Published by on October 23, 2019 • 0 Comments • Lire en Français

Who doesn't like to share the fruits of their labour?

After all, you have spent dozens of hours studying, developing, transforming, retouching and fine-tuning all these projects. So why not highlight them on a beautiful WordPress portfolio?

If you are reading this article, you must have come to this conclusion.

Plus, if you are a web designer, graphic designer, site creator, freelancer, or an agency, you need to present your achievements to convince your website visitors to use your services.

A portfolio is also vital to get people to know you, to build relationships, and to integrate into a community.

Of course, you could just use sites like Dribbble or Behance to promote your work. But, in my opinion, a site of its own is essential.

Your site will be your HQ – where you will centralize everything that visitors may need, without taking the risk that they'll be distracted by elements that you do not control.

Why use WordPress to do that, you might ask me? Well, thanks to it, you will be able to control what will be displayed on your site, from start to finish.

Visitors will be able to scroll through your projects, of course, and why not read a blog, where you'll share resources and your point of view on the evolution of your line of business.

In the rest of this article, you will discover some tips on how to create a great online portfolio, and a few great WordPress portfolio themes you could work with.

5 tips before creating your portfolio

You know, at WPMarmite, we like to give you all the best tips to help you make the right choices.

I couldn't go on with this article without giving you some advice. Especially if you plan to create your first WordPress portfolio.

Are you ready to go? Let's do it!

1. Think about your goals

If you are building a professional portfolio, you need to think about the people you are targeting. Not all customers are equal.

If you target SMEs in Idaho, your positioning will not be the same as for large accounts installed in New York.

2. Show your best projects

A portfolio should not show all your projects, but only those that are relevant to the people you want to reach.

It goes without saying that the student project you did in your first year will not really be up to par with what is expected of you.

Non, pas ces vieux projets !
Oh no, not these old projects!

Anyway, don't shoot yourself in the foot 😉

3. Be original, but keep it simple

Do you know the major problem you can encounter on portfolios? Sometimes, they are too creative. It may be interesting to think outside the box, but don't go too far. Otherwise, you risk making your site unreadable.

After that, it all depends on your target. If they are creative people used to the web, you can go for more creativity yourself.

4. Avoid using skills charts

Here is one thing I find ridiculous: progress bars indicating skills on certain software or technologies.

Ce gars doit encore faire des progrès
Ummm, 29% in analysis…. Does this mean that this guy won't understand anything about the project I intend to give him? Come on, next up!

No one is 100% good at a technology, you learn it every day. Just show what you master, your specialty, and move on.

5. Don't forget to put call-to-actions

This last point is crucial. However, I see it only rarely, even on portfolios of people who are well-known. Don't make the same mistake and make call-to-actions!

In concrete terms: a visitor has just consulted one of your projects and arrives at the bottom of the page. Boom: you're giving him a call-to-action instead of presenting other projects. You also need one on the home page, the about page, etc.

Remember that all the pages of your portfolio must lead to your contact page – otherwise how else do you want to get new projects?

To go further, take a look at these articles, they will help you to get a better idea of what a portfolio should contain.

After that, you'll never ask yourself the following question again: “What's a WordPress portfolio? Well, I hope so.

To go further, you can take a look at this article, that'll give you more great tips.

Now that you know exactly what a good portfolio is, let's see a selection of great WordPress portfolio themes.

9 WordPress portfolio themes

For you, I scoured the WordPress theme shops looking for the best.

Even if you don't choose one of these themes, you will get a better idea of the variety of templates you can find.

Before presenting those themes to you, I wanted to clarify two things. First of all, I did not test individually the themes presented in this resource.

However, my choices are not random. I have selected the ones below, rather than others, because of their design, the features they offer, or the reputation of their authors (via customer comments, for example).

Finally, I would like to point out that some of the links leading to these themes are affiliate links. This means that I will receive a small commission if you decide to buy one of them.

This income is used to keep the blog alive, and that is how we continue to offer you quality articles. Thank you for your support 🙂

WordPress Masonry portfolio themes

The name “Masonry” refers to a system of content organization that can be compared to the Tetris game.

