WordPress is the most popular and one of the best CMS systems at the moment. In its early days it was mainly used to create personal blogs and pages, but since an entire community has contributed to develop this system, now you can create full-scale websites, which serve as online stores, catalogs, information websites, or even portfolios.
Using WordPress to create your portfolio will greatly reduce the time, money, and nerves spent on creating it. People used to spend hundreds upon thousands of dollars to pay web designers to create such websites. Now all it takes is a few clicks for the WordPress installation, and a few more to activate the right theme.
But even though it might seem that simple to create a portfolio, there are a few things you should look out for – after all you will have to make it as much professional looking as you can. Here are a few tips on creating your WordPress portfolio.
This is the most important thing to take care of when creating your portfolio. The theme directly affects how your website will look, and how easy it will be to navigate through it. There are hundreds of themes that are labeled as ‘portfolio’ themes, but only a small part of them will actually bring all of the functions needed to run a successful portfolio.
For instance, if you are a photographer and would like to showcase your work to the world, you need to be sure that the theme you are looking at provides you with several gallery post/page options, and even a slider (Revolution is the most popular at the moment). Because your website will mainly consist of photos and graphics, you need to make sure that the theme also has an integrated solution for compressing those images to reduce loading times. Nobody likes waiting a minute for a single page load.
Or perhaps you are an agency or a corporation looking for a clean designed portfolio. In that case you need to make sure that there are the things you need – staff pages, pricing tables, easy navigation, and even databases.
Generally speaking, you need to take a piece of paper and a pen, and write the most important things about your craft, like in the previous paragraphs. Then when you are looking at themes, choose only the ones that have most of the things you have written down.
Even though most of the themes nowadays come with the plugins integrated, you will most likely have to look for a plugin or two, to add that extra little something to your portfolio. Again, it is very important that the plugins that you are installing are actually contributing to the development of your portfolio.
Whatever your field of work is, you will agree that social interaction is one of the most important things nowadays. This is why you should get a social media plugin, to ease the sharing of your content online. Here is a list of a few great social media plugins.
Plugins were originally created to fill the gaps left between WordPress itself, and the end user. If a “It’s a bad thing I don’t have this on my portfolio…” type of thought comes up your mind, then there is most surely a plugin for it. Code Canyon is one of the biggest markets for plugins. It provides not only popular and interesting plugins, but it also has a user feedback rate – you choose to view those plugins which have proven themselves useful.
Before you launch your website, you should go through every post, page, gallery, and every other detail in general. You need to make sure that there are no mistakes or errors when someone browses through your portfolio. Keep in mind that this will be shown to important people whom might become your next clients. Make sure that all of the details are straight.
Most of the people decide to skip this part, because they don’t understand how important it actually is. Making sure that everything about your portfolio is perfect will show your visitors that you have an eye for details. This carries to their opinion about your style of work. So a little patience could go a long way.
There are theoretically endless things which you can worry about. You won’t be able to take care of all, but more is better. Being a photographer for instance would render it mandatory to add a watermark to your photographs, you wouldn’t want your work to go uncredited around the internet.
You should also consider adding a copyright notice at the bottom of each of your pages, or even writing an user agreement. It is very easy to steal somebody else’s work nowadays, so you should do everything possible to prevent that happening to you.
Perform regular checks for your content online, if you are using Google Chrome, right click on your images and press the “S” button. This will perform a search for your photo; and if it has been used anywhere else on the Internet, you will be able to see where exactly.
WordPress portfolios are a great thing, as long as you do them right. Make sure that the details are straight, and you will impress people by creating a good opinion for yourself.