How to create an online portfolio for your freelance business
If you’re a freelancer, you may need an online portfolio to showcase your work to potential clients. We explain three ways you can create one.
You don’t need to invest in a complex website if you’re a freelancer. A basic site will enable you to convey all the information a prospective client needs to know – including your professional history, your services (and possibly pricing and packages), examples of your work, possibly a blog and your contact details.
Here are three options for creating your online portfolio.
1) Use a website builder
A website builder is the mid-way choice between hiring a professional web studio to create a bespoke website to your exact specifications, and having a go at teaching yourself how to do it.
With a website builder you won’t (you may be relieved to learn) need to create everything from scratch, either using computer code or a platform like WordPress.
It’s easy to see why this option is so popular. The Webeden website builder, for example, supports features like Google Analytics, so you can track traffic to your site, and adjust your marketing to suit. Website builders can also arrange to purchase a domain name for your site and set it up for you, removing much of the technical headache at a very low cost.
2) Hire a web studio
A web studio will be only too pleased to meet you and discuss your requirements, so they can design a website that’s perfect for your needs.
Their costs usually start around £500 ($700) for a basic site suitable for a portfolio. Depending on the complexity of your website and your experience in working with web designers, it can take a few weeks to bring to life.
It’s important that you’re clear from the outset about exactly what you want, and brief the web studio clearly. If you don’t make your choices clear at the start or change your mind throughout the process you could find the cost rising as the design scope widens.
3) Do it yourself with WordPress
If your budget is really tight, and you have the energy, time and enthusiasm to learn, your third choice is learn how to build your own WordPress site.
All you need is a domain name and hosting, then you can install WordPress and pick a free WordPress theme or a premium portfolio WordPress theme. This will give you a pre-made design for your site. Then get busy laying it out with a menu, adding pages and a section for your portfolio.
If you don’t know how to use WordPress yet, have never bought a domain name, or logged into a web hosting account, don’t worry – there are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube or paid training courses.
And while it’s certainly within many people’s abilities to learn how to do it, you have to ask yourself how much your time is really worth to you. It could take you a couple of weeks to put your site together – time that could be spend on other areas of your business (like finding clients or working on paid freelance projects).
You may decide that, while your budget is tight, investing in options one or two actually gives you a better return on your investment (because your time is never really ‘free’).
Ready to build your online freelance portfolio?
So there you are – three options to build your online freelance portfolio. Which feels the best fit for you? If you’re ready to start showcasing your work to potential clients we recommend striking while the iron is hot, and picking a choice and getting started!