5 effective tips for your wordpress portfolioHaving a great online profile can be very beneficial to your career. This is the digital space where you allow your work to represent you and take center stage. There are four primary reasons to have a portfolio: when you’re trying to attract potential employers or clients; sales and lead generation; brand building; and networking. Of course, not every employer or client requests to see your portfolio, but one thing is certain: it can never hurt you.

Even when it’s not required, having an online portfolio can help you stand out against a pool of applicants. Fortunately, WordPress and other website creators make it very easy to create your portfolio, and options are endless. Here are five tips for creating a WordPress portfolio:

Be Creative (Regardless of Your Background)

Anyone who creates something for a living can benefit greatly from an online profile. Portfolios aren’t just for people whose work involves creative design like photography, graphic design, or writing. Even engineers who want to show off their knack for PCB design tools or architects who want to showcase their 3D renderings can find creative ways to display their skills.

Take a look at other creative online portfolios to give you inspiration on how to approach your own portfolio, and try to think outside the box. Add photos to your website or enlist the help of a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork to make a simple logo or other graphics that help take your portfolio to the next level.

Take Advantage of Plugins

With thousands of WordPress plugins, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use them to display your work. Due to their versatility, plugins are especially useful if you’d like to make as few changes as possible with your current theme and design. A few of worthwhile plugins portfolio plugins include:

Awesome Filterable Portfolio: This plugin allows you to create a filterable gallery. The portfolio  can be filtered using image hover effects and smooth animations. The attractive interface is very appealing to visitors and users can set up as unlimited items and categories.

WordPress Portfolio Plugin: This plugin is highly effective and feature-rich, allowing users to use thumbnails to automatically populate a portfolio page. It allows for full customization and the ability to use custom images rather than thumbnails.

Portfolio Gallery By Huge IT: This flexible plugin allows users to showcase their portfolio via responsive gallery that comes in seven different unique views. It has an intuitive interface and works with with any WordPress theme.

Auto Grid Responsive Gallery: With this premium plugin, you can automatically create a responsive, grid-based gallery using just a shortcode.

Curate Your Best Work

Your portfolio shouldn’t include every piece of work you’ve ever done. Instead, you should display relevant work that is representative of who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. Your portfolio should demonstrate your understanding of the skillset required to achieve your end goal.

Narrow your work down to your best pieces, and ask family, friends, and colleagues to help rank them. Additionally, websites like Dribbble allow users to showcase their work and receive feedback from other users. Take advantage of this large community (and others like it) and use it to connect with a wider audience.

Integrate Your Portfolio Website

If you already have a portfolio on a community website, building a WordPress portfolio can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve already gained a strong following elsewhere. In this case, all of your hard work doesn’t have to go to waste; several plugins allow you to integrate your portfolio page with WordPress. For example, the Behance Portfolio for WordPress is a premium plugin that allows for seamless integration between Behance and WordPress. This way, you can still maintain two separate entities without having to work double time.

Another premium plugin, devianART Widget, allows WordPress integration with devianART. While the interface isn’t as robust, it’s still an easy way to manage both sites. There are also several plugins integrate Flickr with WordPress, like Awesome Flickr Gallery and Flickr Photostream.

Tell Your Story

While the goal of an online portfolio is to put your best work forward, it’s important to show the person behind the work. Sharing information about yourself allows visitors to get a glimpse of your personality and it complements the work that you do.

Your “About Me” section should show your passion. And don’t be afraid to get personal; people like to feel a connection, and showing some color can only benefit you. Additionally, share the backstory for the projects you display. Consider sharing the process of your projects, from the early concepts and sketches to the finished product. Include the inspiration behind the project and what your goals were.