Putting it all together: A portfolio of recent work

A portfolio is not only a place to compile and organize your various work but to showcase your skills and abilities for prospective clients or employers. It should tell the story of your work and give the viewer the opportunity to understand why you made certain choices – both artistic and technical.

There are plenty of ways to make a stunning portfolio – and many of them cost a pretty penny. When researching portfolio plug-ins for WordPress I was disappointed to learn that I would need to upgrade to a business account, to the tune of $300 annually, even to utilize the “free” options. While I understand the importance of being able to showcase my work, I also don’t have a spare $300 kicking around at this moment, so I set out to create an organized portfolio using the options available to me in my personal (albeit ad-free) WordPress plan.

I started by creating a new page that would serve as both the landing page of my site and the index page for my recent work. The portfolio can be found right on my homepage gutenmorgenspinne.com. On this page, I uploaded one image for each project that I would showcase. I then utilized the “portfolio” option in WordPress, which creates a new page for each project. On each individual project page, I added more images and videos and a short write-up that discussed the project and some of my reasoning or process. Finally, I added a caption to the images on the index page corresponding to the title of each project and linked that caption to the project page.

While I kept the index page very simple, using only the most engaging image for each project, I used a variation of media types and layouts on the project pages, including galleries, slideshows, files, and even a few videos that helped showcase the work. Looking at the file of my three-page brochure is fine, but seeing the brochure opened and how the images align brings the project to a new level.

I had originally organized the index based on the date that I completed the project, but my last step was reorganizing the layout so that the projects that I believe show my best work are at the top, while those that I feel are a little less compelling are at the end. I also listed the projects in a dropdown in the main menu of the website to help the viewer navigate back to the main index page or jump from one project to the next.

I was relatively disheartened when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to afford to use a pre-established plug-in for my portfolio at this time. Figuring out how to layout and organize the pages took me a little while, but I’m really proud of the outcome and I think that it’s clean, concise, and showcases both my work and my style as a creator nicely.

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