In fact, the Masonry script is used on the site to assemble content regardless of its size. In the end, we get a kind of “project puzzle” on the portfolio page.

Let's look at some examples of themes using Masonry technology.

Lookbook

Quite minimalist, this GraphPaperPress theme places visuals at the core of the website. On the home page, no text is to be found. Everything is done to attract the attention of your visitors with photos.

So here's some advice: be sure to use good quality images!

As its name suggests, Lookbook can help you create your portfolio if you work in fashion, and will be perfect for a photographer.

Lookbook, a pro WordPress portfolio theme

Like all themes, Lookbook includes a blog that will help you to communicate on your future projects, news from your line of business, etc.

As you browse through it, you will see that the author of the theme has preferred to do without the sidebar, to gain clarity.

Price of this theme: $8.25/month or 99$/year. This price list gives access to the 46 themes in the GraphPaperPress shop.

More info See the demo

Koncept

Simplicity, elegance: I really appreciate this theme. It also has a modern feel that makes you want to explore it (the effect on the photos when the mouse hovers over them is well thought out).

Note, however, that the original appearance should not be ruined by using images with too bright a colour. But this advice is valid for any theme.

Koncept, un thème WordPress portfolio moderne

The appearance of the portfolio is not this theme's only plus: it also features a full screen menu and a very original blog articles layout (a classic presentation remains available).

In terms of plugin compatibility, Koncept has been optimized for WooCommerce (e-commerce plugin) and WPML (multilingual plugin). A page builder is also included.

Price of this theme: 59$ (about 49€) with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Gridsby

“A Pinterest-style blog theme to present your superb work in a unique way.”. This is the description given by Gridsby's creators.

Their theme is mainly intended for people who want to present photos to their visitors.

Portfolio WordPress Gridsby thème

I like the possibility of exposing your pictures in pretty galleries, and the presence of many shortcodes to add features without coding (slider, lightbox, accordion etc).

Note that, to fully enjoy this theme, you will need to get the paid version, which is more complete (hover effects, animations, widget areas in the footer, additional sidebars etc).

Price of this theme: it's a free WordPress portfolio theme, but there's also a premium version for 18$, with unlimited and priority support.

More info See the demo

Oshine

Rather famous on Themeforest – more than 25,000 sales at the time of writing – Oshine is a refined and sober portfolio WordPress theme that could also have been classified in the family of minimalist themes. Or in any other category, actually.

The reason is simple: it offers about 40 demos that can be activated in one click. They will adapt to many projects (wedding, architecture, restaurant, photography, digital agency etc).

Let's focus on one of the portfolio demos (there are 4-5 in total).

WordPress theme Oshine

I really like the attention to detail and minimalism of this demo. For example, look at the icon that serves as a hamburger menu. The font used (Work Sans) also returns a dynamic image.

On the functional side, Oshine includes a visual builder called Tatsu, and offers many options (hover effects, compatibility with WooCommerce, carousel, lightbox, different styles for the menu and header etc).

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

WordPress portfolio themes with a sidebar on the left

Let's now look at portfolio templates with a sidebar on the left. The big plus of this type of theme is that it can include a call-to-action that will constantly ne in front of your visitors' eyes.

Indeed, since we read from left to right, our eyes have the tendency to automatically spin to the left. So you can exploit this to your own advantage. The following themes will help you to take advantage of it.

Trail

If your projects include large photos, I recommend ThemeTrust's Trail theme.

The homepage allows you to present a few projects across the entire width of the screen (not to mention the small sidebar on the left).

Trail

The portfolio is organized in the form of a grid. You can include images, videos, text and, if you want to, a slide show.

As for the blog, it remains classic but has excellent readability.

Price of this theme: 49$.

More info See the demo

Coastline

The little touch of originality of this theme is its left-side sidebar, where the menu is located.

Imagine inserting an image in the background. Not bad for giving your site a little more personality, is it?

Be careful though to choose an image that reinforces your message and is in adequacy with your design.

Coastline, a WordPress portfolio theme

You will notice that each project can be presented differently. You can choose to:

  • Display images one after the other
  • Use a slideshow
  • Include a slideshow that takes the full width of the content

The only criticism I can make of this theme is that it does not include a call-to-action under the project presentation pages.

