Starting to build your portfolio can seem overwhelming, there are a lot of decisions to make and details to iron out. The best place to start is to define your vision, decide what your portfolio should say about you and your work.
Your first step - structure
When planning the structure of your portfolio, make sure to consider the flow. For a great visitor experience, your menus should be clean and intuitive. You will have very little time to catch the attention of your potential clients before they move on, and they are not likely to have the patience to dig through endless submenus and unclear titles to find what they are looking for.
Once you have decided on your structure, create your menus on your computer with folders and subfolders containing the work you want to upload. Preparing your work this way means that once you have created your website, uploading will be fast and pain-free, and you can be up and running much quicker.
Showcase your work
Now you have defined your vision and your website structure, it's time to get started with creating your online portfolio. Portfoliobox makes the task of designing and structuring your online portfolio as simple as it gets - you can build your galleries, upload the work you have prepared and create collection pages to host your different galleries. You might want to create a collection page for your professional work and name each gallery after each of your clients or projects.
Make contact you fuss-free
A straight-forward way to contact you is vital - you want potential clients to be able to reach you without any fuss. Create a contact page and add your location, e-mail address and/or a customized contact form. Consider also adding your e-mail address as a stationary object to your site, so that a visitor can grab it right away without having to navigate to the contact page. Giving the visitors the option of clicking the designated page for more details or simply grabbing the e-mail address straight from the menu is a great way to cater to their needs - they may be in a hurry and want to store your information for later, or they might be interested in digging deeper. Either way, they should be able to do it as easily as possible.
First impression lasts
Where your visitors end up when they head to your page is worth considering. A landing page, or start page, can be everything from one of your galleries to a one pager or a full-screen image. When deciding on a landing page keep the general design of your portfolio in mind. Make sure to follow the concept and style - if you have gone with a modern and minimalistic design a one pager or full screen image fits the bill.
Secondly, consider what you want to draw attention to. If you have an extraordinary photo on your landing page that is relevant to the type of work you want, flaunt it! Full-screen images make an impact. However, if you want the visitor to notice the diversity of your work, your landing page could be a collection page pointing to the different galleries. As much as your experience and education will be of interest later in the game, remember that if the first impression is lacking, your chances of getting your visitors to explore those parts of your page are slim, so make your landing page count.
Professional domain and e-mail address
A personal domain makes a difference. Buying a domain these days does not need to break the bank (in the Portfoliobox pro account, a personal domain is included in the yearly subscription), and visitors know this. Subsequently, the assumption, if you have not invested in one, may be that you are not very serious about your work. Once your domain is ready, the next step is to have an e-mail account connected to it. You will be taken more seriously if your potential clients can reach out to "email@example.com", than to "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Make sure things work
It is basic, but important, to make sure your site works. Open it from different devices to make sure it works and looks the way it's intended. Click all the links, view all the galleries, and send yourself an e-mail or a message through the contact form. The last thing you want is a broken link, error pages or a site that looks fantastic on your desktop but cluttered on a smartphone.
You have some stunning work to show and your experience is impeccable. However, without an impressive and professional online portfolio, it will make it harder for you to stand out from your competitors and get noticed. If you follow the above tips when creating your portfolio, having a polished portfolio is just within reach.