Build a Portfolio
build a professional looking portfolio [Wix VS WordPress]
A portfolio is a must-have, especially in this digital age, where most businesses are conducted online.
While it is relatively easy to draft business cards and hand them over during parties and connect, you can only do just that; give it out remotely.
However, for freelancers, the more audience you can reach, the higher the chances of finding a customer from any part of the world.
Hence, a tweet from you can have thousands of likes and retweets in minutes, portfolio websites showcasing your services can improve your circle of influence.
A portfolio website is a collection of some or all of your best works representing you in a digital form.
For a freelancer, a portfolio website allows you to demonstrate your skill levels and services to potential clients.
Not just this, it lets you showcase your projects to prove your expertise and increase your chances of getting hired.
Unlike many social media handles, portfolio websites are designed exclusively to showcase what you do conveniently and more simply.
Hence, if you have one of these, a potential client does not need to contact you or ask for your work history before viewing the services you offer.
The reason is that the website contains all the information they need to know, including your project designs, rates, and more.
Besides, it lets you cut down on negotiations since your portfolio bears your terms, and clients know beforehand what kind of services they are subscribing to.
You can build portfolio sites to land clients easily on WordPress and Wix, these websites allow individuals and companies to build a basic and uncomplicated portfolio website to showcase your work and provide professional information.
This guide will teach simple steps to build portfolio websites on WIX and WordPress to expand your reach.
Purpose of a Portfolio Website for Freelancers
An online portfolio, as we mentioned, is like a digital business card. It increases your presence, visibility and lets you find employment faster.
More importantly though, a portfolio website allows you to expand your client base to include people from different parts of the world.
Does it look overwhelming? It isn’t…. Snap.
Building a portfolio website does not require much skill and experience.
Like all things digital, it is convenient and easy to do regardless of your skill levels. There are different automated tools and processes that make the process easier.
Here are general reasons why you should have a portfolio website.
1. Creates Awareness
It is great if clients and potential customers see you and get inspired by your works.
However, if your work is not out there, nothing will be seen. Without portfolios, employers and clients won’t see your work.
Having a portfolio website is an excellent way to increase awareness of your business.
Not just to be seen, it allows you to be heard since website portfolios allow you to stay updated with the best industry trends.
As a result, you can improve your current innovator state, even while waiting for clients.
2. Evokes Trust
Online portfolios build trust and reputation.
For example, when an employer googles your name, and your portfolio comes up, it will increase trust beyond that of another person whose business card he found by the sidewalk.
The websites provide a form of assurance that guarantees your skill and a system of accountability.
Hence clients will have little or no need to doubt your honesty and skill.
3. Builds Credibility
Like trust, it is also easy to build credibility with online portfolios.
Thanks to the portfolios’ flexibility, you can showcase more than your skill to include your personality.
By building an online industry presence, you will be known by others, and they will trust you more.
Not only will you claim a result, but you will also showcase your projects with the result.
An online portfolio is a way of writing trust beside your name and is sufficient to build enough credibility.
As a result, you won’t need to convince anyone of how excellent your services are and how you can effortlessly recreate more impressive ones.
4. Showcases Your Talent
A website for your brand is an ideal way to share your experience with the world.
Unlike traditional portfolios, the sites are innovative ways to be creative about your shared content.
Thanks to their flexibility, you can continuously create, recreate, and improve your content to reflect a continuous learning process that will always appeal to the outside world.
5. Builds a Brand
By penning your ideas on a web system, you are setting yourself up for global relevance.
With it, you can unlock infinite and valuable insights to make people see you and think about your skill in a powerful way.
Not just this, you will better grow your career and reflect yourself as an active learner.
Since your ideas will always evolve to show your learning, you will build a sustainable brand for yourself.
If you think about it, it does the work of brand reflection, display, and advertisement.
Apart from this, it allows you to build a following or a community of some sort where you can always inject yourself and your ideas.
