If you’re a web designer, a portfolio isn’t just a nice thing to have — it’s vital.
Your online portfolio allows you to showcase your best work. Plus, it gives you a chance to be discovered online, define your niche, share your personality and expertise, and land those new and exciting clients.
However, building an effective portfolio site is no easy feat. To design a standout portfolio, you need that extra oomph — a demonstration of your own personality, branding, and artistry.
What to include on your web design portfolio website
Your web design portfolio should be unique to you or your design agency — but there are standards elements that belong on every design portfolio.
Homepage/main landing page
Your homepage is perhaps the most important page within your portfolio website. While the main goal is to get potential clients’ eyes on your work and case studies, your homepage is what gets those visitors excited about your collection of work.
Your about page is just that — all about you. This is your moment, so let your personality shine and tell a bit of your story. You can also use this page to further explain your introduction to design and what design means to you. This leaves a good impression on potential clients as they can learn more about how you approach your work.
Whether you title it work or portfolio, this page should showcase your best design projects and their case studies. Curate your best projects — the work that highlights your skills as well as the style of work you love to do. Whenever possible, include thorough case studies that further explain your design process for the project and mockups from the final product.
This is where you define the type of web design services you offer. Clients may have different ideas of what a web design package includes, so use this page to clearly explain what work you take on.
Potential clients can’t hire you if they don’t know how to get in touch. A contact page that includes a contact form or your email address is key. The contact page is also a great place to share links to your social media and other relevant accounts like LinkedIn, Dribbble, Behance, and Medium.
Pro tip: Use your website builder’s social icon integration to link your Behance, Dribbble, LinkedIn, and email in your website’s footer or navigation bar. This is an industry-standard practice that ensures your contact information is visible on every page of your site.
These are the standard pages you’d find on a design agency or design portfolio website. If you use a template, these pages are typically complete with filler information that you can easily transform into your own personal portfolio website.
How to make your web design portfolio stand out
Your website is typically a potential client’s first introduction to you as well as your expertise, so crafting an effective website is crucial. Before you download the first web template you find or start building from scratch, think about your audience and your goals as a web designer. What type of clients and brands do you want to work with, and how will you attract them?
Defining your audience allows you to define your niche and goals as a professional web designer. Ask yourself: What kind of brands do I want to work with? Which industries or niches interest me?
Once you know which industries you’re interested in, speak their language by defining your design niche or specialty through cohesive design and branding.
Let’s say you want to work with minimalistic, high-end sustainable skincare and makeup brands. You could lean into muted pastel color combinations and stylistic serif fonts. Playing with layout, imagery, and spacing along with carefully placed animations and transitions can help you appeal to your specific audience.
10 stellar web design portfolios
When it comes to web design, visuals speak louder than words. Check out these 10 web design portfolio examples and take note of any that speak to your design style.
1. Virginia Orosa
Dublin-based designer Virginia Orosa delights us with her gorgeous two-toned bubblegum portfolio. Virginia’s web design portfolio is a great example of a unique portfolio that still appeals to a wide audience.
Virginia’s choice of sans serif typography pairs well with the classic color scheme of bubblegum and cherry red along with subtle animations and transitions. This portfolio shows off Virginia’s personality as well as her expertise as a visual and interaction designer.
2. Ivette Felix Uy
Brooklyn-based product designer Ivette Felix Uy’s two-page portfolio shows that you can wow potential clients with a minimal site. Ivette’s design is balanced and visually appealing to a wide audience. The introductory fold highlights Ivette’s design style with a touch of her personality. Plus, her case study structure is something to be admired.
This is a perfect example of an online portfolio that speaks its audience’s language, using subtle yet clever visual appeals that leave a good impression.
3. Empathy template
The Empathy template by Tyler Hughey of Ty Created is a solid base for a web design portfolio. Empathy delivers boldness, beauty, and professionalism. Thanks to the built-in pages for your projects and services, this template can easily be transformed into your personal web design portfolio.
