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As creating an online design portfolio has become a simpler and more accessible project for lose less versed in the complexities of web design, the volume of design portfolio sites out there has skyrocketed.
With this massive influx of new design portfolios, potential clients and employers are hard-pressed to find the designer who can most effectively meet their needs without sifting through thousands of portfolios.
So what can you do to make your design portfolio stand out from the crowd?
Create (and Keep Up with) a Blog
A blog is one of the simplest ways to add more information and character to your design portfolio site. Not only does it provide potential clients and employers with more in-depth information about your design process and values, but it can also make your website more discoverable. Try your hand at some blog posts that are optimized for the web or provide the design community with helpful tips in your area of expertise. The trick, however, is keeping up with your blog so that search engines can find your blog posts. Google’s search function is more likely to list your site higher in its search rankings if your website has fresh, optimized content.
Darren Booth’s portfolio site includes a great blog where he provides more information about his design work.
Sell Your Wares
ZSO, aka Sara Blake, created a gorgeous site for her illustration and design work that also includes an extensive shop where visitors can purchase items featured in her portfolio. In general, a shop boosts engagement with your portfolio site, but a wide selection of products may also increase your site’s discoverability and improve engagement by prompting return visits.
David M. Smith’s portfolio site features sleek personal branding elements that provides visitors a clear idea of what he offers as a designer. A unified theme tied together with a slick personal logo design proves to clients and employers that he’ll put as much thought into their brands as he does into his own.
Publish Case Studies
A less common approach to portfolio design, case studies provide an in-depth view of your design process and how they’ve been successful for your clients.
According to Jason Tselentis, case studies are often used by design agencies to examine their own successes (and failures) and to demonstrate their values to clients:
Agencies frequently use case studies for not only internal analysis, but also for new client development. In an agency setting, a case study shows the client (or prospective client) your capabilities by giving a “deep dive” into what you bring to the table, and how you can solve their problem or problems. An agency’s case study might include one project broken down the following ways (to show one project and the many things that project required you to deliver). Read more.
But case studies aren’t just for agencies. Alyssa Potter’s portfolio site includes a few brief but highly professional case studies that provide a unique and thorough look at what she offers.
Still hunting for the perfect platform for your design portfolio? All of the sites above were created using Squarespace:
While there are many web platforms that enable you to create a design portfolio, we’re particularly fond of Squarespace, both for its versatility and its beginner-friendly usability. After all, even if you’re not a web designer, you still need a great portfolio website where you can display your work and demonstrate the breadth of your abilities.
Squarespace is a publishing platform that allows users to create stunning portfolios, online stores and blogs—or all three in one. With dozens of gorgeous, customizable templates to choose from, you can create a website that demonstrates your abilities and impresses employers and visitors alike, all without writing code.
Once you create your site, Squarespace’s super simple drag-and-drop functionality helps you customize the design and upload your work in no time at all. You also get a ton of handy perks, like all-in-one service provides content management, hosting, domains, social integrations, e-commerce and 24-hour customer support.
The new Squarespace 7 update offers even more awesome features, including a redesigned interface, new templates, a partnership with Getty images, Google Apps integration, and the Cover Pages feature, which lets you put up a one-page website in minutes. Give it a shot with a 14-day free trial, and use the exclusive offer code HOWMAG10 to take 10% off.