How to Make a Portfolio in WordPress (Step-By-Step Guide)

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Are you struggling to find a reliable way to impress your prospects and convert many on them into your loyal customers? Many people are experiencing the same challenge. The cutthroat competition that characterizes the present marketplace has scared almost everyone. But if you know how to create a portfolio in WordPress, you cannot fall into the same category. Through this, you can present your work professionally and increase your business revenue fast.

Read on and learn how to make the type of portfolio in WordPress that you need to stand out in the marketplace.

Step 1: Choose the Best Hosting Service and Domain Name

If you are among the people who are just starting, the first thing that you need to do is find the proper domain name. You can buy one from a reputable domain register company. After that, choose a WordPress host that is scalable, secure, and has a proven track record. The efficiency of the support team is also critical. You should select a company that has a team on standby to help you whenever something goes wrong.

Step 2: Install WordPress

You can install WordPress with incredible ease, whether you are tech-savvy or not. This popular site builder is flexible and empowers you to design a portfolio that suits your unique needs. The process that you are required to follow depends on the web host you have chosen.


However, the necessary steps are the same across all platforms. Once you sign up with your host, you access your private cPanel that includes a one-click option. Some have the Softaculous Apps Installer icon that you need to click to land on the next screen. Here, click “Install Now” and follow the clear instructions to create your website.

Step 3: Find and Install the Right WordPress Themes

Since WordPress has a wide range of free and premium themes, including My ThemeShop’s Portfolio and Zelle Pro themes, you need to be careful to choose the best one. Do not pick themes are random, as you should focus on increasing the functionality of your site and improving its appearance.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to make the right decision, remember that you can use any portfolio theme with an impressive rating and achieve exceptional results without much effort.

How do you install your desired WordPress theme? Once you have chosen a theme of your choice, follow a few necessary steps to install it successfully. There are automated methods that you can use. However, if that is not for you, resort to manual installation, which is incredibly easy. Here are the steps that you should follow when you decide to install your WordPress theme manually:

1. Download your chosen theme

As we have already implied, WordPress is one of the most crucial website builders out there, but it cannot read your mind. While most of the popular WordPress themes are exceptionally nice, you must be able to choose one the meets your needs best.

All you need to do if you have learned how to make a portfolio in WordPress is to install your desired theme is to click the relevant download link and subsequently save the file to your hard disk. If you opt for the Blue-Green theme (if you like it), you will find a .zip file that resembles the image shown below.

Download your chosen theme

Only extract the theme folder. However, for the Readme.tx, the only thing that you can do with it is read. You don’t need it for the subsequent step of uploading the theme to your WordPress site.

2. Upload the theme

Up to this stage, you can see there is nothing too technical. You require no training to be able to download your best theme. The next step that involves uploading it is equally straightforward.

The only question that you are most likely asking is where you should upload the theme. Use FileZilla or any other reputable FTP client to connect to your secure WordPress hosting account. Head direct to where website builders install WordPress and find the “/wp-content/themes/directory.” Upload the file, and that is all.

3. Activate the Theme

Finally, head to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Presentation.” You will see a screen that appears like this.

activate the theme

That is the end of the process. Here, you can see the name of the theme that we used, which means you should expect to see different titles, depending on your theme choice.

Irrespective of your theme of choice, you will find the process the same and incredibly simple. The good news is that if you encounter any problems, you can get the general support forum. If you are installing a premium theme, you can also the free support of the well-trained WordPress support team. As such, if you are wondering whether to can know how to make a portfolio in WordPress, remember that you have adequate support.

Step 4: Find and Install the Right Plugins

Dealing with plugins requires a high degree of caution. Since plugins are responsible for increasing the functionality of your site, we should consider how you can choose the best portfolio plugin and install it. If you try to shoot off random plugins, you are highly likely to reduce the functionality of your site.

Remember, too many unnecessary plugins can reduce your site’s loading speed, which is why people who know how to make a portfolio in WordPress take it seriously. You must train yourself to identify and install the best free or premium plugins. As such, while you can use WordPress portfolio themes to create the ideal portfolio site, you have another useful option. You can opt for a multipurpose theme to design your website and then add your online portfolio on one of your web pages.

What should I note to be able to install my plugin?

Free Plugins:  If you want to install a free plugin, navigate to “Plugin” and search for the one that you want. By writing a small part of the name, the plugin appears, and you install it.

free plugins

Premium plugins: Since premium plugins are not accessible via the official directory, you must use a different method if you are using the paid alternatives. Your first step is to obtain the plugin independently. That means you have to go to a plugin store or marketplace to find one.

