Portfolio on a Budget: WordPress

WordPress is probably the easiest and best way to create your portfolio site for free. With tons of themes, there are many ways to customize your site’s appearance and functionality. WordPress is also updated regularly and has features that are accessible and user-friendly, so it’s definitely the better choice compared to Blogger. Let’s take a look at how you can set everything up right now.



First, Create Website and you will be given some standard themes to choose from. They all work and look great, but we will be going with something that works better for portfolios, so feel free to Skip for Now.

Some of WordPress's standard themes
some of WordPress’s standard themes

Next, choose a domain. By now you should have decided on a brand name, so let’s use that as your address. Since we are going with free hosting, your address will include wordpress.com at the end. It looks less professional to clients, but you always have the option to upgrade later once you start making money as a freelance graphic designer.

See also: Planning for Success

Choosing a suitable domain on WordPress
choosing a suitable domain

Lastly, you will be asked to create an account. Just enter the necessary details and your portfolio site is off to a good start.

Notice is that you are given a default theme (Twenty Fifteen). Clicking My Site opens up the main menu, which is where all the magic happens — you can publish your posts and pages, personalize your menus, configure settings and much more.

Twenty Fifteen
Twenty Fifteen
My Site is where you configure and manage your portfolio site
My Site is where you configure and manage your portfolio site

Go to Themes and explore the hundreds of free themes available. Here you can preview a theme on different displays (desktop, tablet and mobile) before deciding whether to install it. Ultimately, your choice depends on what kind and style of portfolio site you want to create.

In this example, we will be using Blask, a modern portfolio theme focused on showcasing your work in a clean and minimal way. To install, go to Try and Customize to load the Customizer. We will customize the theme further after uploading a few projects, so Save and Activate for now.

Blask, a clean and minimal portfolio theme for WordPress
Blask, a clean and minimal portfolio theme

Most portfolio themes (such as Blask) make use of the Portfolio feature, allowing them to offer unique layouts and organization for your portfolio projects. If you would like to learn more, WordPress has a section on Portfolios.

Be aware that your portfolio page is set to name.wordpress.com/portfolio, so make sure to provide clients with the correct address.

Moving forward, go to Portfolio and Add New Project. For every project uploaded, it’s recommended to add images and provide as many details as possible — you want prospective clients to better understand how you work as a graphic designer. Here you can also perform tasks such as editing the permalink, choosing the project type and adding project tags.

Adding images and details about a project
adding images and details about a project

Most portfolio themes require you set a Featured Image so it shows on the front page.

Setting a Featured Image
setting a Featured Image

Once done, publish the project and it should be posted right away. Now it’s just a matter of adding all the projects you want displayed and using the Customizer to customize the theme further if required.

Congrats, you have just created your portfolio site on WordPress!

If you take some time to familiarize yourself with the Portfolio feature, then creating your portfolio site on WordPress should be a simple and intuitive process.

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