Build a Design Portfolio That Will Grow Along with You
These simple tips will ensure that you don't have to rebuild your website every couple of years. Here's how to create a portfolio that will only get better with time.
Do you know the feeling of opening files from a past project of yours? After finishing a project, going through the many unnamed layers, masks and random folders that you used to know your way around by heart, usually becomes a baffling experience.
Acquiring better work habits and practices is a worthy goal to strive for in any kind of design field, and even more so when it comes to creating your portfolio website. Your portfolio design might be pixel-perfect at the moment – but will you still love it just as much in two or three years? It’s a quick path from a spot-on portrayal of your taste, level and expertise, to a somewhat outdated artifact (and before long, you’re not sure how you ever thought those two colors could work together).
Follow these advanced design portfolio tips for the Wix Editor, so that you won’t have to redo your website from scratch every couple of years, or worse – leave your portfolio as a stagnant monument of your past self. Here’s how to create a website that can be tweaked and modified with ease:
1. Keep your page categories to a minimum
It’s always good practice to have a simple and clear UX design that eases navigation on your website. This holds true to any type of website, from an industrial design portfolio to a fashion portfolio. Not only is a straightforward website structure friendlier for your visitors, but it also eases things out for you as the designer, in case you ever need to rearrange your site in the future.
For that reason, we recommend pinpointing the most crucial parts of your design portfolio, then stripping it down to its bare necessities, which can be summed up into two: your creations, and your information. Most other things should naturally fall under one of these two categories, and don’t necessarily require a designated page of their own. Notice how Danielle Evans’ website for her passion project, Kanyegg, has only two links on her homepage – one titled ‘Work’, and the other ‘About’. What more could you possibly need? These guidelines can, of course, be played around with to best match the content of your site, but the main idea remains that a simple navigation and structure make editing the website easier, too.
2. Apply quick edits with the Wix Pro Gallery
The Wix Pro Gallery is a free Wix Editor feature that comes in handy for building a website that’s flexible and easy to edit. The Pro Gallery enables any design decision you make to be quickly applied across all related elements on the page, rather than editing them one at a time. That includes layout, color, font, size and more. When the time comes for you to add a new project to an existing gallery, rest assured that the same effects, colors and sizes that you previously crafted will now be automatically applied to the new project, too. Alternatively, if you’d like to change your design altogether, it’s easy to modify it straight from the Pro Gallery, without having to edit each project individually. Here’s how to edit your design with the Wix Pro Gallery the right way:
> Stretch all items at once: The Pro Gallery can be stretched to any width you like, from a narrow rectangle in the middle of the page to a coast-to-coast extravaganza. To stretch the gallery while still maintaining your image proportions, click anywhere on the gallery, then go to the ‘Stretched’ arrow icon and drag the handle bars to control the gallery’s width. For fullscreen mode, check the ‘Stretch to full width’ icon. If you’d like, you can add margins to keep the gallery away from the edges of the screen.
> Change the layout with a click: To change the layout, click anywhere on the gallery, then go to Settings > Layout. There, you can play around with spacing or the number of images per row, and choose from several layout options (grid, slideshow, column and more). You can also control image ratio or scroll directions, and many other elements.
> Change color and typography: To edit your gallery’s appearance under Settings > Design, you can apply changes to the color and typography in your gallery, which in turn will be automatically applied across all relevant items.
3. Stay cohesive with saved themes
Unless you’re planning on having each fold of your site pay tribute to a different era in the history of art and design, there’s no reason for your portfolio to include more than three to four font styles, and a limited color palette. That’s why it makes perfect sense to work with saved themes for your type, and to save your color choices on the Color Picker. Here’s how:
> Saved text themes: For each text category you write with (title, paragraph, etc.), work with a different theme in the Text Settings panel. Once you’ve created a page that you’re happy with, don’t go on to the next page before saving your text themes (top right in the Text Settings panel). That way, whenever you change anything on a project title – be it font, size, weight, or color – all of your project titles will automatically change to match.
> Saved site colors: You perfected the exact shade of pale blush for your website, but now that you’ve added a new brightly-colored gif, it’s clear that the blush has to be slightly darker. Sure, you could go back and change it on each page, but you can also change the color on your Site Colors, to have it change all at once. In the Color Picker, click Change at the top right corner and pick one of the colors. Then, either choose your color with the gradient picker or by typing or pasting in a hex code.
4. Do your maintenance work
Once your website is up and running, don’t let it slip into the abyss of forgotten webpages. Every now and again, add a few of your recent projects that showcase your current expertise, and be sure to remove older projects in their place. Make sure to take a look at your about page, too, and see if it reflects your current place in life and your employment status. Review your links (to your social media accounts and others) to ensure that none are broken.
And assuming you followed the above advice and structured your design portfolio correctly, don’t worry if you feel like going for some stylistic changes. It’s super easy to give your site a quick facelift and save it from staying frozen in time. But then again, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of cyber nostalgia, such as this CNN Web archive that dates back to the mid-’90s. It all depends on what your portfolio is going for, of course.
Text Roey Chen Goldberg and Eden Spivak
Illustration Maya Ish Shalom