Next, head to your panel and click “Plugins >> Add New,” and then click “Upload New.” Finally, click “Install Now.” After following these steps, you can be sure that the plugin is online, and you can start using it.

Also Read: Portfolio Design: Do’s and Don’ts

How should I choose the best portfolio plugin?

If you are just starting and are wondering how to choose the best portfolio plugin, remember that we are here to make your life easy and give you all that you need to discover how to make a portfolio in WordPress. You don’t have to do a lot of research. Portfolio Designer is designed to meet all your portfolio needs. However, there are other great options too.

Let us now see how the two versions of Portfolio Designer and a few other valuables can help you create a portfolio website that perfectly suits your needs without struggling or wasting your energy trying different products to see which one works.

Portfolio Designer Lite plugin:  You can simply choose the Portfolio Designer Lite plugin for your site without going through the extensive research process that is time-consuming and may not help you much if you are inexperienced.

If you are asking why we recommend the Portfolio Designer Lite plugin, consider how its features can make your portfolio to impress your potential customers and win them. The plugin has been designed specifically for portfolio display. Its fully responsive and mobile-friendly quality and the powerful backend options are some of your must-have features.

Other incredible features of this incredible plugin that can change your experience are:

  • Two types of layouts (Grid and masonry layouts)
  • 8 Unique hover effects using HTML5 and CSS3
  • Image auto resize
  • Standard pagination types
  • Fully customized admin interface
  • Advanced options (setting the order of posts and filtering by taxonomies and term, and much more)
  • SEO friendly
  • Inbuilt Fancybox (Available for your online portfolio lists)
  • Social share support (options include Twitter, Goggle+, Facebook, Instagram, and more)
  • Compatible with the latest WordPress version
  • Custom CSS
  • No expert needed to install
  • Translation ready
  • Well documented
  • Extensive premium support
  • Suitable developer custom hooks

Portfolio Designer PRO Plugin: Portfolio Designer PRO is an advanced plugin designed to help you overcome any limitations you have with the lite. Like the lite version, PRO is fully responsive and mobile-friendly. You can use it to create the best gallery solution for any of your sites. The advanced features of portfolio designer PRO that you need not ignore are:

  • Thumbnail settings panel
  • Advanced action and filters
  • Several column options
  • Restore default option
  • Live preview
  • Custom post type
  • Popup box options (Color box, Fight case box, Fancy box, and Nivo box)
  • Pagination type options
  • Social share accounts
  • Share via WhatsApp or email options
  • Professional support
  • Duplicate portfolio layouts accessible via a single click

With these features, if you have been looking for a portfolio site that guarantees you a professional image and is easy to use, you have found the ideal solution. It enables you to create new custom posts with video thumbnails, audio, and images. Since it is entirely responsive and mobile-friendly, the Portfolio Designer Lite plugin is what you need to showcase your alluring photos and share them with your customers on special media using any device.

Step 5: Create the Portfolio Page

(A) Header

Once you have installed WordPress and working plugins and themes, now it is the right time to create the actual portfolio page.
Start by building the header. Your page should have a full-width image that features a detailed and clear message.

Besides, it should have a call to action for all your online visitors. Head to “Appearance” and then scroll down to ‘Customize” and view your theme to see how it looks out of the box.

By using the WordPress Customizer, you can take the header section and adjust it in ways that suit your needs. This is the place where you should continue tweaking your theme to suit you. For you to achieve this, you should do the following:

  • Replace the content under the title section
  • Adjust the first button’s text and remove the second in the same section
  • Upload a new image under “Parallax” and turn on the effect

After following the above steps, you can see that you are using an image as the background instead of plain color.

At this point, the header is ready for action.

(B) Portfolio Page

You should now create the part of the page that you intend to hold your portfolio items. Create the page using the same necessary skills that you usually handle with WordPress. Head to “Pages” and then “Add New.” Create a suitable title for the page and save it.

Now, choose whether you want to work with the backend or frontend editor. Click the Visual Composer option that you prefer to open the live drag and drop editor. Go on and click on the “Add Element.” Use the Portfolio Grind element and start building the portfolio page. If you desire to have a carousel on the page, choose the portfolio carousel element.

portfolio page

To fine-tune the appearance of your Portfolio pages, you need to head to the settings of the Portfolio Grind element and adjust them as appropriate. You have the option to select the desired images, add borders, and title them. You can choose to specify categories and enable pagination, columns, and post limits per page, grid styles, and much more. Once you have filled all the required settings options, save the Portfolio page.

