When we already decide to take a more serious way in our passion, either being a graphic designer, web designer or other creative works, a showcase is highly needed to show off our expertise to the public. In other words, to get more clients. A portfolio on a website is becoming the best way to display our works online. It works to convince our clients about our expertise through our displayed artworks.
This is a point where we build our portfolio carefully. A visual concept needs a great portfolio website, it also has to be effectively convince potential clients that we are a professional in our area. Below are some tips to build a professional portfolio website which will level our image brand up as a creative worker.
Set Your Goals
Decide your goals at the beginning in what to prepare and what to expect after people see your portfolio. Some possible goals to make portfolio website are:
- Getting new projects. Portfolio which is made to get projects from clients, so the portfolio has to be impressive and convincing.
- To sell artworks. Portfolio for commercial use, where you display your works so that people interested to buy your creative products.
- To build reputation. There are some people who make portfolio only to display their artworks to level up their brand and reputation in their respected industry.
- For communicating. Portfolio which is built to find connections with other people who involved in the same profession or industry.
You might have your own set of specific goals so that you can arrange your portfolio to be more segmented and to convey your messages more effectively.
Keep It Simple!
An ironically simple phrase that is very important. A simple portfolio doesn’t mean it’s unprofessional and made up carelessly. A too complex website even sometimes confusing and boring, evenmore when the layout is randomly managed, it will shows that your works are unprofessional.
Your challenge is to make something simple but it has unlimited creative value. Think about enough visual element use to create an effective and efficient portfolio website.
Ease of Navigation
Use a managed structure to ease visitors to access all informations you provide. Try to see yourself as a client or visitor, so you can imagine what kind of navigation that is easy to surf a website.
Convenience to access a website content is highly influential to how long a visitor will enjoy the information it provides. When navigation is already complicated, your portfolio might be easily ignored.
Don’t be Too Much
If you are someone who feels very creative and has hundreds or even thousands artworks, you don’t need to put your whole artworks into your portfolio website. Choose your best works that deemed good enough to be displayed for public. People who are already impressed at the first sight doesn’t need to access all of your portfolio to continue to your next deal.
Consider to make separate categories to classify your works so your website visitors will be easy to choose which one to look for at the first time. Don’t forget to give a brief description about your works so that potential clients will be more convinced.
Blog and Small Talk
Some artists and creative workers also has a blog section in their portfolio website. You can write about particular artwork you like and the creative process behind it, or about tools or softwares you use during work. Behind-the-scenes stories are interesting to read, and it can also give people more view about how it’s actually like to work with you.
Using Technology Considerably
Website technology is always developing from time to time. There are a lot of possibilities to make an ‘eccentric’ website, and making it full of animation is becoming easier. But don’t think that a website with full of graphic effects and animation will make your website more effective.
The keyword is user-friendly. Consider about compatibility. Consider that your website needs to be opened in various platform such as browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc), mediums (desktop, mobile, tablet) and in various monitor resolutions. There are some website technologies that run normally on a desktop platform but it doesn’t perform well in a gadget browser.
This consideration is very important, so your portfolio will be easy to access from many mediums. You don’t need to forcefully using a fancy technology which makes your website is not user-friendly.
Contact information is very important when the goals of making a portfolio is to gain potential clients or to sell artworks. Put up some important information that is useful for people to communicate with you whenever they can.
Put a contact form that enable visitors to directly send messages to you. Other important things are to give other information such as valid e-mail address, phone number, social media account, messenger account, also sometimes a google map if you have a studio or office to be visited.
The power of testimonials have great influence in creative areas. Ask for testimonials from clients who already worked with you and satisfied with your works, especially with big clients you handled. A testimonial is like a recommendation that level up your reputation in your creative area. The key is a honest testimonial.
A user-friendly portfolio website can make visitors as potential clients stay longer to enjoy our artworks. Use a simple layout with easy navigation, and consider compatibility when using a fancy web technology.
There are some medias that we can use to make a portfolio web. The first one is to use self-hosted, where we have to buy domains and hosting, and then do the design and layouting our portfolio. You can use CMS like WordPress and Joomla, but if you have an expertise in web development, you can create your own portfolio web page.
Secondly, using free online portfolio website. You don’t need to have a special expertise such as coding and web design, you only have to follow the provided directions. Some websites that provide free hosting to make portfolios are:
Explore your abilities and show the world your artworks. Don’t forget to regularly update your portfolio to keep people updated about your recent works. Stay creative!