For example, if you have a photography blog, people will follow you and patiently wait for your next release to know what you want to say.
Interestingly, your community can also reflect your skills and are an excellent channel for moving yourself into something or a topic of discussion.
A portfolio helps you set yourself for online success as a brand.
6. Attracts New Clients
A portfolio website is an excellent place to market your skill precisely how you want people to see you.
You can choose how people will see you; and control their perception with your best foot forward.
This will give you the confidence in pitching what you do to potential clients and make you rest assured that whatever skill you’re selling shows authenticity to the client.
Besides, if you’ve got it, you gotta show it.
You own your skill, and there is no reason not to lay it bare for the world to see how exceptional you are.
Remember, it is a way of showing you have more than a resume; instead, you can back those words with actual results.
Depict How You Want Others to Perceive You
Anyone can draft a letter or make some jargon up to make a resuming more appealing.
However, what will make you stand out is if you have an opportunity to meet people before they actually meet you.
This is one of the opportunities that a portfolio website affords you.
Take a look at this definition for a broader perspective; a portfolio is a special compilation and professional documentation of work samples that reflect your professional accomplishments.
It allows you to show and tell with evidence of your abilities and relevant skill levels.
The first impression, as they say, matters a lot.
However, you don’t want to make a good first impression only to blow the second one.
Therefore, an online portfolio is a constant but evolving image of how you are perceived more than changing how people view you.
It provides an opportunity to connect with people and show your personality.
You are more than a resume since you are displaying the results of the work that you accomplished.
It also defines you and lets people know who you are without ever meeting you in person.
Decide Which Platform Best Suits Your Needs
One fascinating thing with portfolio websites is that you can decide which platform is best for your needs.
However, although they all make it easy to publish and manage your projects, some do this better than others.
It will do you a lot of good if you take a deeper look into each of these platforms in order to decide the one that will represent you best.
However, we have decided to focus more on WIX and WordPress in this particular guide.
Wix offers a free plan and a two-week money-back guarantee on all of its paid plans.
Subscription prices for the plans range between $13 and $500 every month, each with different names and plan designs.
|Wix plan||Monthly Cost ($)||Yearly Cost ($/month)||Other Features|
|Free||$0.00||$0.00||500MB storage and bandwidth|
|Combo (Removes ads and lets you connect your domain for personal use)||$17.00||$13.00||2G bandwidth, 3Gb storage, 30 video minutes, free one-year domain, no Ads|
|Unlimited (For freelancers and entrepreneurs)||$22.00||$17.00||Unlimited bandwidth and 10Gb storage, one hour HD video, and no ads|
|Pro (complete online branding)||$27.00||$22.00||Unlimited bandwidth 20Gb storage, no ads, 2 hours HD video|
|VIP (First priority support)||$47.00||$39.00||Unlimited bandwidth, 20Gb storage, no ads, 2-hours HD video.|
|Business Basic||$28.00||$23.00||20Gb storage, unlimited bandwidth, 5 video hours, accepts online payment.|
|Business Unlimited||$33.00||$27.00||35Gb storage, unlimited bandwidth, 10 video hours, accepts online payments.|
|Business VIP||$56.00||$49.00||50 Gb storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited video hour, accepts online payment.|
The free plan does not have a time limit and allows you to build and customize your site without paying.
You only need to set up your WIX account with an email address and continue to build your site.
However, it limits growth when you use it for a long time and does not add to your professionalism.
Apart from this, there is a Wix advert on each page, and you can’t use your domain name.
Not just this, you can’t sell online or access limited features like google analytics.
Although you’ll receive basic support, there won’t be priority support options.
Hence, although the free option is an excellent way to get started, it isn’t best for the long term.
There are also hidden costs that you should consider. They include domain name, auto-renewal, premium Wix apps, custom email addresses, and Wix ascend.
WordPress is free! You didn’t see that coming, did you?
Well, almost free.
In truth, WordPress is free for anyone that wants to use it. Since it features an open-source software design, you can install it for any website.