Milli is a creative design agency with the skills and credentials that has helped brands across the globe such as Amazon, Netflix, and Red Bull, to name a few. Their portfolio has a flair that’s hard to put into words as it’s an experience rather than a static page. Each grid comes to life with a yellow highlight and enlarged text when you hover over it.
What makes their website design work is how it entirely embodies their personality and branding as an agency. This design asserts Milli’s confidence, trust, and industry expertise to potential clients.
5. Colin Moy (cloneable)
It takes skill to design a site that is both coy as well as bold and immersive, but Colin Moy makes it look easy. Colin’s portfolio greets you with a cheeky design, replacing the Os in his name with eyes. Those eyes are actually a clever Easter egg — clicking on them activates dark mode and triggers an animation. Colin keeps this theme going, swapping the Os in About, Portfolio, and Contact for eyes as well, inviting you to click and expand to see more.
Colin’s web design portfolio is a great example of showing off your specialties through your own site’s design. And luckily for you, Colin’s template is cloneable.
6. MN STUD.IO
MN STUD.IO’s portfolio shows off the founder Mark Noble’s background in motion design and web development. This portfolio is a solid example of designing with your audience in mind — it’s obvious that MN STUD.IO enjoys projects that involve animations and movement.
As you scroll, animations that showcase past projects pop up, enticing you to click. Every page includes movement with elements like horizontal sliding text, spinning buttons, and interactive elements.
7. Nicole Nelson template
The Nicole Nelson portfolio website template includes hints of flair throughout the site, encouraging visitors to keep exploring.
This is thanks to the elements of movement — hover effects, transitions, and subtly shifting images — all of which create a sense of immersion. Not only is this a great demonstration of one’s design skills and attention to detail, but the template also provides an opportunity to showcase your work in an artistic way.
8. You X portfolio
You X, a portfolio template by BRIX templates, makes a great base for a web design portfolio. The You X template includes an extensive set of pages, features, ecommerce options, and an editable Figma file available after purchase.
You X is the ideal blank canvas. While the template follows the current design trends in terms of typography, white space, and general UI design, it is still minimalistic in design. This gives you a creative opportunity to transform it into your own web design portfolio.
9. Side Scroller template
Aaron Grieve’s Side Scroller template gives us new and exciting ways to play with the digital medium. In Aaron’s words, Side Scroller is super modern, clean, and unexpected.
After the load, you think you’ve wandered upon a single-fold landing page or a creative coming soon page with your standard header, body text, and call to action. However, as you scroll, additional content moves in from the right side of the page.
The side scroll creates an immersive experience, almost as if you are turning the pages of a brochure. It’s delightful and will leave quite the impression on potential clients.
10. Eve Kayser
Eve Kayser’s portfolio catches the eye right away with a beautiful gradient on his logo and subtle floating squares in matching colors.
This simple one-page portfolio has everything a great web design portfolio needs. Eve puts his expertise, a short introduction to his experience, and contact information above the fold. You can either click “Recent Work” in the menu or simply scroll to see a few of Eve’s projects.
So that’s our list of 10 stunning web design portfolio examples that can hopefully serve as creative design inspiration for your own portfolio.
If you’re ready to get started but are unsure how, check out our design portfolio course. This 21-day course teaches you how to visually build your own portfolio site without a single line of code. Great portfolios come from expertise and creativity. Happy designing!
The simplest way to present a web design in a portfolio is posting a screenshot view. It might be an actual screenshot, or it might be a nice export from Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or Sketch. This presentation style allows viewers to see the full website design in all its details—or does it?How do I create a beautiful portfolio website? ›
- Gather inspiration.
- Choose a template.
- Showcase your best projects.
- Use high quality images.
- Include the right content and features.
- Improve your portfolio's UX.
- Work on your site's SEO.
- Make it mobile friendly.
- Take a Class or Online Tutorial. ...
- Create Web Pages for Imaginary Clients. ...
- Volunteer. ...
