top of page


How to make a portfolio in 10 steps

How to make a portfolio

Having a sharp online portfolio is a must for every designer or creative. That's why we've put together this complete guide to creating a portfolio.

An online portfolio with spot-on website design is the modern-day version of a business card, a resume and a project showcase all in one. After all, it’s the go-to place for all potential clients and employers looking to hire you.

For Hani Safe, Head of Portfolio Product at, "An outstanding portfolio is all about storytelling. It’s not just a showcase of work but a narrative that weaves together a professional’s skills, creativity, and personality. Features like dynamic presets, AI setup and beautiful templates let creators bring their stories to life, ensuring that every portfolio not only stands out for its aesthetic appeal, but also tells a compelling story about the creator behind it."

Creating a portfolio website is an opportunity to make something that shows off your skills and conveys your unique voice, while looking just as crisp and professional as any of your other work. With the right tools, you can go beyond technological constraints and artistic compromises, and build a powerful online presence. To get you started with learning how to make a website that shows off your charm, here’s a guide on creating an online portfolio you’ll be proud of.

Starting a design business? Use this design name generator to name it.

Ready to create an online portfolio? Start designing yours now.

What is a portfolio?

An online portfolio is a digital collection of your work, experiences, qualifications, skills and/or accolades. It has historically been used to showcase your talents to potential employers but is now also used to build up your personal brand or attract clients for your own business.

Portfolios are used across all fields, but the most common ones include creative arts (graphic designers, photographers, writers, musicians, etc.), technical fields (software and web developers, engineers) and business.

How to create an online portfolio in 10 steps

No matter what industry you’re in, there are several key basic steps you’ll want to take when building your online portfolio. These range from designing your portfolio in an attractive way to making sure it sees the day of light.

01. Gather inspiration for your portfolio

Creating an online portfolio begins with some visual research. Look at other online portfolio websites or digital portfolio examples to generate some initial ideas. 

When looking through these resources, start thinking of the vibe you want your portfolio to convey and what experience you aim to create. Take notes or make a mood board to accompany you throughout your creative process. Consider essential details like the color palette, typography and site structure that you like, and clue yourself in on current web design trends.

02. Choose your online portfolio design

How do you want visitors to move from one page to the next? What do you want them to see first? These are questions you’ll ask yourself at the next step when you’re designing your actual site. 

There are two easy ways to get started at this stage:

  • Choose a template: Nearly all portfolio website builders will offer pre-built templates that you can choose from. Wix, for example, has dozens of portfolio and CV templates (not to mention 900+ total website templates) spanning all types of industries. Learn more about website builders in this comparison guide: Wix vs Squarespace.

  • Design with AI: Use an AI website builder like Wix that can create a bespoke site for you in minutes. With Wix, simply chat with AI about the type of portfolio you want to achieve—then watch as AI designs a site to match your goals and desired aesthetic.

portfolio website templates

03. Showcase your best projects

Your actual work is the core of your online portfolio, so make sure to showcase it in the best way possible. It should stand out and be easily reachable through the homepage and/or website menu. You can highlight this work by creating a dedicated “projects” page on your website.

Did you know? Wix’s AI portfolio creator saves you hours of repetitive work by allowing you to upload media and instantly arrange them into projects, complete with suggested titles and descriptions.

Expose clients to your creativity and skill by sharing only your best work. This way, you’ll bring their attention to your strengths and maintain a consistent level of quality throughout your portfolio.

As well as presenting your best work, make sure to update your website every once in a while so that you’re always sharing your most recent creations.

It’s helpful to add a narrative for each project so that visitors can get a sense of how you come up with creative solutions and/or work with your clients. An oft-overlooked portfolio design tip: make sure to give a concise description of the project and mention your role, as well as any collaborators you worked with.

