proud of, so the overall quality of work will be significantly higher. The portfolio will make a greater impression on clients and employers.
Update the portfolio website from time to time and add new projects to the portfolio; this will show clients and employers that you are in demand and have a lot of experience. When choosing a site structure, give preference to one that is easy to update; for example, a flat grid in the style of Instagram allows you to add an unlimited number of new works without having to change any elements on the page.
Add captions to works, for example, a description of the project, the tasks you faced, the results achieved, and other interesting information. This gives the site visitor more context and can analyze the portfolio more closely.
Integrate the sections you need
Once you know what your work will look like, it's time to take care of the rest. Think about which sections will help you impress your visitors even more, such as a detailed story about yourself, positive customer reviews, or a home page with unusual visuals. Here are some of the most popular options to look out for:
- Home page. On average, a portfolio website only has a few seconds to grab a client's attention, so the home page should be concise, engaging, and visually appealing.
Put on the cover of the site the most necessary information with a bright slogan, your name, and occupation. You do not need to talk about yourself in detail; this can be done in a separate section. And of course, do not forget about the convenient menu that will make it easier for the visitor to navigate through other pages.
- About me page. If the text on the home page needs to be short and informative, then the About Me page is the place where you can give yourself free rein. Tell about your background and experience, share your values and philosophy, demonstrate skills and achievements in general, and indicate anything that you find interesting and relevant. It is a good idea to include your current employment and a link to a PDF with your resume. Show some personality with illustrations, gifs, and any other elements that suit your style.
- Contact Information. Impressing a visitor is only half the battle; now, you need to convince him to contact you. Make it as simple as possible, add a contact section, and include email, phone, and social media links. This can all be a separate page, part of your menu, or even a floating element on the side of your screen. Do not forget to duplicate all the information so the visitor will definitely find your contacts.
- Customer reviews. Positive, authentic customer reviews inspire confidence in the visitor and emphasize your professionalism. So adding at least a few to your portfolio website is always a good idea. Even a simple list of clients and companies you have worked with will be an eloquent indicator of your experience. If they wrote about you in specialized publications, add links to articles - this is free and effective PR.
- Special effects. Parallax special effects, floats, animations, and pop-ups can help make your portfolio even more impressive. This makes the site look more professional and helps you manage the reader's attention by highlighting certain sections.
Improve UX and SEO
In simple words, UX analyzes all kinds of actions that a user can perform on a page. Based on this information, making the art portfolio as simple and easy to navigate as possible.
Start with a list of the pages you are going to create. Then determine what elements you will need on each page, such as a title, description, title picture, plus additional videos or images. This list will help you understand how to display elements on the page and choose the appropriate structure.
Having decided on the structure, you can move on to logistics. Where does the user go when they click on a link to another page or section below? What's better than a menu at the top of the page or a hamburger menu that expands to full screen when clicked? How will the user know which page he is on? Good UX anticipates every user action and offers a straightforward solution.
Even the best portfolio website makes no sense if no one can see it. Therefore, it is essential to optimize your site to raise it in Google searches and make it more accessible to potential clients and employers.
SEO is an ongoing process that consists of a set of different actions. Here is some of them:
- Post unique, fresh, and useful writing. This will allow you to share your ideas with your readers, and Google will see that your site is active and constantly updated.
- Find the right keywords. These are the phrases by which users most often find in the Google art portfolio like yours.
- Add alt text to all images. Search engines do not see pictures and photos on the site; therefore, the alternative text helps Google and other systems recognize what is depicted on them. Add a short and clear description as alt text to each image to improve site indexing.
- Fill in the metadata and meta tags that are basic information about the page.
- Add headings H1, H2, H3, and so on. Include keywords in them so it will be easier for search engines to crawl the content on the site, which will ensure better ranking in the SERPs.
- If your work is tied to a specific place, focus on local optimization. This is a tactic where your portfolio website appears in the first place in search queries from a specific country, city, or region.
Customize the mobile version of your portfolio website
More than 55% of the total number of website views around the world comes from mobile phones. Therefore, your portfolio should be ideally displayed not only on a computer but also on a smartphone. Here are the basic rules to follow:
- The smartphone screen is much smaller, reduces the number of displayed elements on the page, and leaves only the most important ones.
- Make sure the font and color scheme are displayed correctly and read comfortably at low resolutions. For example, some flowery fonts in small sizes can merge into an illegible mass.
- Add a search bar to make it easier for the user to navigate the site.
Ask for honest feedback. Everyone knows that when you work on something for too long, you stop noticing flaws. Therefore, it is always important to show the site to friends and honestly express their opinions. Is there enough information in the portfolio? Does the homepage look good? Is it convenient to navigate the sections? Collect reviews and use them to bring the site to perfection.