Whether you’re an artist, designer or custom furniture building, creating an online portfolio gives you an edge over the competition. People can see what you’re capable of and get ideas for their own projects. We’ve scoured the internet for the best portfolio website examples we could find. The results will inspire you and drive you to develop new skills.
Portfolio websites take many different forms. Some sites include a portfolio section, while others open directly to a gallery of images or before and after photos.
What Should I Include in My Portfolio Website?
Statista recently reported there are around 1.88 billion websites globally. Not all are active and some point to other sites, but the gist is that people have a ton of options from which to choose. If you want them to spend their time on yours, you must create an interactive experience that draws them in.
Before viewing portfolio website examples, think about what people need to know to hire you. A few things you should consider for your site include:
- Photos of Your Work
- Links to awards or commendations
- Client list
Each portfolio website example is as unique as the person creating it, so the list above is not comprehensive. Portfolios average between five and 20 pages, so you’ll want to include only your best samples.
Here are some excellent portfolio website examples to help you get some ideas for how you might structure yours. Discover why we selected each one and how you can apply the principle to your own site.
1. Matthew Fisher
Matthew Fisher uses a randomizer to show off some of his work with stone vessels. Note how the randomizer pulls up various art. However, all the images look similar because he’s used a similar composition and background for each.
Creating a consistent look among all your images sets a tone for your portfolio and makes it appear more professional. Think about some style guide standards for any photos of products you take.
Takeaway: When viewing portfolio website examples, pay attention to how they make photographs consistent.
Format makes beautiful home furniture with a mid-century modern look. One thing we really admire about their portfolio is that it follows the same clean lines as the designs they create. When you land on the home page, you have some options to look at projects, learn more about the brand or contact them.
Note how the project page is fairly detailed. They share an image and then explain the inspiration and how they achieved the look. Gaining insight into the artist’s creative process is particularly useful to other creators. Out of the portfolio website examples we came across, this one stands out for its minimalist design and detail.
Takeaway: Share details about how you accomplished a particular look or style. People want to know about you the designer, so sharing your inspiration speaks to them on a personal level and gives your site a unique edge.
3. Doriane Azzouz
Out of the portfolio website examples listed, this one may be our favorite. French Designer Doriane Azzouz has a unique portfolio that grabs attention. She lets her name stand out as the headline on a soft lilac background. Next, just under the fold is a video that plays peek-a-boo and encourages the user to scroll down further.
As you move around to different elements on the page, an interactive set of images follow you, such as hearts and daisies. Our favorite part of this design is how she encapsulates certain words to highlight them for potential clients, such as “digital designer” and “UI & UX design.”
Takeaway: Highlight important points about your work, so users know exactly what they are getting if they hire you.
4. CMG Digital
There’s a lot to like about the portfolio website example for CMG Design. We love the use of subheadings to set a tone for the entire site. The repeating element of yellow circles is also a nice touch that carries through no matter where you go within the portfolio. It shows an ability for big picture design not everyone possesses.
The hamburger menu expands and offers an opportunity to sign up for their newsletter or navigate to areas such as an About Page or case studies.
Takeaway: Show you can design for an entire brand image and not just a single page. Use an overarching theme, such as the yellow dots above.
5. Richard Ekwonye
The design for Richard Ekwonye’s portfolio proves you can say a lot without saying much. Rather than fill every spare inch of space, he leaves plenty of negative space, so the user’s eye goes to the headline and his photo.
The balance between positive and negative space highlights the important considerations clients need before hiring Mr. Ekwonye.
Takeaway: Make sure your page has a balance between positive and negative space. Cut anything that doesn’t move your user through the buyer’s journey quickly.
6. Norm Architects
Norm Architects present an inside look at their projects in process as well as completed pieces. One thing that makes the site stand out is an inside look at how their architects work, including a short video clip of one sketching out some plans.
Each page focuses only on the content for the page and doesn’t try to branch out into other areas, even reducing the size of the menu and making it small and unobtrusive.
Takeaway: Share information on designers, how they work and stick to a single focus for each page of your portfolio website.
Learning from Portfolio Website Examples
The portfolio website examples listed here are an excellent place to learn what makes a high-converting page. You may want to look up examples in your specific industry and check out what the competition is up to. The more examples you have, the better you can apply elements to your own design.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.