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How to Create an Online Portfolio with WordPress

How to Create an Online Portfolio with WordPress

An online portfolio is where artists, photographers, as well as designers display their works to the whole world. In this way, people around the world can appreciate the masterpieces or even become potential customers. Although knowing how many benefits a portfolio can bring about, a lot of people don’t own one for not knowing where to get started.

Under this condition, our editors write the tutorial to tell people how to make an online portfolio easily based on our researches and practical experiences. Since WordPress plugin has been regarded as the most effective way to rub the lamp, we select one of the most popular portfolio plugins called WP Portfolio in the following guide.

About WP Portfolio Plugin

WP Portfolio is a popular WordPress plugin that helps you create a page to showcase a bunch of items orderly, coming with a short description, URL and more information about a certain item. In this way, visitors are able to view a list of websites at a glance and have a rough idea about each item quickly.

What’s more, WP Portfolio has the ability to generate website thumbnails automatically so that you don’t need to upload a new image for each item. If there is a need to upload a bundle of items at one time, this plugin makes it as easy as a pie by supporting group entries upload.

Plugin URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-portfolio/

wordpress portfolio plugin

Install & Activate WP Portfolio Plugin

Search for WP Portfolio via WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and click Install Now button to install this plugin. Once jumping to the next page, you are required to click Activate Plugin. And then, you come to the Installed Plugins page.

install wordpress portfolio plugin

Create an Online Portfolio with WP Portfolio Plugin

And now, the WP Portfolio plugin is shown in the dashboard side bar. Move your mouse onto this plugin and click the “Portfolio Settings” option. There are multiple options included in the WP Portfolio – General Settings page, which leave you enough room for thumbnail customization and asks you to enter STW Access Key and Secret Key.

First of all, you are required to sign an account on ShrinktheWeb and acquire a STW Access Key ID and STW Secret Key. Go to the register page and fill out your personal information when prompted. Make sure that this is your only account and you have agreed to the Terms of Service enacted by ShrinkTheWeb. Finally, click “Create new account” button to confirm all information.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

Later, you will receive an email that includes your username and password. Copy and paste them to the blank and then click Log in button.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

The access key and secret key is shown on the page conspicuously. Copy and paste the given keys to the WP Portfolio – General Settings page. Keep them in mind and never reveal the access key and secret key to others.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

And then, select the most suitable thumbnail size from three options and click Update Settings button to confirm all settings.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

Since now, you can get started to add new items to the portfolio page. Before everything, click Add New Group to create a group with a unique name and brief description. Here, we name our first group as Review because we are running a review site and plan to showcase a list of product reivews. You can set the group order manually or just leave all groups render in alphabetical order. Click Add Group Details.

Note that, you are allowed to create as many groups as you want and edit & delete each group via WP Portfolio > Website Groups.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

The next step is to add some items to the newly created group. Go to WP Portfolio > Add New Website and then copy & paste the item URL to the Website URL field. Name the item properly and make a simple and clear description to it. Select the Review group from the Website Group drop-down list. Click “Add Website Details”.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

This plugin enables you to view and edit all websites via WP Portfolio > Website Groups > Review. If the thumbnail fails to be completely loaded, you are required to click Refresh to reload it.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

And now, it’s time to showcase all website groups on your site. Go to Pages > Add New and create a page called Portfolio or something else as you need. Copy and paste the shortcode [wp-portfolio] in the content field. Click Publish button to let all people view your portfolio.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

The portfolio page should be like the following screenshot.

create portfolio with wordpress portfolio plugin

In addition to the WP Portfolio plugin, there are more options available for you, such as Nimble Portfolio, Fancy Gallery, Awesome Filterable Portfolio, and so on.

Tips for Portfolio Customization

Since many people complain about the featureless portfolio design, we give some tips as below for a more professional look. Here, we suggest you to go with a premium WordPress portfolio theme, update website regularly and use images in high definition. And also, we tell you the way to improve website speed.

Select a Premium WordPress Theme

Plugins are used to extend functionalities while themes are designed to make your website knock-out. Thus, selecting a fascinating theme should be taken into consideration. Fortunately, WordPress enables multiple Portfolio themes in the market, like Gleam, Vizerk and Dorsey, which help you create a unique online portfolio with ease.

Keep Your Website Fresh

portfolio customizationBear it in mind that you need to keep updating your website regularly, which can refresh and surprise visitors when they visit your site at different time. Firstly, you can customize the theme to make your site different, such as change color, add sidebars, add slider, as well as change layout. Then, you need to publish articles regularly to show something different to visitors. Thirdly, of course, you need to display different photos to make your website refreshing.

Use Images in High Definition

As a portfolio website, photos take up the main share on the web page. Thus, to some extent, the quality of images decides the quality of your website. In this case, you need to choose high definition photos to present the website. Besides, the size of the photos also matters. Pictures need to have proper size and color to match with the content and theme style.

Enable Fast Page Loading Speed

Poor page loading speed brings visitors bad browsing experience because they have to spend a lot of time to load all photos shown on the portfolio page. In fact, most people regard it as a waste of time and have no patience to stay on your website one more second. To avoid this embarrassing situation, you should take measures to accelerate site speed right now.

As we all know, a reliable hosting provider has the ability to provide you with fast speed and high level of reliability. Thus, we recommend the top 3 hosting companies that enable stunning speed on your website.


Lucy has been a very experienced SEOer, technical writer, web developer, c# developer since 2002. Now she owns a startup in San Francisco, CA, focusing on running a couple of blogs to share knowledge and experience with global readers and deliver exceptional results to global sponsors by leveraging the power of Internet.