Sharing you work on the internet is an important part of thriving in creative services.
It opens up new opportunities with clients and peers.
Getting a portfolio set-up on the web has never been easier, as the options available to us have expanded in recent years.
Here is a list of some truly great options that will get you up and running in no time:
- WordPress (free, but 4$ month hosting)
- Cargo (9$ month)
- Squarespace (8$ or 16$ month)
- Behance Pro Site (11$ month)
Why I love WordPress
I originally posted my portfolio on Cargo, which has been great, but if I could do it over again (which soon I probably will) I would have chosen to publish my works on a WordPress site (which is what this blog is built on).
An advantage to this would be to, house your portfolio and blog in the same place, which cargo isn’t really built for.
Also, WordPress is free each month (excluding hosting costs), so the monthly cost of using a service like Cargo is starting to add up.
The flexibility of WordPress makes it a powerful publishing application.
So this post will be devoted to getting you up and running on a WordPress site.
My advice would be to publish your work and voice on WordPress, which means you’ll need a hosting account.
This will require a bit more work than using those all in one services, but over the long term the flexibility and lower cost is worth it. This means you’ll need to get a hosting account with a reliable and reputable hosting company.
For me the choice is simple, it’s Bluehost all the way.
Getting set-up with Bluehost is simple and fast.
It’s very well priced ($3.95 a month) and it’s been a reliable service that I’ve used for 5 years now. I’ve built about 10 Wordpress sites, all hosted on Bluehost.
Choosing a theme
If you are going to publish your work and blog on WordPress, then I would recommend spending a little bit of money to get a premium theme.
For around $40-50 you can get a well built portfolio theme, that will serve you well for the long term.
Luckily the internet is full of aggregated lists of top premium themes, here are just a few.
Pick a theme that suits your work the best. Some things to keep in mind about portfolio sites:
- Less clutter equals more focus on your work
- Make your work the focal point
- Try and choose themes that don’t have excessive typography if you don’t need it (like agency themes)
- Make sure you choose a theme with a blog layout you like (even if you won’t use it right away)
Getting your domain name
Now this is something you can do directly with Bluehost or a third party domain seller like GoDaddy.
My biggest suggestion would be to try and get your name or as close to your name as possible.
In my case, “MichaelJones.com,” was taken long along, so I opted for, “Michael-Jones.co.”
If you work under a separate brand name, then try and get as close to that as possible.
The shorter the URL the better.
Nothing is worse than being at a networking event and telling someone to check out your online portfolio and then describing a crazy long URL. The shorter the better in my view.
Bluehost makes this incredibly easy.
Simply navigate to your CPanel (which is where Bluehost will take you when you log-in to your account).
Then browse down to “Website Builders.”
From here, Bluehost will guide you step-by-step to getting a fresh install of WordPress onto your account, under the right domain name.
Uploading your work
Once you have a fresh install of WordPress (and you’ve installed your theme file) on your domain name, it’s time to start uploading your work.
WordPress makes this concept very easy.
The basic concept of Posts, is the primary way that WordPress handles content. How your new theme displays that content is what will make it more presentable.
As far as your concerned though, getting your content into posts, is the priority.
Sharing your work
This post wouldn’t be complete without the most important part, sharing your work with the world.
If you’re a visual artist looking to expand your opportunities in the field, then you need to be sharing your work and process on social networks:
My suggestion to you, for maximum flexibility and minimal cost, is to set-up a WordPress portfolio on Bluehost servers.
Having your work, and your blog (process) all in one place, on a free platform is just good strategy.
No matter which direction you choose to go, make sure you’re sharing your work with the world.