"An outstanding portfolio is all about storytelling. It’s not just a showcase of work, but a narrative that weaves together a professional’s skills, creativity, and personality. Features like dynamic presets, AI setup and beautiful templates let creators bring their stories to life, ensuring that every portfolio not only stands out for its aesthetic appeal, but also tells a compelling story about the creator behind it." - Hani Safe, product manager at Wix

04. Use high-quality images

It’s not just photography portfolios that need high-quality images; all portfolios need them, whether you’re making a fashion portfolio or a marketing portfolio

To ensure that your work looks as impressive online as it does in real life, invest time and effort into photographing your work, your process and your products. In cases where a professional photo shoot is not feasible, follow product photography best practices or use free photo-editing tools to enhance your images. 

When showcasing your images, the Wix Pro Gallery can set you up with customizable layouts and effects. You can also use AI tools available in Wix—like an object eraser, background remover and more—to professionalize your images.

05. Include the right portfolio content and features

Once you have a good base from which you can set off and a collection of projects ready to display, it’s time to identify which additional content you want to include in your online portfolio and how to present it strategically. 

This includes text, images and other media. Whether you need some model portfolio examples or you're creating an industrial design portfolio, graphic design portfolio, a stunning photography portfolio or any other type of website. Here are the most crucial pages and sections to include, plus some professional design features to consider:


The virtual home of your portfolio should grab your visitors’ attention with an eye-catching design. On top of the visual aspect, your homepage is a chance to stir the curiosity of potential clients and employers with a powerful introductory sentence. Keep this sentence short and sweet, clearly expressing who you are and what you do. There’s no need to go into your biographical details here (that’s what your ‘About’ page is for), but your name and main area of expertise are an absolute must.

Since your homepage acts as a starting point for visitors, be sure to also include a menu of items that’s easy to find and directs users to the right places on your site.

About page

The About page is where you present your background and short bio, provide essential information about your activities and summarize your unique identity and values. Include any distinctive elements, such as your achievements and skills. It can also be a good idea to clarify your current employment status and include your CV. We recommend adding a downloadable PDF so those interested in hiring you can add it to their system.

You can show off your personality with puns, smart microcopy, illustrations or anything else that feels true to you. Take a cue from DA Creative which emphasizes its confident and assertive bio with futuristic graphics and bold bits of microcopy.

how to make a portfolio example

Contact information

Make sure people who’ve visited your site can easily contact you to inquire more about your services or employment status. Add a contact form, your email address, phone number and links to your social networks.

These elements can be featured in various areas of your site: your main menu, on a dedicated contact page or as a pinned element on the side of the screen. It’s also a good idea to repeat your contact details in your website footer, offering visitors a final invitation to get in touch.

Clients and testimonials

Highlight your professionalism with a list of respected clientele who have chosen to work with you in the past. If any of your projects have been featured elsewhere or have received press coverage, mention that too (especially for a portfolio dedicated to high-ticket industries, like architecture portfolios).

You might additionally want to drop in a testimonial or two by satisfied clients. As long as the feedback feels genuine and not over-the-top, testimonials can add a lot of credibility to your online portfolio. Don’t miss out on this chance for some free and authentic PR.

Incorporate professional features

To craft a professional look and an engaging experience, see how you can incorporate design features that catch your visitors’ eye by taking your online portfolio design up a notch. From hover effects and parallax scrolling to animation and lightboxes, these finishing touches can help bring your website to life. They can also serve as functional tools, drawing your visitors’ attention to a specific place or generating interaction.

Tata Rekso demonstrates the sizable impact these elements can have on the user experience. When you hover over one of her featured works, the text changes color and a sneak peek of the work pops up beside it.

With Wix, hover effects like these are easy to add. If the effect you're looking for isn't available, you can use Velo by Wix to make your site more dynamic and tailor it to your specific needs. This web development platform lets you insert code elements into your website with various custom interactions, helping you bring your most intricate visions to life on your portfolio.

Tata Rekso demonstrates how to make a portfolio that's interactive

06. Improve your portfolio's UX

Now that you have your content, it’s time to make all the pieces come together. There are a number of factors to take into account for creating a strong UX, or user experience, on your website.