But you can always add one by editing the appropriate template file, via a shortcode. Or, at worst, by adding the call-to-action at the end of the project content.

Price of this theme: 49$ with 1 year of support.

More info See the demo

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Faites comme WPMarmite, choisissez o2switch. Non seulement les performances sont au rendez-vous mais le support est exceptionnel.

Classic WordPress portfolio themes

With these themes, there's no need to make tons of effort. You will create extremely simple portfolios. Projects are displayed in a grid format and visitors just have to click on a thumbnail to learn more.

Sometimes, projects can be filtered by category. By clicking on one of them, the thumbnails will animate to display only what is relevant.

Cluster

Cluster is a WordPress theme with more character than the previous one. This is certainly due to the image placed in the header.

If you choose this theme, be careful not to use an image that is too clear. You may make the text unreadable.

The WordPress theme called Cluster

With this theme, you can dynamically filter the portfolio items (except on the homepage). On each project, you will have the ability to turn the “Go to Project” button into a great call-to-action to contact you.

Price of this theme: 44$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

WordPress mosaic themes

Another way to present your projects is to use a portfolio theme in the form of a mosaic. This layout will put your projects in the spotlight from the outset. Your visitors will not be able to miss them.

Be sure to use beautiful images with this kind of theme.

Koi

This theme puts so much effort into displaying the projects in the portfolio, that the sidebar containing the menu on the left is almost indistinguishable.

Well, I'm exaggerating a little. But this is in contrast to the other themes presented so far. In any case, it's rather successful doing so, and original.

WordPress theme Koi

To fully use Koi, you will need to install the free Bean portfolio extension. Indeed, good practice requires that the functionalities of a theme are included in plugins. Congratulations to the ThemeBeans store for making this bold choice.

Price of this theme: 79$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Uncode

A little like Oshine, Uncode is a very flexible one-fits-all theme. It offers many demos and 11 of them can be used to create a portfolio.

I particularly liked the one with a mosaic photo gallery on the home page.

The Uncode portfolio WordPress theme

You will notice the attention to detail and simplicity of this theme. Of course, you will need quality images to avoid damaging it.

The effects on mouse hovering (darkening and appearance of a small cross) are superb, and I appreciated the variety of templates and modules available (slider, grid, masonry, carousel etc), as well as the different types of menus (8 in total).

Uncode is compatible with WooCommerce and comes with several premium plugins such as the Visual Composer or Revolution Slider page builder.

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Themes with a full screen header

If you want to impress your visitors, why not display a full screen image on the homepage?

The following themes will help you make a good first impression.

Port

The screen capture of this theme does not really show it. However, the header image adapts well to your browser window.

You can then scroll down the page to discover the rest of the site.

Port: a great WordPress portfolio theme

The homepage is composed of several sections that can be configured to display more or less information to visitors.

After clicking on a hamburger icon, the menu is displayed in a sidebar on the right (there are also widgets).

Beyond that, Port includes subtle animations that follows the navigation (parallax, zoom when the mouse hovers over the portfolio illustrations etc).

Price of this theme: 49$.

More info See the demo

Grand Portfolio

Grand Portfolio is a multi-functional theme. About ten demos are available and can be activated in 1 click.

On the chosen model, the portfolio is displayed just below the welcome image.

Grand Portfolio: a multifunction theme

The portfolio page has a filterable display and presents projects in masonry style.

This theme has a lot of elegance, like the Blog part, which is very sober and without sidebar.

Many features are also included: different layouts for the header, shortcodes, mega menus and WooCommerce compatibility. Grand Portfolio also includes the premium plugin Revolution Slider.

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Business-oriented templates

The themes in this category will help you create professional websites. By this, I mean sites for architectural firms, SMEs or to exhibit your freelance work.

If you are a website design agency, it would be better to design your own website from A to Z. This will be your best business card.

Navy

Navy is a clean and refined theme. Thanks to 12 demos of homepages that can be activated in 1 click, you will be able to present your services as you wish, whatever your skills.