As you do all these, if you know how to make a portfolio in WordPress, you should remember that you can view the changes and take the appropriate action. Before you move on, if you want, see how your portfolio appears in the frontend. However, to avoid any disappointment, be sure you save the changes before you attempt to preview them.

Step 6: Customize Your Portfolio

Be sure the portfolio fully suits your needs. The best way you can do this is to use the settings in the live WordPress Customizer to make the desired improvements.

With this element, you can set options for images cropping, archives layout, breadcrumbs, single post style, and more. At the same time, you can make changes to the post type name, taxonomy, slag, and the admin icon. If this is what you want to do, use the Portfolio Post Type Editor, and it will be done within minutes.

Useful Read: 35+ Hover Effects That Will Inspire You to Create Unique Gallery

Step 7: Add Your Portfolio to the Menu

Once you have created a high-value website that can help you to close many deals, you need to take further action. You want to be sure that people who visit your sites see it. Otherwise, you are likely going to reap no benefits. The best away to prevent this type of headache is to add the portfolio to your site’s menu.

Add “My Portfolio” to the menu to enable your visitors to access this resourceful part of your site without any difficulties. For you to do this without any hassle, you should go to ‘Appearance” and head on to “Menu.” Once you have done that, move on to the portfolio page, which we have just created, and click “Add to Menu.” With just the single click, your portfolio becomes a menu item that anyone can access easily. Besides the menu, your prospects will be able to access the portfolio from all your pages that have the main menu enabled.

Since this is your portfolio website, you are free to make the portfolio your homepage. You can simply do this. Navigate to “settings” and then head to “Reading.” Once you reach here, create a static page from the Front Page display. Finally, choose your portfolio, and you are done.

Step 8: Build an “About Me” Page

Are you concerned why it is necessary to continue building other pages after optimizing your portfolio? The truth is that your site cannot help you much if it leaves your guest asking more questions about you.

So far, we have paid close attention to the technical side of creating a valuable portfolio site. When it comes to creating this page and others, your writing skills are vital for your success. Remember, we use words to communicate, and if you create great forms and install all the necessary elements but fail to convince your clients that you are the right client, you are likely to fail.

Many people want to work with someone that they know well. To provide your visitors with great insights on whom you are. The WPForms plugin can help you to create a form that can help your customers under four fundamental things about you.

  • Your full name and where you are from
  • The types of clients that you work with
  • Your main niche
  • The main benefits that your clients get

If you choose, you can include your best skills. However, for freelancers, this is not necessary. Your clients are not interested in reading a resume. The best way you can approach this is to write a few sentences about the types of problems that you solve. Other than adding some personality, you should be sure to add a quality photo of yourself.

Step 9: Create Your Homepage

You may also choose to create a homepage, which is another essential page for your visitors. The process of creating pages is the same. Note that the only difference is the kind of information that you present.

As we have said above, you can choose to go to “Reading” via the “Settings,” create a static and choose your portfolio to set it as the homepage. If you opt for this option, you can include the information that often appears on the homepage in other pages, such as the “About Me” and “Service.” Some of the things you need to do here are:

  • Introduce your self
  • Present your services or skills
  • Showcase a few samples of your work and add some links
  • Talk about yourself (link to the “About Me” page)
  • Add Call to action

Remember to keep each of these sections brief and attention-grabbing to achieve your goal of attracting and retaining your prospects.

Step 10: Create a Contact Page

If you think you have learned how to make a portfolio in WordPress but want to build one that lacks the contact page, you better stop wasting your time. Your prospects want to reach out to you. At a minimum, your site must include your email address and your phone number.

create a contact page

However, if you want to look professional, you should drop these details and create a contact page. Use the Contact Form 7 plugin to do this. Here are the steps that you need to follow.

  • Install and activate the Contact Form 7 plugin
  • Go to “Contact” and click “New.”
  • Customize the form and mail settings and then save
  • Copy and paste the generated code into Contact Page’s text element


At this stage, you can rest knowing that you have created a professional portfolio. We have seen that you do not need to struggle to find out how to make a portfolio in WordPress. After following these necessary steps, you are done. All you may do now is take your time to get familiar with your chosen WordPress theme and plugins. Also, you need to add more content that suits the needs of your potential clients. Overall, if you want to start your freelancing career, you now know how to make a portfolio in WordPress and are taking giants steps towards realizing your career goals.

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