Whatever your profession, a portfolio website showcases your amazing work samples to potential clients, employers, and the wider public. By incorporating your portfolio into an accessible online platform, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition and on your way to expanding your current professional network. Use Constant Contact’s personal website builder to exhibit your portfolio items and take advantage of all the benefits an online portfolio platform can bring you or your business.
To have a clear understanding of how to make an online portfolio website, follow our guide. Technology has made it easier than ever to create a professional portfolio. Just see below.
In this guide you will find two key components:
- A step-by-step guide to building your site
- The most important things to include in your portfolio site checklist
No need to hire a web designer. We’ve got you covered.
How to make a portfolio website: Step-by-step
Portfolio websites provide a platform for both individuals and businesses to showcase their work. They have several unique functions that benefit people in a range of professions, including but not limited to the following:
- Any professional that wants to draw attention to their portfolio or expand their hiring potential
- Creatives (artists, photographers, models, actors, etc.) looking to bring attention to their talents and creative work
- Social media influencers who want to integrate their social media presence into one online platform
- Bloggers or writers who want a site that brings all their work together into a single medium
- Businesses that want to build an online presence or ecommerce platform for their products or services
For the portfolio you’re creating, go through these ten easy steps to get your portfolio online today.
1. Make a list of goals for your site
Before you start building your portfolio site with Constant Contact, it’s essential to have a clear set of goals in mind for your site. When drafting these goals, ask yourself a few questions:
- What do you want to accomplish by building your portfolio website?
- Who is your target audience?
- What pages do you want to include in your portfolio site?
- What functions do you want to include? (contact pages, ecommerce functions, etc.)
- What is your long-term vision for the site?
Once you have some specific goals in mind you will be equipped to start building. Use your responses as a guide for the rest of the steps in the site-building process.
2. Organize and define your portfolio
If you do not already have your portfolio on hand, the next step to building a site is to organize and prep your work for publication.
Typically, digital portfolio websites offer visitors information about you as an individual or business. What is the most important dynamic? Showing the world the best version of your work so that you demonstrate you or your business’s values.
- For example, if you’re aiming to create an ecommerce site for your business, you’ll start with organizing a photoshoot of your products or services and have them ready to go (it’s better if this happens prior to your site build).
- Alternatively, if you’re attempting to bring attention to your work as an individual professional, get started by selecting the work that best emulates you and your talents, and organize them accordingly.
Once you’ve organized your projects and have it ready, it’s time to get started with Constant Contact’s website builder and learn how to create a website.
3. Select and buy your domain name
Your domain name will be especially important when trying to attract visitors or potential clients to your site. It should be simple, easy to remember, and represent you as an individual or business.
When selecting your domain name, consider the following useful suggestions:
- Number of characters – While the web allows domain names to be more than 200 characters long, the best domain names are short, sweet, and to the point. Aim for less than 15 characters to attract more visitors.
- Type of extension – While there are loads of options for extensions, .com, .net, and .org tend to be the most popular. It’s up to you which option to choose, but most business sites typically opt for .com.
- Simplify the name – Avoid using hyphens or numbers within your domain name, as they have the potential to complicate access to the site. Sometimes, they’re accidentally omitted by visitors.
- Make it memorable – Always aim to combine creativity with simplicity. It’s crucial to be creative when selecting a domain name, but it’s just as important to choose something that people will remember.
- Think about spelling – Avoid selecting a domain name that can be easily misspelled. If people are typing in the wrong domain name, you’ll lose out on their engagement.
Luckily, Constant Contact makes it easy to purchase a domain name. Here are the steps to get started:
- Select your domain name
- Search on Constant Contact’s domain platform to see if your name is currently available
- Determine what type of extension you want to utilize (.com, .net, .org, .biz, .us, .bid, etc.)
- Pay for your domain name online
While it is ultimately up to you, business sites would be best served by selecting the name of the business as their domain name. Individuals have a bit more leeway on this but should aim for something that exemplifies their portfolio and what they are trying to achieve with the site.
3. Choose a welcoming title and message
Once you’ve selected your domain name, you’re ready to get started on designing your portfolio site.
The first thing you do is create your title and welcome message. Typically, your title would be your domain name, but it is up to you how you want to present it.
For example, if your domain name is “bobsburgersgreenville.com,” you should edit your title page to say Bob’s Burgers Greenville. Once you’ve selected your site’s title, add some more detail to welcome visitors to your site. For instance, think of creating:
- A short tagline or motto that is placed underneath your title
- A longer welcome message explaining the purpose of your portfolio site
Be careful to choose a welcome message that grabs the reader’s attention. It will be the first thing that people see when they enter your page — you don’t want it to be the last thing, too!