Navy WordPress

I liked the many all ready to use pages (Services, Contact, About, FAQ etc): it saves you time during the creation process.

For your Portfolio, you will only have one choice of layout, in the form of a filterable gallery. But it's well designed and sober.

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Jevelin

This complete theme will be perfect to tell your company's story and highlight your achievements.

Jevelin

More than 20 ready-made demos allow you to create a custom design. There are two very attractive homepage templates for your portfolio in particular, if you wish.

If you choose a classic layout, you will have a portfolio in the form of a filterable gallery on the homepage.

Concerning the Portfolio page itself, I liked the many layout options. There are about ten in total (masonry, minimalist, overlay, gallery etc).

For those who don't know how to code, the theme includes a real-time visual builder to edit your content. It is also compatible with WooCommerce, if you want to sell products.

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Gridstack

Gridstack: a WordPress portfolio theme

I could have classified GridStack in the masonry category (the difference between the categories is often thin). But I find a little corporate side to it that led me to make this choice.

In terms of the possibilities offered by this theme, you have the choice to display projects full-width or default-width of your website.

Please note: a slideshow in text format is availiable as soon as you arrive on the homepage – not such a common thing. The idea is not necessarily a bad one, but scrolling through the content won't occur natural to all visitors.

Price of this theme: 49$ (about 41€) with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

WordPress One-Page portfolio themes

If you do not want visitors to change pages (or as little as possible), you can choose “One-Page” themes, i.e. themes that offer only one page divided into several sections.

Many people have questions about the SEO of this type of site. It is true that search engines will have less to get their teeth into – but don't forget that this is not the only way to generate traffic.

If you are not dependent on Google, a one-page portfolio can be a very good choice. Here are some of them.

One Page Pro

One Page Pro is a sober and stylish theme. I love one of the three homepage demos available (the resume one).

Of course, as with any One Page theme, you must scroll to discover the different sections of the site.

One Page Pro is a one-page portfolio WordPress theme

The main plus of this theme is the numerous customization options:

  • A drag-and-drop interface to add a lot of pre-designed elements (image, gallery, text, accordion etc)
  • 19 different headers: it's almost too much!
  • WooCommerce integration
  • Nearly 800 Google Fonts
  • And of course, 9 different layouts for your portfolio

Price of this theme: $52 with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Creative portfolio themes

These themes must be looked at carefully as they're not for everyone. Authors often enjoy themselves at the expense of the site's ergonomics.

This means that if your target audience is Mrs. Ordinary, she may not understand anything and run away quickly and well done.

The creative WordPress themes are intended for an audience of innovators who will notice your finesse and sophistication.

This being said, we can now discover two beautiful examples.

Ava

I was talking about originality, well with the theme Ava on est servi! The home page integrates your projects with a rather chaotic masonry layout.

This portfolio is filterable with the black funnel-shaped button at the top right. But keep your eyes open to notice it!

We can also insert a slideshow with pretty pictures to put the visitor in the mood.

Ava, a creative WordPress portfolio theme

When you want to open what you think is the main menu, you end up with something you absolutely don't expect – that is, a kind of One Page mini-site; that will display itself by sliding from the left, in which you can find many things.

On the “blog” side of things, the layout is also avant-garde. I guarantee you it'll upset many visitors. As I told you, this is for an informed audience only.

Price of this theme: 39$ with 6 months of support

More info See the demo

Lobo

With the Lobo theme, we're onto something more sober. However, we are clearly moving away from the beaten track. I particularly like the appearance of the main menu which, when it appears, transforms the site into two distinct areas.

Lobo, a creative WordPress theme

Several types of about pages are included to help you present yourself to your visitors. Be careful not to get lost in your originality – it can quickly turn into a mess.

One of the special features of Lobo is that the background image is always displayed in the main menu when the page is scrolled. Also note that this template is optimized for the WooCommerce plugin.

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Salient

Are you looking for a really offbeat and original layout from a long time ago? Hold on, I have what you need in store.

The lucky one is called Salient. By clicking on a point on the right side of the screen (as if you were scrolling a slide on a classic slide show), you will trigger the opening of a project in full screen mode. That's great.

Just judge for yourself.

