How to Build a Portfolio Website in WordPress
A portfolio website is a website created to showcase the work of an individual or business. These websites are generally focused on creative or innovative projects, rather than simple eCommerce websites selling goods. A portfolio website can be created in a variety of ways, using a variety of tools, such as digital paintbrushes or sophisticated design software.
What’s important is that you build something that you feel proud of. Something that you believe will make your work stand out from the crowd.
Choosing The Right WordPress Theme For Your Site
There are dozens of great free and premium WordPress themes out there. Before you start building your site, it’s important to choose the right one. There are several things to bear in mind when choosing a theme.
For example, do you want your site to be responsive (mobile-friendly)? How about SSL (secure socket layer) certificates? These are just some of the things you need to consider before making a purchase. Don’t worry, we’ll get to those topics later in the article.
Getting The Most From WordPress
There are several things you can do to make the most of WordPress and make your site work harder. Here are some tricks:
- Organize your content using taxonomies and custom fields
- Create shorter posts that will draw in more visitors
- Use caching to speed up your site
- Minify your WordPress theme’s CSS and JS files
- Reduce the number of plugins you’re using
- Reduce the number of overall blogs you have
- Use HTTPS (secure communication) whenever possible
Building The Backbone of Your Site Using WordPress
Once you’ve chosen a theme, the next step is to build the backbone of your site: the foundational pages that will make up the structure of your site. These are the pages that will hold important content and will connect to each other via hyperlinks.
For example, if you’ve landed on a blog page, you’ll see the blog’s name and a few sentences explaining what the blog is about. However, if you click on a link near the text, you’ll be taken to a different page explaining how to use WordPress and providing examples of good content.
WordPress provides several options for creating this type of structured site, commonly known as a ‘web 2.0’ or ‘content-based’ website. Themes will help you easily get started, but you can also use numerous plugins to accomplish the same goal. Here’s a quick list of some of the most useful plugins for this purpose.
- Structure – Provides the ability to create different types of web pages with custom templates
- Post List – Organizes your content into lists, such as ‘Top 10 Blogging Tips’ or ‘Most Popular WordPress Themes’
- Shortcuts – Creates one-click access to common tasks, such as publishing posts or pages, adding videos, or scheduling events
- Social Media – Connect your social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn) to your site. This will allow you to easily share content via social media when you publish something new
- Search Engine Optimization – Improves your site’s ranking in search engines like Google
- Login Form – Provides an easy way for visitors to log in. This plugin integrates with several other plugins to create a fully-featured sign-in form
- Contact Form 7 – Builds a fully-featured contact form, with capture buttons, social media fields, and more
Adding Videos To Your Site
Another great way to add content value is to add videos to your site. Not only will videos increase the chance of someone clicking on a link, but they also often rank high in search results.
There are several tools you can use to create videos without needing to be a professional. If you’ve got a business or blog you’ve been thinking about adding videos to, consider the following options:
- Wondering if your business is worth pursuing? Youtube Analytics can help you find out the popularity of your channel.
- Need someone to promote your business? Try out Youtube Branding, which allows you to create custom playlists and discover communities built around your niche.
- Want to find out what people are saying about your business? Check out Google Reviews, which will provide you with a snapshot of any negative or positive feedback about your company.
- Looking for ways to increase engagement? Video content may be just what you’re looking for. If your goal is to grow your email list, videos have the potential to do so. And did we mention that videos often rank highly in search results?
The video tutorial is one of the most popular types of content on the web. If you’ve got a YouTube account, you can take advantage of this trend by creating video guides for various topics.
Why should you create videos? Videos can do the following:
- Highly engaging – People love to learn via videos. They often say that videos increase the chance of someone reading the content compared to traditional text posts.
- Attracting, engaging, and inspiring your audience – Video content can be used to educate, entertain, and inspire. In order to pull off a successful video series, you’ll need to consider your audience’s needs and wants.
- Providing useful information – Many videos are very informative. They can teach your audience about a range of subjects, from SEO to copywriting to graphic design. In order to become a video education brand, you’ll need to consider creating video tutorials for various platforms (e.g. YouTube, Vivaldi, etc.).
- Boosting website traffic – If you’ve got a WordPress site, you can use video to pull in traffic from different platforms, including YouTube. Create a weekly video on a topic that your readers will value, and you’ll begin to see an increase in traffic to your site. In case you’re curious, you can use YouTube Analytics to track the average amount of time that your audience spends watching your videos.
- Building trust – When people come across as genuine in a video, they tend to be more receptive to the content than they would be if the same content was presented in written form.
Using SEO To Your Benefit
Even though videos can be very engaging, they may not perform well in search engine rankings unless you do a little bit of SEO (search engine optimization). Just like with any type of content, your video’s content must be relevant and of high value to your target audience.
There are several steps you can take to optimize your video’s SEO, including the following:
- Creating the right keywords and descriptions for your video’s content
- Determining the video’s most valuable information
- Formatting your video’s metadata (title, keywords, and description)
- Anchor text, visible text, and alt attributes for images
- The age of your video as well as the number of views it’s received
If you want to become an SEO expert, consider the following:
- Becoming a thought leader in your industry
- Attracting a following
- Writing and publishing white papers
- Gathering digital marketing case studies
- Keeping up with the ever-changing SEO landscape
As you can see, there are several ways you can use WordPress to build a successful portfolio site. Keep in mind that with any new venture, there will always be some growing pains. However, by following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that you build a site that’ll be valuable to you and your audience.