4. Settle on a theme for your site
Every website needs a background theme. The good news, Constant Contact lets you choose a theme with one click. You have two options here:
- Select a stock image directly from Constant Contact’s available list
- Upload your own photo
Your background theme will be the launchpad for the rest of your site, so choose it carefully. Depending on your specific objectives, you should select a photo that showcases you engaging in your professional work, or of the product or service you’re selling
5. Add your logo
Whether you’re creating the portfolio site as an individual or business, a logo will go a long way in creating a brand image for the site.
If you already have a logo, simply upload it to Constant Contact’s portfolio website builder and choose where you want it to appear on the site. If you have yet to create a logo, use Constant Contact’s logo maker to make your own personal or company logo.
While many people assume that logos are only useful for businesses, this isn’t necessarily the case. A personal logo can add value to an individual portfolio site, while also showing off your graphic design skills and creativity. For creatives, it can be a mark of professionalism and as their craft improves, it can stand as a testament to their mastery.
6. Organize your content and choose a navigation style
Your content will be key to the success of your site. Once you have it ready to go, select how you want to organize it.
Constant Contact lets you select from various navigation styles on the website builder. Simply choose the style that fits your requirements best and then add your content pages. Some options for page titles include:
- About – Your About page should give the reader a sense of who you are, why you’re here, what you offer, and why you do what you do best.
- Portfolio – Since you’re creating a portfolio website, you definitely need to have a dedicated page for your portfolio. Edit how you present your portfolio to your own standards. For instance, you may want to include a downloadable version or catalog of products if you’re a business.
- List of products, services, or talents – Every portfolio site should have a dedicated page that lists what you or your business does. Of course, this will vary greatly depending on the purpose of your site. If you are a business, this is where you want to list prices or have an ecommerce page.
- Contact info – Every site needs a Contact page. It’s up to you what you include here, just be sure that your visitors know how to contact you and where you’re located.
7. Select your color scheme and fonts
Now that you’ve added all your content to your site, it’s time to choose a color scheme and font. Play around with Constant Contact’s portfolio design tools to determine what works best for your website. You have several options here:
- Light or dark theme for your sites background and navigation
- Various color schemes
- An array of font styles that can be adjusted throughout
Try to choose either a complementing or contrasting style, and then use this throughout the site. Consistency is key.
8. Revise and publish
Always be sure to check your spelling and grammar before publishing your site online. It’s always advised that a third party takes a look at your site to make sure everything is in order.
With Constant Contact, preview your site prior to publishing. This allows you to make sure that you have included all the necessary details. When you’re ready, publish your site and start experiencing the benefits immediately.
Most important things to include in your site
Portfolio sites and layouts will vary depending on whether you’re designing them as an individual or business. Here’s a checklist of the most basic necessities for both business and individual portfolio websites.
Things to include to create a portfolio website for businesses
If you are creating a portfolio website for your business, it is essential that you include the following things to maximize your business’ online exposure and show off what you do best:
- Your business logo
- An About page overviewing your company and its unique selling proposition
- A detailed list of your products or services
- The option to purchase your products online or book appointments for services
- Links to your business’ social media pages
- Customer testimonials
- Contact info
Things to include to create a portfolio website for individuals
For individual portfolio websites, the required content varies a bit more. However, the following elements should be included in every online portfolio site:
- A welcome photo of yourself (professional, creative, or artistic, depending on your site’s goals)
- An About page describing your professional history and what you do best
- A dedicated portfolio page showing your best work
- A Resume page if you’re looking to increase your exposure to potential employers. If you’re looking to create a full website for this, see our guide to What to Include in an Online Resume Website.
- Links to your personal social media profiles (make sure they’re appropriate and public)
- Professional or personal references
- Contact info
How to make an online portfolio: next steps
From showing off your portfolio to the public to attracting more customers to your business, a portfolio website will immediately improve your online engagement. If you want to build your own portfolio site now, start your journey for free with Constant Contact:
To get started:
- Access the website builder
- Follow the step-by-step process for building your site outlined above
- Purchase a website plan and publish your site!
Make sure to reference our “things to include,” so that your site effectively enhances your professional potential. Once live, there’s no doubt you’ll be on the path to success. If you aren’t sold on making your portfolio website, see our guide to Why You Need a Personal Site.