Salient WordPress portfolio

If this seems too bold or restrictive to you, Salient has 5 other Portfolio demos for your homepage.

Beyond that, there are also more than 200 templates with many shortcodes and configuration options (several menu layouts, animations, Visual Composer integration etc).

Salient is a mastodon of Themeforest that is among the best-selling themes (more than 95,000 sales at the time of writing this article).

Be careful, however: Salient remains a rather complex theme for a beginner.

Price of this theme: 60$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

Blaze

If you love creativity, you'll be served with Blaze. This theme offers 12 different designs for its homepage.

For my part, I particularly appreciated the layout with the sidebar on the left.

Blaze WordPress theme

All its layouts remain in the same style, with a predominance of black and white – their minimalism and elegance is notable.

In my opinion, this theme will be particularly suitable for graphic designers and webdesigners.

I appreciate the transition effects between pages, the many types of portfolios available (gallery, standard, masonry, Pinterest) or the possibility to choose whether or not to integrate a sidebar on your blog.

Finally, the integration of WooCommerce is also very aesthetic. A very good theme as a whole.

Price of this theme: 59$ with 6 months of support.

More info See the demo

The minimalist themes

I couldn't finish this selection of themes without talking to you about minimalist WordPress portfolio themes. You know those themes, that do the strict minimum.

Everything is simplified so that visitors can focus on the main thing, i.e. the content. The WordPress themes that follow will not make me say otherwise.

Elegant

If you like wide open spaces, the Elegant theme will delight you. You can assign different layouts for your portfolio and blog.

For the portfolio, for example, you will have the choice between a grid display, 2 columns and finally 3 columns.

The WordPress theme Elegant

On the other hand, one of the strong points of this template is the possibility to include photo galleries in each portfolio element. This is a feature that should appeal to people who take pictures.

Price of this theme: 49$ with 1 year of support.

More info See the demo

Corner

Corner is presented as a personal WordPress theme but it goes much further in my opinion. This can be seen in particular thanks to the different portfolios that can be created (Work and Inspiration in the demonstration).

The Corner WordPress theme to create portfolios

One of Corner's original features is its apparent menu, located in a column on the left.

Beyond that, this theme is optimized for the WooCommerce plugin. You will be able to sell your products on a site with a refined style.

Another useful option is that it is compatible with famous page builders such as Divi or Elementor.

Price of this theme: 39$ with 1 year of support.

More info See the demo

Angle

The Angle theme could also have been classified as a business-oriented theme, because of the services put forward on the homepage.

We might as well tell you right away: we feel confident when we browse this site. It is clear, simple and effective. As a visitor, I can easily find my way around.

WordPress Angle: a great portfolio theme for WordPress

Concerning the portfolio itself, it remains quite classic. Two versions are available: one with dynamic element reorganization and another one with pagination and page reloading to display elements of a particular category.

Note that the whole theme does not require a sidebar (sidebar). Only the footer can host widgets.

Price of this theme: 69$ with 1 year of support

More info See the demo

Bonus: builders to build your portfolio

Finally, it is possible to create a WordPress portfolio using a builder.

You may know some of the most famous ones:

  • Divi
  • Elementor
  • Visual Composer
  • Beaver Builder

Thanks to pre-designed templates and modules, they offer a wide variety of layouts to present your projects. You can also use it to create any other type of site.

Accessible without knowing the code, they nevertheless require a minimum of practice to be well-mastered.

And now, tell me everything

Building a portfolio is not an easy task. First of all, you have to identify who it will be addressed to, select the projects you will present, find the right WordPress portfolio theme, integrate all the content, optimize the site for conversions and promote it on the web.

To put it in a nutshell, it's a hell of a job – but what a pleasure to complete such a job! When you've done things right, you now know why you get up in the morning.

In any case, I hope that these tips and this selection of themes have helped you to go forward with your portfolio site project 🙂

In conclusion, I would very much like to hear your point of view.

Start by explaining to me, in the comments, what theme you liked and/or which one you want to acquire.

Besides, do you know any topics I haven't mentioned? Let me know right underneath.

And if you think this article may be useful to others, feel free to share it on social networks.