Gone are the days when the portfolio is a handy album of one’s web design and development accomplishments. The PowerPoint version seems kind of outdated, too.
What is the current trend? It has to be the web development portfolio. This is where web developers put on their resume as well as showcase their amazing projects.
It’s a great way to showcase one’s skill because prospective clients get a glimpse of what you, as a web developer, can do. It allows the other side to see what kind of digital products you are going to create when commissioned for a project.
But what should you put on your portfolio?
Things to include on your web development portfolio websites
Your online portfolio should be a window to your skills and creativity. It’s kind of an exhibit on what you can do and how creative you can get.
It should be attractive without getting overwhelming. You have to understand that people or clients have different tastes. You don’t want to alienate a group of clients while you showcase your abilities. At the same time, you have to inject your real personality into it.
You want to give clients a tidbit of who you are as a person and as a web developer.
Here are the most important contents of your online portfolio:
You want potential clients to get to know you. In a regular world, which means in a world where the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t happen, there will be in-person interviews for projects. For now, though, you have to assume that there will be no more interviews.
“Assume” is the operative word. Of course, this may not be the case. However, only the best may actually get an interview.
The best thing that you should do is introduce yourself so that the potential client will know who you are and what you do best.
That’s the point of introducing yourself. A photo would be nice, too. This way, the client can put a face to the portfolio. But this is not necessary. Of course, if you don’t think that it should matter what you look like because web development doesn’t have anything to do with looks, then you can also stand your ground.
But that shouldn’t be a point of worry. Clients who are looking for a web developer will not care about the looks. It just makes the introduction more complete.
Aside from the photo, your name—real name—should be there. This should be a given since you want people to know who you are. Even if a client just passes through your profile and does not do a deep dive into your portfolio, the fact that your name has somehow been put into the back of their heads is an important step.
This is a way of putting yourself out there.
Your online web developer portfolio is like your resume but on steroids. It’s a jacked up version of the resume that non-techy people are more used to.
Another important thing you should include in the introduction is your expertise. Is it doing responsive design? Maybe you are more into the UX and UI design. Or perhaps it’s web and mobile applications that you are great at.
You want to emphasize your expertise just in case people are looking for something specific. Of course, just because you are an expert in applications doesn’t mean you can’t do UX and UI designs. The latter are actually important components of the former.
Body of work
Now, this is very important. Going by the mention of expertise, the body of work will tell the entire story. You may be great at one specific thing or more, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be the entire package.
Your body of work will show that you are a web developer and more!
You need to look at all your work and see what you can include in your portfolio. Actually, you can put all there. The advantage of that is the client will know that you have had many commissions over the years.
There is a downside though. To see what you have been doing, they will just select a few at random. This is the consequence of putting on many outputs.
Another way you can do it is showcase your best work from different sectors. You are not only presenting your best outputs but also your range.
Showcase your versatility without actually saying you are versatile. Allow your previous projects to do the talking.
It would also give a great context about what you can truly do when you exhibit your personal projects. These are the ones you created because you are passionate about web development and design.
Personal projects are not commissioned by clients and they are not paid. This would showcase your real personality in design because you are not told what to do.
One advantage of showing personal outputs is that it also presents you as someone that is truly in love with web development and design. That’s actually quite rare nowadays.
A lot of people go to school for web development because they know that this profession pays really well. There is nothing wrong with that, by the way. It’s honest, too.
However, if you can show how passionate you are about web development and design, you will be able to touch a client. That makes you more attractive for work because it will showcase that your digital products will have a heart.
If you have projects from school, that would be a great showcase. For one, it will show growth. Clients will see how you have grown as a student to a professional. Another thing, it’s truly you. When your personality is exuded from the project, it would seem like the client knows you personally. That adds a level to a client’s portfolio browsing.
Of course, you should not forget to include your contact information in the portfolio. That’s truly basic. But it’s worth mentioning here because as you focus yourself too much on the balance of creativity and knowledge on your portfolio, it’s possible that you might just forget important things.
Make sure your contact information is easy to reach. Don’t put your personal address in as if people will actually get in contact with you through snail mail. If you have an office, then an office address would be great.
The most important contact information details are your mobile phone and email. A landline is not very important considering that more people use mobile phones nowadays. Besides, if you are out and about and you get a call on the landline and fail to answer it, the caller might get impatient.
At least, with mobile numbers and email address, there is a big chance you will be able to answer it right away. After all, you don’t leave without your mobile phone, right? If you are a web developer of today then you are rightfully attached to your mobile device.