Start by listing all the web pages you’ve decided to create. Then, identify which elements will need to be included on each page (although if you used an AI website builder, your site may already be hooked up with all the core elements and content that you need).

For example, a project page might include a featured image, header and description, plus a few extra images or media features. Listing the items on each page will help you decide on their hierarchy before fleshing out the content.

Once you know which pages will make up your online portfolio, you’ll be able to decide on the navigation. How do you want your visitors to transition from one page to another? Will you include a hamburger menu that opens up into a fullscreen list, or a fixed menu at the top of each page? How will you indicate what page people are on?

UX designer Diana Renko's portfolio illustrates that great UX design can be both functional and inventive. Her redesigned hamburger menu stands out for its unique spin while remaining easily recognizable. This creative approach showcases Renko's ability to blend familiar usability with personal style, proving that good UX design need not be dull.

For more ideas, check out this collection of the best UX portfolios.

Diana Renko demonstrates how to make a portfolio that has good UX design

07. Work on your site's SEO

What good is an online portfolio if no one gets to see it? In order for your clients to find you and book your services easily, work towards optimizing your website to bring it higher up on Google search results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing task, concerning various elements of your site. Here are some pointers will help you get started:

  • Create unique, fresh and valuable written content: see writing portfolio examples for inspiration). A good way of doing this is by writing blog posts, as they’ll give you the chance to share ideas that other designers and creatives will enjoy reading. This will also show Google (and site visitors) that you’re actively working.

  • Do keyword research to find the right keywords for your site: Keywords are the most commonly searched phrases on Google when people are looking for creatives such as yourself. A keyword example could be “independent web designer” or “Toronto architect.” Once you’ve done some keyword research, use these phrases in strategic places throughout your website.

  • Write alt text for your images: Short for alternative text, alt text is a brief description of your site’s images and photos (for example, “postcards and business cards for a branding project”). Writing SEO-friendly alt text can also help improve your website’s accessibility. You’re likely to have many visual elements on your online portfolio, so use this opportunity to integrate your keywords into your alt text.

  • Write titles and descriptions (known as metadata: For each of your design portfolio’s pages.

  • Get found by people in your area using local SEO: If you’re a freelance designer with a permanent location, use local SEO to ensure that your portfolio is found by anyone searching in your particular area. Make sure to claim your business on Google My Business, register your website on relevant directors and add your location on your website’s pages.

Pro tip: If you have a Wix website, try Wix SEO. It’s a free, step-by-step plan designed to help improve your site’s SEO with a tailored checklist and helpful tips. You can additionally use Wix’s AI meta tag creator to write title tags and descriptions at scale.

Stay in the know - Subscribe to the Wix Blog for a weekly dose of tips, trends and updates.

08. Make it mobile-friendly

It’s easy to forget about the huge amount of users who are likely to be viewing your site from a smartphone. In fact, mobile devices account for Nearly 60% of web page views worldwide. That’s why the best website designs should look just as good on mobile as they do on desktop.

One of the major challenges designers face when it comes to creating a portfolio online is ensuring that it will be mobile-compatible. Your mobile website is more than just web design made smaller, so there are a few rules to keep in mind when designing for mobile.

For the small screen, you’ll want to declutter the mobile version of your site, keeping only the most crucial elements visible. Furthermore, pay attention to the fonts and colors you use and make sure they’re legible. Reduce the amount of typing required and consider adding a search bar to ease navigation.

Take a look at journalist Lauryn Higgins' portfolio to see an example of mobile design done right. Her minimalist design easily translates to mobile—a good argument to choose a minimalist design style if it suits your brand.

If you’re creating your portfolio with Wix, your site will automatically generate a mobile-friendly version, with an adaptive gallery for your images. That cuts down a significant portion of the work, but it's important to check the mobile editor every time you update your site design to check that the generated site correctly captures your vision.