- Modify Web Design Templates.
Showcase High-Quality Work
On your portfolio site, showcase only your best work. Potential employers don't want to see every project you've ever completed. They want to see only those that you consider high-quality or relevant. It would be best if you also let employers know a little bit about each project.
- Start with a Blank Canvas. ...
- Think Outside the Box; Don't Use a Pre-Described Layout. ...
- Do Not Use a CMS. ...
- Avoid Online Inspiration. ...
- Try at Least One Thing You Haven't Done Before. ...
- Pretend Like You Don't Have to Code It. ...
- Go Old School. ...
- Go New School.
- Introduce yourself with a short artist bio on your home page.
- Plan out 6–10 of your best project work to include in your portfolio.
- Keep your website design simple and clean.
- Define the type of work you want to do.
- Include your contact information.
Keep It Unique
Try to be different by using names that stand out from the competition. You can find creative portfolio names by creating your own catchy new words like Bing did. Alternatively, use popular words in your niche to find new words that fit your brand and help you become unique.
It's also very simple to set up and can take as little as 10 minutes to get your site up and running. To create a GitHub Page, your repository should include an index.Do you need a portfolio for web design? ›
Your web design portfolio is arguably the single most important key to success as a web designer or front-end developer. For that reason it's important that your portfolio instils confidence in any prospective client.What should be in a front-end developer portfolio? ›
A front-end developer portfolio should showcase your skills, work samples, and contact information. It should be easy to navigate and well organized. It should also have a clear purpose, such as getting hired or freelance work.
- Navigation. This is essential especially when your website has so many pages. ...
- Content and Visual Elements. These also include the choice of font and other typographic details. ...
- Brand Uniformity. ...
- Engagement. ...
- Organization and Search Engine Optimization.
Your product design portfolio should include a short bio, your resume, contacts, social media links, but most importantly 3-5 case studies that showcase the full scope of your skills.What is a general portfolio website? ›
A portfolio website is a unique way to showcase your work and let others know about yourself. It's like an evergreen platform for your projects, case studies, and information about you. In addition, it's one of the best ways to express your personality, experience, and capabilities.What is a personal portfolio website? ›
A personal website or portfolio is an opportunity to reach more people with your work. It's also an extension of your personality and gives you the chance to craft a design that reflects who you are as a creative.Why is a portfolio website important? ›
The importance of having a professional online presence is more important than ever, and an online portfolio will certainly increase your visibility and presence. Creating your portfolio website allows you to share and showcase your work easily with the employers you'd like to work for.Can a blog be a portfolio? ›
Professional blog: A professional (non-monetized) blog can be integrated into your online portfolio IF you plan to write about topics related to your industry. That way you keep your content in context.What is the difference between a portfolio and a blog? ›
A big difference between portfolios and blogs is the level of audience engagement. Portfolio visitors just look at your portfolio and then leave. Blog visitors however, comment on your entries, share your blog posts and return for your next posts. They follow you.What is a website example? ›
A website (also written as a web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. Examples of notable websites are Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Wikipedia.What are the features of good portfolio? ›
- Risk averse. Your portfolio should not expose you to any more risk than is necessary to meet your objectives. ...
- Cost efficient. A good portfolio achieves its objectives at the lowest possible cost. ...
- Risk efficient. ...
- Tax efficient. ...
- Simple. ...
- Transparent. ...
- Easy to manage.
A blog according to Dictionary.com is “a website containing a writer's or group of writers own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites."
It is an excellent way to highlight your skills and show evidence of the experience you have acquired throughout your career. More importantly, pulling together your portfolio provides you an opportunity to reflect on your experience, identify strong practices, and recognize opportunities for growth.Should I add a blog to my portfolio website? ›
A blog can be a great way to share your agency's culture or company's offering and get it noticed, but only if it's done well. And it's rarely done well. So if you're considering a blog for your site, first decide if it's the best use of your time and resources. And if it is, then truly invest in it.