However, you need to pay for hosting and domain name. You might also need to pay for some plugins and extensions if you choose to use them.
To create a WordPress site, you will need to store your files on a self-hosted WordPress site.
After selecting the host, you will need a domain name.
The domain name represents the name displayed on your site or what a visitor needs to type in the browser to access your website.
WordPress offers free themes that you can use; if you want a custom-made or advanced template, you will have to pay for it.
There are also more than 54,000 plugins for free on WordPress. Some might have premium features that will be at a cost of a small price. Nonetheless, these are optional choices that you can forgo.
What is not optional is the domain and hosting cost. You can build the site on either a low or high budget.
However, WordPress recommends that you use Bluehost as your hosting provider.
Besides being the recommended host, Bluehost provides 24/7 support through live chat, email, and phone. They also have a fast site response time regardless of the traffic, and pricing starts at $3.95 monthly.
No surprise why it’s rated the number one web hosting platform for small businesses. Apart from this, Bluehost offers a 63% discount for beginners, free SSL, and free builder templates.
Summary of WIX and WordPress
|Wix||Drag and drop website builder best for beginners||You can’t switch your template after going live with the site|
|Free and paid website hosting and domain names by Wix||Free plan Wix plan forces branding|
|Automatic site backup||You can’t transfer your site|
|Excellent site speed and huge template collection|
|Easy marketing and helpful support|
|WordPress||User-friendly content management system||The frequent updates and backups are your responsibility|
|More than 54,000 plugins and huge theme collections||Attractive to hackers|
|Fast, responsive time and SEO ranking||Not a built-in drag and drop builder|
|Most popular website builder||Customization can get expensive|
|You can keep the site as simple as you want|
|You can move your website anywhere|
Ready to start building your portfolio?
Tips to keep in mind when building your portfolio website
1. Be concise
When building your portfolio, make sure it is user-centered. The average site visitor does not spend too much time on a site. Hence, whatever information you want to deliver should be communicated quickly.
Figure out what the potential client gets interested and catch his/her attention swiftly. Show your potential clients how your skill answers their needs and how they don’t need to wander off in search of answers to their questions.
2. Include a blog to make the most out of your portfolio website
A unique way to get the best out of your website is to include a blog.
When there is much emphasis on writings, you allow your projects to sell themselves and share the story behind every creation.
It also uses SEO to attract potential clients and attract traffic. You show professionalism and share your skill and knowledge with people with a blog.
As a result, more visitors will look to you for insights. Blogging about relevant topics is an impressive way to connect with clients and answer their questions. A blog is also a great place to notify your audience of changes to your site.
3. Give your work context
Engage creativity in your context. You can blend your personality into your portfolio to spark emotion in your visitor’s heart.
Use case studies to provide context to highlight your work. You can combine this with storytelling to convey the creative passion behind the work and engage a visitor’s imagination.
4. Present your best work
Don’t fill your portfolio with all the works you have ever done. Your chances of impressing a visitor are measured in seconds and not minutes. Because, most visitors will only spend a few seconds on your portfolio.
Instead of cramming your portfolio with an endless list of works, select the best quality works that will capture their attention, and communicate your abilities.
Wix and WordPress are among the best solutions for building an online portfolio. Not just this, they help your business stand out.
With enough user-friendly and practical solutions to portfolio building, it will be wrong to think one is better than the other.
However, each is best for different needs.
If you have to choose between the two, do so based on your preference, portfolio goals and skill level. Nonetheless, both solutions are ideal for building a unique portfolio site.
Choosing the right online portfolio comes down to the type of skill set being offered, the goals set to be achieved and the kind of impression you want to make on clients within your industry.
Keep in mind that it’s best when your portfolio is being updated regularly so as to keep your potential clients longing to get your service and your regular clients wanting more of your service.
And don’t forget to keep flaunting your best work on your portfolio in order to always keep the page as impressive as you can, because without these, the success of the portfolio will be limited.