The desktop and mobile versions of Lauryn Higgins' website

09. Ask for honest feedback

We all know the feeling of getting lost in a project until we lose sight of what it really looks like. That’s why it’s always best to run your website by a second set of eyes for some insight and fresh ideas. Ask your trusted friends what they have to say about your portfolio’s content and visuals. Did they think your portfolio was missing information? What did they like or dislike about your site’s appearance? Was it easy to navigate? Even if it means making adjustments, critical feedback from your peers can help you fine-tune the details of your site.

10. Publish and promote

Once you’ve published your online portfolio, don’t forget to share it on all of your social channels, from Pinterest to Dribbble and more. This straightforward social media marketing strategy will help you reach more potential customers, improve your SEO ranking and hear honest feedback.

Another Instagram tip for designers is to add social buttons to your site, helping visitors reach your social media profiles easily.

After you’ve gotten the word out, remember that your portfolio should grow with you. There’s always another tweak around the corner to make it a little better. Keep updating your site with new content and projects, implementing different features, improving the user experience and staying up-to-date with current design trends.

How to create an online portfolio—with AI

AI has changed the game, providing a near-instant way to create an online portfolio that’s totally unique to you. Getting started is simple.

From Wix, you can access the AI website builder from any type of account. All you need to do is tell the AI about your background and goals for your portfolio. In seconds, the builder will craft a website with all the core pages, imagery—and even text that you need. It will also install the Wix portfolio app to your site, i.e., add essential back-office tools for easily managing the contents of your portfolio. 

example of portfolio created with Wix's AI portfolio creator

Altogether, you have an assortment of AI tools to choose from within Wix:  

  • Website builder: Create a custom portfolio site by simply chatting with AI.

  • Portfolio creator: Upload all the images you want to include in your portfolio in one fell swoop. The AI will automatically organize these images into collections representing the various projects you’ve worked on, plus suggest appealing titles and descriptions for those collections. In minutes, you’ll get a ready-to-publish professional portfolio.

  • Image editing: Automatically enhance photos or use AI to remove and replace distracting elements.

  • Image creation: Create new images and graphics to spruce up your online portfolio. This can be extra helpful if you’re in a role that isn’t design-oriented or work on projects that aren’t visual in nature.

  • Text creation and editing: Tap AI for help brainstorming website copy, whether you need a zinger for your homepage or a bio for your ‘About’ page. The text creator will take into account your brand voice, audience and goals.

  • SEO: Receive assistance with your meta tags and/or optimizing any page for a target keyword. 

  • Branding: Through the AI logo maker, get a custom logo that represents you and your work, while making your portfolio feel more professional.  

Tips for making a portfolio

Now that you know how to make your portfolio, here are some extra tips to make sure you really nail it:

  • Use consistent branding throughout your portfolio: This means using the same fonts, colors, and overall style throughout your portfolio. This will help to create a cohesive and professional look. On top of that, only include your best work in your portfolio. This will help you to showcase your skills and abilities to potential employers or clients.

  • Keep your portfolio up-to-date: As you create new work, be sure to add it to your portfolio. This will help to keep your portfolio fresh and relevant. Make sure that your images are clear, sharp, and well-lit and add clear and concise descriptions to each one.

  • Focus on the type of work you want to do in the future: If you’re looking to branch off into new fields, or focus more on one type of project over the other, make sure to highlight relevant experiences and skill sets. Don’t spend too much time talking about projects that you’d prefer to avoid in the future.

How to make a portfolio FAQ

How should a portfolio start?

A portfolio should start with a strong introduction that tells your story and what you are all about. You can include a brief bio, your contact information and your goals. You may also want to include a statement of purpose that explains why you are creating a portfolio and what you hope to achieve with it.

What makes a good portfolio?

How do I create a student portfolio?

How do I improve my portfolio?

How to make a portfolio for job hunting?

How to make a portfolio for my art?

How to build a portfolio for modeling?

How do I build up my portfolio?

Was this article helpful?

bottom of page