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10 Tips For Making The Best Portfolio Website
Creating a personal portfolio website is important for a number of reasons. If you’re a architect, then you’d need one to showcase your projects and allow people to contact you. If you’re a student and aspiring architect, then you’d need one to show prospective employers how good you are and what you can do, so that they might hire you.
A personal portfolio website is all about promoting you. You are a brand, and your name is a brand name. No one is going to know about your brand unless you get it out there; and if you’re an architect, then it’s essential that you have a good portfolio website.
As with any project it will help you to clarify your goals before you begin. Once you know your goals then it will affect every decision you make about creating your portfolio website. Here are some common portfolio goals. Also, be aware that often portfolios try to accomplish more than one goal. If that is the case, consider creating more than one portfolio website that serves a different purpose.
The Hire Me Portfolio Website focuses on getting you a job. If you are actively searching for a job then the current goal of your portfolio is to get hired. In this type of portfolio you can target the work you show to the type of company you want to work for.
The Reputation Building PortfolioWebsite focuses on building your name in the industry and online. This may take the form of an artist’s showcase. Or tie your work together with a blog on your portfolio site.
The Networking Portfolio Website focuses on building relationships. There are many networks that have excellent portfolio building tools. They have some advantages to placing your portfolio on their website. Chiefly among them is to leverage the site space for networking.
The Sales Generation Portfolio focuses on keeping a flow of work always coming in the door. The goal here is to generate leads. And move potential customers through your sales channel.
Now you’ve set your goals, here are 10 tips to follow to make your portfolio website stand out.
1. Create & Highlight Your Logo – Your logo is usually the first thing a user sees. In the Western world, we read from left to right, top to bottom, so it makes sense to put your logo in the top left of your website so that users can immediately identify who owns the website.
2. Create a Tagline – Once the user sees who owns the website, they’ll want to know what it is you do. With a .ARCHI domain name your domain name will elegantly tell visitors what your do but is also a good idea to have a tagline. This is where you explain what you do. Your tagline should be short and snappy, summarizing what you do.
3. Create a Portfolio – This is a personal portfolio website after all, so your portfolio will determine whether the website is interesting or not. People will want to see your previous work to decide whether you’re good or not and for general interest, to see what you’ve been up to in the past.
Your portfolio should contain big high-quality images, clearly accessible to the user. Include a short description for each project, including the different skills that you needed to complete the project. Your visitors might also be interested in the stages of development for your projects and how you arrived at the final outcome.
It’s also never a bad idea to get a testimonial from someone who worked on the project with you or a professor.
4. Highlight Your Skills – Your tagline summed up what you do, but you’ll want to go into a bit more detail here about each of your specific skills. You can’t expect potential employers or clients to guess what you do based on your portfolio, and you don’t want to leave them wondering whether you are the right person or not.
Make it clear, and break it down. For example highlight your Design talent, Engineering ability, Social awareness, Business aptitude and Legal knowledge.
Check out 50+ BEST HTML RESUME CV VCARD TEMPLATES 2016 From Fresh Design Web their top templates.
5. Get Personal with About Me – Let people see the man or woman behind the website. Share your background, where you came from, what you’re passionate about, etc. The more details you give, the better your website visitors can form a bond and build trust with you.
Show a picture of yourself. This will give potential employers or clients the ability to see who they’re dealing with, and it adds an element of trust. Don’t be afraid to show off your awards and recognition also. You want people to know you’re good at what you do.
Check out 25 Best Examples Of About Me Pages from Twelveskip
6. Contact Forms – This is one of the most important elements of a portfolio website but is often hidden or even neglected. A potential employer or client has browsed your website, is impressed with your portfolio and can see who you are. Now they want to contact you.
Your contact information should be obvious and easy to access. Use a form to make it easier for users to contact you. The benefits of the form included the ability for you to ask for specific information, such as name, email address, website URL, details of inquiry.
Here are 25 Impressive Contact forms according to AWWAWARDS for you to get inspired by.
7. Start a Blog – A blog is always a good idea. Blog about your area of expertise; show you know what you’re talking about. It will help promote you and prevent your website from lying static. Keep an active follower-ship but by letting people subscribe to your blog, and show off your most popular blog posts to new readers.
Be sure to enable comments for feedback so people can engage with your posts. Importantly don’t take negative comments personally or get embroiled in an internet argument.
Web Designer Depot list their top 15 beautiful blog designs you can use to help buidl your blog.
8. Create a Call To Action (CTA) – Your portfolio should have a call to action, a “Next step.” The best way to accomplish this is with a button that is clear and stands out from the rest of the page. Link it to your blog, portfolio or contact page, and use appropriate language (e.g. “Contact me,” “Learn More,” “View my portfolio”).
9. Link to Your Social Media Profiles – Now that people have an interest in you and your work, encourage them to follow you on other websites. Make it clear that they can follow you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, etc. Make the most of social networks they are the best way to spread your message.
If you decide to use WordPress for your portfolio website, Source WP lists their 30+ Best WordPress Social Media Plugins of 2016
10. LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION LINK – How you conduct yourself is important. In our post on the 4 Reasons to Use Your Personal .ARCHI Domain Name we covered the importance of a professional looking website. Remember, it’s a personal portfolio website, so be personal but appropriate. You don’t need to sound like a business. Be friendly, personal and clear. Draft your website text in a document first and read it to yourself. If you sound like a corporate drone maybe you are on the wrong track.